The last thing your renters need when trying to understand a lease document is jargon.
Too many landlords assume that renters will understand leases with complex, overly verbose, or vague sentences. This type of language, called “legalese,” does more harm than good when it comes to laying out clear policies. Click here for more about Classically Abb
For example, overly formal syntax (e.g., “The signee shall…”) and wordy phrases (e.g., “including but in no way limited to”, “subject to the foregoing”, “the aforementioned…” etc.) only cause your tenants to skim instead of fully reading the lease. Your renters can easily become confused, scared away, or sign off on terms they don’t fully understand. Visit here for more descriptions of Buzzfeed Food Quiz
Instead, write your leases using plain, everyday language. Plain language leases help you clearly communicate your rental property rules and regulations. They are written with short, precise sentences and direct syntax.
There are many benefits of plain language leases. Here are four reasons to use plain language in your rental agreement or residential lease.
Build Your Renters’ Trust
Leases written in simple language are much easier to read and digest. When renters can read the lease in understandable—but not oversimplified—language, they feel respected and not talked down to.
On the contrary, long, effusive documents filled with unapproachable language feel condescending to a reader. The best way to treat your renters with respect from the start is to prepare a lease document that is clear, simple, and straightforward.
Sign Leases Faster
Plain language leases also speed up the entire leasing process. For one, they’re much easier to write—you don’t have to go searching for the “right” legal language or seek out a lease template with language that seems “official.” Instead, you can use an empty lease template to state your rental terms quickly and neatly.
Renters are also much more likely to sign a plain language lease than one in legalese. Renters who feel confused or bewildered by the language in your lease will have questions and concerns before signing. They may even hesitate to sign or walk away from your rental altogether.
Think about it this way: the simpler and briefer your lease can be while maintaining its precision, the better renters will feel about signing it, and the quicker they’ll do so.
Eliminate Misunderstandings and Rule-Breaking
Another benefit of plain language leases is that they eliminate lease breaches due to misunderstandings.
For many renters, a wall of complex legal text simply guarantees that they won’t read it. Even if renters do take the time to read through it, they may not understand the meaning. It’s better to clearly state your terms (rent due dates, fees and when they apply, pet rules, subletting rules, etc.) in language you know will be universally understood than risk a breach of the agreement with severe consequences for both parties down the line.
Avoid Leaving Room for Interpretation
Many landlords believe that plain language leaves too much room for interpretation.
In fact, the opposite is true. Complex terms or requirements can quickly become unclear and introduce even more liability. This is because abstract language removes the immediacy from the message and allows tenants to interpret a term in multiple ways.
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A tenant may even claim that they shouldn’t receive a penalty due to their interpretation being a reasonable one given the wording of the rental agreement document.
To avoid this scenario and others like it, use unambiguous language in your leases. Make sure no one could argue about the meaning of a term, and make important details like dates, amounts, and limits, as clear and obvious as possible.
Plain language leases are a great asset to you and your tenants. By choosing your wording thoughtfully and crafting simple, direct sentences, you can hold your tenants accountable to the exact terms specified in your rental agreement.