Avoid Using Latin Phrases in Leases
Avoid using Latin phrases—such as, ipso facto and inter alia—in your leases, advises Washington, D.C., attorney Desmond D. Connall Jr. Instead, use English words that mean the same thing. For instance, instead of saying “ipso facto,” say “of itself” or “by the mere fact,” he says. And instead of saying “inter alia,” say “among other things,” he adds. This should help make your leases easier to read and understand.
Many owners and tenants—and even some attorneys—don't know what some or all of the Latin phrases used in leases mean, Connall has found. And if the person reading the lease doesn't know their meaning, that person won't understand what the lease is trying to say, Connall warns. Simply substituting English for Latin can help decrease the risk of misinterpretations and disputes later on, he notes.
Desmond D. Connall Jr.: Member, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, 1401 Eye St. NW, Ste. 700, Washington, DC 20005; (202) 857-4403.