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Writing My First Lease Agreement

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  • Writing My First Lease Agreement

    Hello, I'm wondering if anybody has any recommendations on a lease agreement template I can use or where I can find one to reword make it my own. Also, what are some conditions that are a MUST have in the lease agreement that you add from experience?

  • #2
    Check with your state's self storage association. We use the one for Texas; TSSA


    • #3
      I would also think that after you are done writing it, you would want a seasoned attorney to double check it!
      Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.


      • #4
        I second the suggestion to join your state association and use theirs. In Texas our TSSA agreement is well supported and has been challenged in court many times and constantly fine tuned. I wouldn't want to be a challeneger on the wrong side of it!


        • #5
          You're looking for a Rental Agreement, not a lease agreement.

          A rental agreement provides tenancy for a short period, usually 30 days. This gives you the ability to not renew the rental agreement at the end of the 30 days and kick somebody out.

          A lease agreement is for long periods of time, usually 12 months, and gives the tenant rights that you don't want to give them in a storage situation.

          In no way affiliated with Storman software.


          • #6
            PLEASE DO NOT WRITE IT YOURSELF! There are so many pitfalls and problems you don't know that you will leave yourself open to lawsuits and problems.

            Either join your state association and get their sample Rental Agreement or contact one of the attorney's who are self storage specialists, found in magazines and web sites, so they can write a proper agreement for you specifically. I personally recommend Jeffrey Greenberger at


            • #7
              Go to your local competition and ask for a copy of their lease. You can be forthright or you can be secret shopping, ask for a copy because you are interested in what to include in your agreement or you can say your interested in renting a unit but would like to go over the lease first (and get any other forms they require).

              From what I have seen locally, it is pretty boilerplate, some fee(s) may be higher or lower and there me be one thing added or one thing missing, but not much.


              • #8
                Use your state self storage association. The one in NC had a free template to use, your state might have one as well.
                "The comeback is always stronger than the setback."
                Mom, Navy Vet, genealogist and voracious reader
                Always sunny in California


                • #9
                  When I took over as manager of my storage facility, the contract they were using was one page, very short, and in my opinion full of loopholes. After spending a few months doing research, reading up on self storage lawsuits, and talking to some other managers I came up with a 3 page contract that covered every situation. The owner sent it to his attorney, who asked "did you get another lawyer to draw this up"? He was very impressed. I retired a couple years ago but might still have it.


                  • #10
                    Don't write it yourself! If you haven't joined your state's SSA, I'd strongly recommend it. Many of them have excellent templates. Just because something is in your lease, doesn't make it legal.

                    I've spoken to many operators who have many illegal things in their leases.


                    • #11
                      It might be different if you weren't starting from scratch and just wanted to review and tweak an already existing agreement, but if you don't have decent experience with legal documents or writing contracts don't do it. They are so specific to the state/county that it's hell to start from scratch. Even copying another facility's agreement is risky. I would try your association, but not all are equal so some might not have templates to use. This is one of the few times I would recommend a lawyer specific to the industry and state (which is saying something as I think they are overpriced and useless 99% of the time after having had to work closely with them for multiple years).

                      Especially if they've had to represent self storage facilities in lawsuits. They are familiar with the local courts, common issues, and the newest laws pertinent to the industry which other facilities' agreements may not currently reflect.


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