Real Estate

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Our real estate products will help you manage your real estate and make plans for your future with our high-quality lease agreements and fast and easy real estate deed service. Protect your investment today and have peace of mind about the future.

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Common questions

Do I even need a written lease?
Although it might seem like a hassle to create a written lease agreement, having one is critical to protecting your rental property. Generally, any agreement that is for longer than one year has to be in writing. A lease provides a list of legal obligations for both the landlord and tenant and spells out a number of important other details. It provides the foundation for the rental relationship.
What is the difference between a lease and a rental agreement?
A lease refers to a set term, often a year; whereas a rental agreement generally renews at the end of the period unless either the landlord or tenant ends it with proper notice.
What are the most important clauses to include in a lease?
Real estate leases are essentially made up of clauses that address specific subjects regarding the rental relationship. Each state has its own rules for what clauses or elements to include in a lease agreement. Some of the most common clauses required in a lease agreement in every state include:

  • Basic information – including the names of all the tenants; address and description of the rental property; name, address and contact information for the landlord or property management company; lease start date; and length of the rental term.
  • Rental information – including the rental amount; when rent is due; where and how to pay rent; security deposit information; and late fee.
  • Limitations – including how the property can be used; the number of people allowed to live there; the landlord's obligations; the tenant's obligations; subletting; and alterations.
While these clauses cover the basics, it is important to that the lease include more provisions to cover potential issues regarding your particular property. Depending on where the property is located, you may also have to include clauses required by your local government.
When do I need a deed?
Generally, a deed is required to change ownership to real estate. Some examples include:

  • add or remove someone from the title,
  • transfer the property from one person to another,
  • change the title of your property from your name to the name of your living trust, or
  • transfer property to or from a business entity.
Will my property be reassessed when I change the title?
Possibly. A title change can trigger a tax reassessment. However, in many states, certain transfers do not result in reassessment, such as transfers to or from a revocable trust or between family members, such as transfers between spouses or between parents and children.
Can I use LegalZoom to transfer title when I'm selling the property?
No. There are special rules for property sales which must be followed depending on the county in which the property is located. If you are selling property, we recommend contacting an attorney, escrow company or title company to process the sale.

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Helpful Information

Forming an LLC for Real Estate Investments: Pros & Cons

When you have real estate investment property, figuring out the right strategy to minimize your risk and protect your investment is crucial. Compare the benefits of LLCs and liability insurance, and learn whether or not an LLC is the right choice for your real estate investment. Read full article

Real Estate Placed in a Living Trust

If you own a piece of property, you can include that property in your living trust. You will need to change the property's title to reflect the ownership change. If real property is transferred into a trust, there are several additional issues to consider. Read full article

5 Tips for a Top-Notch Residential Lease

An important part of being a landlord is having a complete rental lease. Here are our tips for preparing a top-notch residential lease. Read full article

What Is a Quitclaim Deed?

Everyone knows that a written document, commonly known as a deed, is needed to transfer title to real property from one person to another. What everyone does not know is that deeds can be complicated and nuanced and take multiple forms, each with its own specific implications and particular best uses. Read full article

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Real Estate Forms – Create a Residential Lease or Property Deed with LegalZoom

A residential lease agreement is a contract between a landlord and tenant(s) spelling out the details of an agreement to rent residential real estate. Lease agreements are important because they protect the landlord and their property by minimizing disputes by establishing the obligations of both the landlord and tenant. A real estate lease agreement typically includes the lease term, the amount and frequency of rent, the amount of the security deposit, charges for late payments, maintenance and insurance obligations, and other important details. When you create a real estate lease with LegalZoom, you can personalize your document to fit your specific circumstances. Whether you are renting an apartment, a house, or a room in your house, your apartment lease agreement or rental lease agreement will be based on your particular situation. LegalZoom can also help you create a property deed that allows you to add or remove a person's name from your property title, gift the property to a loved one, or place your property in a living trust. Property deeds contain a description of the real estate, names of the parties, and signature of the person transferring the real estate. LegalZoom offers three types of property deeds: a quitclaim deed, a warranty deed, and a grant deed. A quitclaim deed transfers any ownership rights that the transferring party has on the property to the new owner. With a warranty deed, ownership is transferred from one person to another in which the grantor promises that title is good and clear of any claims. A grant deed transfers ownership and promises that the property hasn't already been transferred to someone else. LegalZoom can help you create a residential lease or property deed online quickly and affordably.