Contracts of a lease or rental agreement nature are reciprocal agreements between two or more parties.
This legal contract will bind the Lessor to give the Lessee the temporary use and enjoyment, wholly or in part, of the property, he or she is leasing and the Lessee will, in turn, pay for the use and enjoyment of said property.
Lease Agreements in South Africa
South African law adheres to the principle that people are free to enter into any lawful contract of their choice.
With that being said, lease or rental agreements should be examined closely and understood completely before one considers signing on the dotted line.
Lease Agreement Templates
A quick and easy fix is to find a standard or template lease agreement online to avoid having to pay any attorney costs for drafting said agreement.
The problem with this is that many people are unaware of the potential problems they may be causing for themselves.
One need to keep in mind that any standard lease or rental agreement found online should only be used as a guideline.
Free online lease agreements are not drafted in a way to cater specifically for your needs.
A One Size Fits All Rental Agreement?
Online contracts contain the very bare minimum, as there is always more to consider when entering into a lease or rental agreement than one could imagine.
Many make the mistake of using online agreements to adapt to suit their circumstances, without considering the consequence of binding oneself to the said agreement.
The contents of these basic contracts cannot be used in every situation as a “standard” lease or rental agreement.
For example, when leasing Commercial property one cannot use such standard lease forms as it does not contain all the fundamental clauses needed to satisfactorily cater for such agreement.
Should a lessee for example need to terminate his or her commercial lease agreement, it is essential that twenty (20) business days’ written notice be given to the lessor before terminating the lease.
In such an event, the lessor will be entitled to claim any damages and costs that might arise due to such early termination. Note one will not find such clause in the templates found online.
Hence entering a lease or rental agreement using templates found online, without carefully considering all the possibilities of what could go wrong is inadvisable.
One ultimately leaves oneself open to potential legal action and incurring unforeseen legal costs.
It is best to first consult with your attorney before entering into any lease agreement as they will know what exactly to look out for.