A new lease for the New Year

By Desiree Brougher | Dec. 22, 2017 | 3 min. read

While there are many wonderful things in store for you in 2018, I daresay that one of the best will be the new and improved Residential Lease (PAR Form RL) that will be available for use on Jan. 1.

If you have not yet looked over the revised lease, I highly recommend that you go to PAR’s Standard Forms webpage, choose “2018 revisions” from the drop-down menu and familiarize yourself with the changes. For now, I will highlight some of the more important differences.

First and foremost, the Lead-Based Paint Hazards Disclosure has been removed from the body of the lease. The act which requires disclosure of lead-based paint permits disclosure in one of two ways for leased property built before 1978: in the text of the lease or in a separate disclosure. Whichever method is chosen, the elements of the disclosure are the same, including the licensee’s certification. If you’re asking yourself right now “What certification?,” then this is for you. Under the act, licensees involved in the transaction must certify that they have fulfilled their obligations to the parties. In the old Residential Lease, this was done with signature lines on the last page of the document. However, licensees were not always providing signatures because some believed that by signing the certification, they would be agreeing to the lease itself. You will now find a reference to the Lead-Based Paint Hazards Reduction Act in Paragraph 30 of Form RL, and a new form – the Lead-Based Paint Hazards Disclosure for Rentals (PAR Form LPDR) – to provide to clients and attach to the Lease.

Paragraphs 23, Abandonment of Personal Property, and 28, Death of Tenant During Lease Term, are new. The old Residential Lease did not clearly inform tenants how personal items would be treated if left behind on the property. Pennsylvania law protects the personal property of tenants and gives specific steps to be taken by the parties in such a case. Paragraph 23 now closely follows the language of the statute. Paragraph 28 also helps the parties understand their rights under Pennsylvania law when a tenant dies during the term of the lease. The previous Residential Lease addressed what would happen if the tenant ended the lease early or was in breach, but was silent as to how the landlord would proceed if the tenant died.

Other new and revised landlord/tenant forms that will be available on Jan. 1 are the Change in Lease Terms Addendum (PAR Form CLT), a Cooperating Broker Compensation Agreement for Rentals (PAR Form CBCR), the Exclusive Listing for Rent Contract (PAR Form XLR) and a Tenant’s Moveout Notice (PAR Form TMN). These documents and their guidelines can also be found on the Standard Forms page. If you have questions, please contact me via email.

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