As recently reported by The Oregonian on June 18th, “[a] Portland-area attorney has managed to secure a sweet deal on a four-bedroom house in Clackamas – rent set at $1,550 a month in perpetuity…The market rate for similar homes in the ‘excellent’ neighborhood is more than 50 percent higher, surpassing $2,300 per month.” How did this attorney manage to secure such excellent terms? It’s pretty simple, actually. He wrote the contract and the landlord, a non-attorney, signed it. He also included other beneficial terms such as no security deposit.
Contracts are powerful tools when written well; and, sometimes, even the most innocuous provisions carry substantial weight. You may be wondering whether the landlord can now, after having freely entered into a lop-sided lease agreement set in perpetuity, seek judicial relief. In many states, including Texas, absent a compelling reason, the court will defer to, respect, and enforce the terms of a contract the parties have voluntarily entered.
What preventative measures could the landlord have taken? In hindsight, the answer seems obvious, right? Had the landlord made an important investment by hiring an experienced real estate attorney to facilitate the transaction, the costly litigation that ensued could have been avoided. Should you find yourself in a similar situation, seek help from an attorney who can help facilitate the transaction with your best interest in mind.
(H/T: ABA Journal)