Re: legal service fee clause in lease agreement - Posted by Brad Crouch
Posted by Brad Crouch on October 27, 1998 at 03:56:28:
You make some good points, but I think everybody knows better than to attempt an eviction on questionable grounds (like a belligerant personality or unreasonable attitude - for that, you simply hire someone to break his legs). You would have the documentation and proof that the rental agreement really was violated before you actually went in front of a judge.
I have been to small claims court several times and was always amazed at the lack of preperation by the parties. Hard to win a case like that.
Your point about “prevailing” brings up an interesting point. I previously posted “part” of Bronchick’s clause. I don’t want him mad with me for “publishing” the clauses in his contracts, but I can say that the paragraph goes on to include court costs, attorney fees and all collection costs. But it does not make any “conditions” as to whether or not the court finds anybody “guilty” or not. Simply that the tenant is responsible for the costs of going to court (as well as the costs of the notices to pay or quit). This clause might be enough by itself to keep the tenant out of court. Probably the term “prevailing”, ought not be used in a rental or lease agreement, in this context.
I think you are also right about not offering a liability clause that would be detrimental to you (the landlord). I might go a step further, and not include it even if they asked. You can always say that there are 4 other couples who are willing to sign the agreement “as is”, and that they have only a few minutes to make their decision.
As a landlord (which I hasten to admit that I’m not), I think I would reject any tenant who did not have a “submissive” personality. I realize that you might not be able to always tell, but by rejecting the ones who obviously did not have this type of personality, I think I would be ahead some.
Again, I’m not a lawyer . . . so this is just what’s rolling around in my head.