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Lease Clauses

Written by SJA Property Management

SJA offers premier Seattle property management services and serves as the local real estate industry’s most experienced resource for rental property owners.

If you have a signed lease agreement with your tenant and you want to make changes, then you do have a couple of limited options in the state of Washington. Unfortunately, there is no going back if the lease still has a long tenure, and the tenant does not agree to the changes.

For the most part, the best way to have a good leasing contract is to preemptively hire or get advice from a professional real estate lawyer, or local Issaquah property management company, who should have their own lawyer.

If you’ve already signed the Issaquah lease with a tenant, here are a few ways you can go about legally changing it.

Update Clause

If you had a professional real estate manager or lawyer write up your leasing contract then, chances are, there is an update clause written into the lease agreement. Update clauses list specific changes that you can make to the lease, such as a percentage of the rent raise per year based on income, expenses, or etc. The catch here is that if the specific update type is not written into the lease, then you probably cannot use the clause to make the change. However, you can usually use this clause for rent increase, change when and how the tenant accesses amenities on the property, and so on. Usually clauses refer to small rental increases, pets, insubstantial changes, and so on. Usually the lease update clause also stipulates that you have to offer the tenants a thirty day warning before implementing the changes.

Get the Tenant to Agree to the Change

The easiest way to make a direct change to your lease agreement is to sit down, discuss the changes with the tenant, and get them to sign off on the changes. A legal signature from both parties, hopefully overseen by a third party, is the best way to immediately update a lease contract. If the change in terms is beneficial to both you and the tenant, then this should not be an issue. Unfortunately, most tenants are not willing to sign agreements to pay more rent or etc.

As soon as the tenure of the lease is up, you are free to rework it however you like. If the original period of the lease is up, then you are also free to rework the lease however you like and offer the new contract to the tenant. However, they can refuse it, in which case you must give them a certain period to move out. This only applies if the original terms of the lease, such as one year or 18 months, are up, but the tenant has not re-signed a new lease, but is instead paying month to month.

If you need help with your lease contracts, or general property management, then consider hiring a professional Issaquah property management company to do it for you. The best thing about hiring a professional is that everything is done property and professionally from the start.

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