The current CAR (California Association of Realtors) property lease is six pages long – and that’s before including any of the required addendums and disclosures, which roughly doubles the number of pages. The Small Property Owners of San Francisco publish their own lease that is tailored to the rent-control laws of San Francisco and comes in at roughly 10 pages. Both obviously dwarf the one page lease that I stumbled across.
I often make light of the mountain of paperwork involved in a real estate transaction by pointing out that every paragraph started as a lawsuit. And while there is a bit of humor in that, the sad truth is that almost every paragraph did start as a lawsuit. For example, in the one page lease, paragraph #5 is one sentence long and completely deals with having pets on the premises.
On the back side of the lease is the entire application – obviously no need for a credit check! The lease is not only a handful of awesome, but the application is even more so – filled with sexist language and assumptions that would put a landlord in court in 2012 before the ink was even dry. You’ll note the “husband” and “wife” assumptions, as well as a request for references from both a local bank and the applicant’s church! Not to mention the line where you asked to disclose any state aid or welfare you receive…
If you have any idea when this lease was published and used, I’d love to hear from you. I’m going to guess that it is from the 1960′s era, but that’s just my guess. I’d love to know your thoughts!