A Crime and Drug-Free Lease Addendum is a legal contract incorporated into a Lease Agreement between a landlord and tenant where the tenant agrees that they, along with any other residents and guests at the rental property, will not engage in any illegal criminal or drug-related activity or allow the property to be used for any such illegal activity.
Why Use a Crime and Drug-Free Lease Addendum?
When a landlord rents a property to a new tenant, they should make sure that they are thoroughly screened to ensure there are no red flags. In addition, a landlord must still ensure that all tenants have a clear understanding of their expectations as a tenant. Here are a few specific reasons for having all new tenants sign this type of addendum at the start of a new tenancy:
- Reassurance for the Tenant – This addendum provides a tenant with reassurance that the landlord takes the safety of the rental property and their tenants seriously. It provides the tenant peace of mind that the rental property will be a safe place for them and their family to live.
- Reduces the Chances of Illegal Activity – A specific addendum on crime and illegal drug activity puts the tenant on notice that this type of behavior is not tolerated. A detailed addendum is a helpful reminder for a tenant to be careful with what activity they engage in and who they allow at their rental property.
- Financial Protection – Illegal activity can have a detrimental impact on many unintended people. It could result in injury to other tenants or damage to the rental property. Having a specific addendum addressing illegal activity ensures that the tenant is specifically responsible for any financial impact that results from their illegal activity.
What to Include in a Crime and Drug-Free Lease Addendum
A Crime and Drug-Free Lease Addendum is a standard addendum that all tenants must sign to acknowledge they won’t engage in illegal activity or allow the rental property to be used for this type of activity. This addendum is incorporated into the original lease agreement and should include the following:
- Type of Addendum – The heading and opening should state that this is a Crime and Drug-Free Lease Addendum
- The date the agreement is being signed and goes into effect
- Landlord’s name
- Landlord’s business address
- Tenant’s name
- Tenant’s rental property address
- The date of the original lease agreement
- Introductory information about the addendum and the original lease agreement it is incorporating
- Prohibition Against Illegal Activity – This section informs the tenant broadly that they, along with any members of the rental property or guests, are not allowed to engage in any type of illegal activity on or around the rental property.
- Prohibition Against Facilitating Illegal Activity – This section more specifically prohibits the tenant and other individuals at the rental property from taking any action that would assist in the committing of an illegal activity on or around the rental property.
- Prohibition Against the Use of the Premises for Illegal Activity – This section focuses on the rental property, more so than the tenant and their guests, and prohibits the use of the rental property by anyone to either commit an illegal act or help facilitate an illegal act.
- Prohibition Against Illegal Drugs – This section prohibits the tenants and their guests from having any involvement with illegal drugs.
- Prohibition Against Violent Activity – In this section, the tenant and other individuals at the rental property are prohibited from engaging in any form of violence, including threats and intimidation.
- Violations – This section informs the tenant that a violation of this addendum is a material violation and can result in the termination of the tenancy. This section also highlights the amount of evidence required for a landlord to prove a violation.
- Indemnification – For this section, the tenant agrees to be responsible for any costs or damages that result from a violation of this addendum.
- Governing Law – The law governing the lease agreement will also apply to this addendum.
- Landlord’s signature and date
- Tenant’s signature and date
As with the original lease agreement, all parties should have a signed copy of this addendum. The addendum is now part of the original lease agreement and should be kept with it.
If a tenant refuses to sign this addendum, a landlord can refuse to rent to them. For more information on your rights and responsibilities as a landlord, check out the specific landlord-tenant laws for your state.