Tennessee Real Estate Contract Attorneys | Tressler & Associates, PLLC
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212 N. Castle Heights Ave | Lebanon, TN or 2323 21st Ave South STE 506 | Nashville, TN

Contracts

There are contracts at nearly every stage of the real estate process. This is true for property sales and property leases. In property sales, a real estate contract needs several different elements, such as a valid home purchase agreement, but also must include or work alongside another contract that confirms how safe the property is. Forgetting any of these documents can put both parties at legal risk and potentially physical risk. Leases work similarly. 

With real estate contracts, it’s important for everyone on both sides to have written proof of what they’re agreeing to. When there’s no written contract, one side can change the rules or agreements of the contract and take advantage of the other. This can include omitting important details that would keep someone from selling, buying, leasing, or leasing out a property.

The Tennessee real estate attorneys at Tressler & Associates, PLLC can help write crystal clear contracts that cover all important details of a lease or sale. We can also review and comb through contracts with a fine eye. Without an attorney, you run the risk of being put in an uncomfortable, or even, dangerous position by a contract.

What are Real Estate Contracts?

There are different contracts for the sale transaction of a real estate property and the lease of a real estate property. These two types of contracts become even more different depending on whether they are for residential or commercial real estate.

Contracts for Real Estate Transactions

Contracts for real estate transactions detail an exchange of property for something of value, usually money. They must have:

  • A valid home purchase agreement in writing.
  • An offer of purchase and upon completion, a signature of acceptance. 
  • The legal reason for this agreement. This puts in writing the intention of the purchase, to generate monetary value for the seller and to gain a habitat or place of business for the buyer.
  • The specific monetary value that the buyer is giving the seller. This can include the assets the buyer uses to purchase the property if they purchase it with something other than monetary means.

These contracts can and commonly do come with necessary information about the property. Typically, this section or attachment is called the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement. This is necessary for both residential and commercial real estate contracts and should include information such as:

  • Details about any construction for property improvement and the overall condition of the property. 
  • The date the property was last occupied or will be occupied if the buyer’s move-in date isn’t immediate.
  • The condition of the roof.
  • Notice of any structural issues, existing or potential. 
  • The existence of a basement and/or crawl space. 
  • That there are termites and/or when there have ever been termites in/on the property.
  • Notations of any additions and remodels. 
  • The state of the property’s water, sewage, and plumbing
  • The existence of any homeowners association. 
  • Confirmation of existing heating and air conditioning systems. 
  • Who provides electricity to the property.
  • The state of the property’s soil and water drainage.
  • The existence of any hazardous substances on the premises.
  • Notice of any legal issues on the property or title. 

Contracts for Leases

Leases have to present information the lessees, or tenants, need to give and what rules the lessors, or landlords, say the tenants need to follow. They also confirm that the landlord agrees to allow the tenants to live on the property for an agreed amount of time, for an agreed amount of money. 

If there are any services the landlord must promise based on local and state laws, the contract should mention them to be as airtight as possible, but they are implied. Details like true habitability stands do not have to be in a contract, as state and local laws promise them.

For residential real estate, our attorneys can make sure your lease contains:

  • The names of all the tenants.
  • Occupancy limits, or statement on the lack of a limit.
  • Whether the lease is a rental agreement or a fixed-term lease.
  • Cost of rent, when it needs to be paid by, who it should be paid to, and how it should be paid.
  • The amount of the safety deposit, how it may be used, when and how the tenant will receive it back if it is not used, and any non-returnable fees for things like cleaning or pets.
  • Who’s responsible for what kind of repairs.
  • Protocol for reporting damages.
  • Sanitation standards that the tenants must meet.
  • Clarification on the landlord’s right to access the property.
  • Restrictions on specific tenant activity, such as excessive noise, partying, drinking, or use of drugs.
  • Whether or not pets are allowed, and any restrictions on them.
  • The length of the lease.
  • Statements that assure that the agreement complies with all relevant state and local laws, such as rent control ordinances, health, and safety codes, occupancy rules, and anti-discrimination laws.

For commercial real estate, our attorneys include specifications that a commercial lease must contain that residential does not. These specifications include:

  • That the agreement is between two entities, not the individuals signing on behalf of the entities.
  • The length of the lease. This is usually longer than residential leases.
  • Lease renewal rights.
  • Agreements on how things like maintenance, utilities, insurance, and taxes are paid. With commercial leases, the landlord and the tenant can agree to split the bill the way they prefer.
  • Tenant exclusivity clauses.
  • Co-tenant provisions.

Why Do You Need a Real Estate Attorney for Your Contracts?

If any of these specifications aren’t included, the other party can take advantage of you. A seller can hide damages, debts, or easements that would prevent someone from buying the property. A buyer, in turn, may accuse the seller of hiding something about the property.

Without a proper contract, a lessor can claim to have access to your living space and even claim the ability to evict you for reasons a contract could protect you from. At the same time, a contract protects the lessor from being stuck with a lessee who doesn’t respect the property they live in or endangers it in any way. 

Not having an attorney puts both parties at unnecessary risk.

Contact Tennessee Real Estate Attorney for You Contract Disputes

Don’t take a risk by writing a real estate contract yourself, or think that the other party will make a quality and trustworthy contract for you. Contact the real estate attorneys at Tressler & Associates, PLLC, instead. Our attorneys can review and write airtight contracts for whatever transaction you need. No matter which side of a real estate contract you’re on, we are here to help you.

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