Sometimes during the course of a lease term things change. When things change in a lease agreement, an amendment is necessary to modify the terms of the original contract. There are a number of reasons for both landlords and tenants to request amendments to a lease, but in order for the amendment to work, both parties must be in agreement with the changes taking place.
Amendments by Landlord
The landlord may propose a number of changes to a lease during the term of the contract, including things like raising the rent or limiting services that are provided when the tenancy begins. Some landlords will write possible changes into the original lease by including clauses that allow for rent increases or changes in services while the lease is in effect. Tenants should read the lease agreement carefully to ensure they fully understand everything in the lease and are aware of any clauses for lease amendments that are already written into the existing lease agreement.
Amendments by Tenant
As a tenant, your rights to amend the lease are limited unless the landlord agrees to the change in advance. This may take some convincing on your part. Tenants may ask for amendments to almost any lease terms, such as pet policies, roommates, subletting, rent amounts or repairs, but this doesn't mean that the landlord has any obligation to agree to such changes.
Making it Official
Before any change to a lease can be formally made official, a lease amendment document should be prepared. The document will include the date of the original lease, the date of the lease amendment, details on provisions made to the original lease agreement, and pertinent information related to the agreement, such as the names, addresses and contact information of the landlord and the tenant.
Remedies if Landlord and Tenant Disagree
A lease agreement is a contract that is legally binding once the landlord and tenant sign it. Neither landlord nor tenant have the right to make changes to the terms of the agreement without making an amendment that is agreed upon by both. If both parties cannot come to an agreement, changes may not be made to the lease until the term expires. If the rental agreement is a month-to-month contract, the landlord or tenant can make changes to the agreement with reasonable notice.
- Nolo: Changing Your Tenancy Without Ending It
- Rocket Lawyer: Lease Amendment
- Fair Housing Council of Orange County: Landlord/Tenant Legal Assistance
- Insurance Information Institute. "Understand Your Car Insurance Obligations for a Leased Vehicle." Accessed Sept. 21, 2020.
- Insurance Information Institute. "Automobile Financial Responsibility Laws By State." Accessed Sept. 21, 2020.
Mary Lamphere writes travel, real estate, wellness, health and business content for a variety of online portals. Her work has been featured by a number professional websites since she started writing in 2005. Lamphere holds a Bachelor's degree in business management and is an experienced author, content manager and editor.