Do you send out a lease commencement letter at the start of each new lease? Here’s what you need to know about this important piece of landlord-tenant communication.
Why You Should Send a Lease Commencement Letter
Good communication is the foundation of any successful relationship. The landlord/tenant relationship is no exception. With a lease commencement letter, you are informing the tenant of the lease’s official start date.
Additionally, this letter is important for your own records. It is a concise document explaining exactly when each party’s official rights and obligations begin. Since most commercial leases have an escalation clause that goes into effect on the anniversary of the starting date, a lease commencement letter will eliminate any questions about the official commencement date.
A lease commencement letter can be beneficial for the landlord as well. Including important information such as lease term, rent commencement, and rent escalation dates provides a concise document which either party can refer to without having to search through the lengthy and, often times, complex original lease.
How to Write a Lease Commencement Letter
You don’t need to go overboard when writing a lease commencement letter. The letter can be very simple and straightforward. You can even use a template like the example below. Simply modify the dates and property address as needed.
Here are our tips for writing a successful lease commencement letter.
Keep It Simple
Write the letter in a way that is simple and easy to understand. While you want to include pertinent information and highlight key points in the lease, take care not to include unnecessary details. Clear, concise, and to-the-point letters will be much more successful.
Double-check Names, Dates and Addresses
It’s a good idea to use a template to save time. That being said, don’t forget to fill in the correct names, dates, and addresses. Mistakes will cause confusion. Double-check all the important information before you send the letter.
Reference Other Pertinent Information
A lease commencement letter is an opportunity to highlight any important information in the lease. You may decide to go beyond the basics and add other dates. For example, the deadline for requesting an extension of the lease. Even when the same information is already in the lease, including it in the lease commencement letter is a good reminder. Additionally, the letter provides a paper trail showing that the tenant was clearly informed of the lease terms in case any disputes arise later.
Consider Asking the Tenant to Initial and Return the Letter
Do you want to be certain that your tenant has read and understood everything you outlined in the lease commencement letter? If so, request that they initial it and return a copy to you. This can be particularly useful if there’s a problem later on down the line. That way, the tenant won’t be able to claim that they never received the letter.
Invite Tenants to Contact You Directly
Finally, encourage tenants to reach out if they have any questions, concerns, or disputes. Keep the lines of communication open. As a result, you’ll have a much better landlord/tenant relationship.
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