How to Write a Lease Addendum

A lease addendum is an important asset in the rental property world.

Leases are typically thought of as static, binding contracts that hold both landlords and tenants accountable. However, there might be circumstances when you or a tenant need to modify the lease to account for new or additional rental conditions.

That’s where lease addendums come in.

When do you need a lease addendum?

Let’s say, for instance, that you and your tenant agree to set up a deferred rent payment plan. To ensure that this new agreement is bound in a contract, you can draft up a lease addendum that outlines the new rent payment plan (i.e., the Tenant agrees to pay X amount of rent over the following X period of time).

In this case, the lease addendum modifies a section of the original lease agreement and provides a new, legally binding document.

Lease addendums are usually added to the original lease document to be signed by the tenant in addition to their lease signature or created later to accommodate special circumstances (with the tenant’s agreement).

Lease addendum meaning

  • A lease addendum is a legally binding document that both landlords and tenants agree to and sign (i.e., you can’t add it to the lease without the tenant’s knowledge!).
  • Addendums modify the original lease agreement and/or provide additional information related to specific rental policies.
  • In most cases, you will have the original lease agreement, as well lease addendums that provide further information, outline individual policies, or modify the original lease. 

You’re probably already more familiar with addendums to leases than you think. Often, lease addendums come in the form of outlining pest control responsibilities, pet policies, and rules around subleasing, etc. 

However, as noted above, addendums can be created for unforeseen circumstances (i.e., a tenant needing to defer rent payments).

How to write an addendum to lease?

How you write a lease addendum will depend largely on what the content of the add-on is or the policy itself. 

For example, if you’re drafting an addendum related to pet policies, it would be important to include what animals are or aren’t allowed, any pet-related rules and fees, and the consequences are for the renter if these agreements are broken.

In general, things to include in a lease addendum might be:

  1. Your name
  2. The rental property address
  3. The tenant’s name
  4. Relevant policy/information (that complies with your state/municipal’s rental laws)
  5. Consequences for breaking any contract agreements
  6. Space to sign & date for landlord
  7. Space to sign & date for tenant

However, similar to writing a lease agreement, lease addendums must comply with any landlord-tenant laws and should be reviewed by a lawyer. It’s critical to your rental business that any contracts signed by you and your tenants follow legal rental requirements.

How to add an addendum to lease?

As noted earlier, a lease addendum isn’t something you can write in 5 minutes and then attach to the lease after the tenant has already signed. 

Similar to the lease itself, this is an important legal document and should be treated with the care and thoroughness of the lease itself. It recommended you have your lawyer review any contract between you and the tenant to ensure it’s compliant with your state laws and the HUD’s Fair Housing Laws.

However, if you have drawn up an addendum to the lease that’s lawyer-approved and ready to be signed by the tenant, you should store it with the original lease. This can help ensure you stay organized and that the document can be tracked down in the event it needs to be reviewed.

If you use a property management software like RentRedi, documents can be easily signed, shared, and stored all within the app so that both parties have easy access to any leases or lease addendums!

Note: This content is not intended to substitute, replace, or be construed as professional legal advice. It is for referential purposes only and not meant to replace the advice of your legal counsel, legal representation, and or lawyer. Please consult your professional legal representation or lawyer to be sure your lease is compliant with any state and/or federal laws.