Understanding a Residential Lease Addendum (Free Templates)

A Lease Addendum refers to a separate document that the landlord or tenant uses to add more information or correct information on the existing original residential or commercial lease agreement. When drafting a lease agreement, there is some information that may be omitted or written incorrectly. When either the tenant or the landlord wants to make changes, they don’t have to go all the way by writing another lease agreement. Rather, they can simply write a lease addendum to make the changes or modifications. Once the Addendum is written, both of the parties will sign hence making it part of the original lease agreement.

There are several benefits that can be tied to the use of addenda. But the first and more important benefit is that it helps the landlord/tenant to add other useful information that the original lease didn’t cover. This helps mitigate the risks that would otherwise present if such information were not included in the lease.

A general lease addendum makes the lease agreement much more flexible. As time changes, you will find the original lease not fitting for the current situation. Since the addenda are separate documents, you can choose to use or disregard certain parts of the original lease that are no longer befitting. For instance, a landlord may decide to prohibit pet keeping in their property due to possible mishandling or mismanagement. However, if a new tenant convinces the landlord beyond doubt that they will be responsible for their pet, then the landlord may choose to revise their decision and allow pets in their premises through an addendum.

Common Residential Lease Addenda

As a property owner, a lease agreement will always stand to your defense when things aren’t moving well. However, as time moves by, you will realize that the lease agreement isn’t a common fit for all solutions. While there are various problems that may affect your property, it’s important to know what type of addenda will help save the situation.

That’s said, here are some common residential addenda you should be aware of:

Pet addendum

As a property owner, you will probably come across different kinds of tenants, some of which may wish to keep their pets in your rental units. Usually, there are a lot of considerations that must be made regarding pet keeping. If for any reason, you didn’t cover anything concerning pets rearing in your rental units, a pet addendum will always come in handy. For instance, it can specify the type and breed of pets that are acceptable on your property. Also, it can highlight responsibility measures associated with pet keeping, for that matter.

Smoking addendum

Smoking is not only deadly but also affects the value or quality of your rental units. For instance, it produces residues that linger in curtains, furniture, and ceilings. Depending on the rental policy, landlords can decide to prohibit smoking in their properties due to the adverse impacts. When you declare your property a smoke-free zone, it makes them last longer and maintains its value. However, sometimes you may forget to include some useful information on smoking in your original lease. In that case, a smoking addendum will provide you with the opportunity to mention such information in your current lease.

Renovation/landscaping addenda

Renovation and landscaping are more or less similar aspects of a lease. In many cases, the responsibility of renovating or landscaping the leased property brings a bone of contention between the landlord and the tenant. This happens especially in situations where the original lease agreement doesn’t state clearly the responsibility of each party towards this issue. Fortunately, a renovation or landscaping addendum can help solve this issue before it affects the tenant-landlord relationship.

Occupancy/guest addenda

As a landlord, one sure thing is that non-tenants will always be visiting your properties. These people may be the tenant’s relatives, friends, or even fixers. While it may be a difficult issue to contain, you can limit such movements in your addenda. Sometimes, visitors can cause unexpected damages to your property and therefore affecting them. If you had an occupancy/guest addenda included in your lease prior, they could always be held liable. The aim here is to always plan ahead for a variety of unexpected situations ahead of time.

Legally required disclosures

Usually, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) demands that every landlord with property built before 1978 disclose lead-based paint before renting them. This is a mandatory rule that can be penalized should the landlord fail to make prompt disclosure. Therefore, if, in any case, you fail to include it in your original lease agreement, it’s important that you have it covered in your addenda.

Other than the lead paint disclosure, there are other legal disclosures that can be covered using an addendum. However, this will depend on the state of jurisdiction. In Chicago, for example, every landlord is required by law to provide a bed bug disclosure to their prospective tenants. In other states, the law can go as far as demanding mold and asbestos disclosures. Therefore, you can always make good use of addenda to make such disclosures to avoid being on the wrong side of the law.

How to Add an Addendum

Basically, an addendum can be created about anything that isn’t covered by the lease. But before you write one, there are some basic elements that must be included. These include the date, address of the property, and the names of persons involved in the lease. It’s also important to note that each addendum should have a separate topic with the word ‘addendum’ on them. This will help you stay organized and avoid confusion. Literally, an addendum should be brief, concise and should not exceed two pages in length. That’s said,

Here is a guide on how to add addenda like a pro:

Speak with the other party

The very first step in writing an addendum is talking to the other party. In your conversation, let the other party understand how the addenda will affect the general lease. On many occasions, an addendum will bring something new that doesn’t exist in the original agreement. Therefore, explaining your intentions to the concerned party is mandatory.

Other party reviews the addendum

Once the addenda concern has been brought to the attention of the other party, they should then be given time to review the proposal. The other party should be able to seek clarifications on issues not understood. Once they are okay with it, they will go ahead and sign.

 Sign and attach

The other lease party will sign the addenda if they are in agreement. Then, the document will be attached to the original lease where it will become part of. Therefore, if the party is involved in any kind of violation, they will be held liable.

Considerable Cases

There are a few cases that are tied to some circumstances that usually arise in the process of adding lease addenda. Once identified, there are proper manners to go about them.

These include;

Refusal to sign an addendum

There are some situations where the other party will decline to sign the Addendum. In that case, the lease agreement will adhere to the original terms and conditions. Nothing will change. For instance, if either the tenant/landlord presents a smoking addendum, the other party will be expected to sign the document. However, if they choose not to sign, then the addendum will not be added into the original lease.

Breaking an addendum

Once both parties have appended their signatures on the Addendum, it becomes a legally binding document. This means that all the rules and regulations stated must be followed to the latter. Therefore, if either one of the parties fails to adhere to the terms, it can be treated as an offense. This may attract various kinds of penalties, including eviction from the property or other legal charges. Similarly, a tenant can decide to leave the premises or impose charges on the landlord if they fail to honor the terms stated in the Addendum.

Free Lease Addendum Templates

Rules regarding tenancy can sometimes be challenging. If you ever feel there are some issues you want to change in your lease agreement, always feel free to do it. Our Lease Addendum Templates will help you amend, add or change specific tenets of your lease agreement to make you comfortable again. All you have to do is to download the templates free of charge.

Bed-Bug-Lease-Addendum

Crime-and-Drug-Lease-Addendum_

HUD-Tenancy-Addendum-Form

Improvements-and-Modifications-Lease-Addendum_

Lead-Based-Paint-Disclosure-form_

Lease-Extension-Agreement_

Military-Clause-Addendum_

Mold-Lease-Addendum

Month-to-Month-Lease-Addendum-Template

Pet-Lease-Addendum_

Pool-and-Spa-Lease-Addendum_

Residential-Lease-Addendum

    Conclusion

    Lease addenda are extremely useful documents to both the landlord and the tenant. Even after you have signed into a lease agreement, there may be few other things you may want to change, modify or add. The good thing is that you don’t have to rewrite the whole lease agreement from scratch. A lease addendum will help you modify the specific tenets that you would wish to change. Also, it helps mitigate risks that were not covered by the original lease agreement.

    Scroll to Top