Specify in Lease that 'Attorney' Can Send Notices

It's important to make your notice to a tenant valid if your attorney sends it. If a tenant violates your lease, you're probably required to notify the tenant in writing that if it doesn't cure—that is, correct—the violation by a set deadline, you can take action against it. But it's common for owners to ask their attorneys to send this violation notice on their behalf, because they think that will show the tenant that they're serious and make it more likely to comply, or because they're too busy to send it themselves.

To avoid notice problems, don't specify anywhere in the lease the name of the attorney who can send notices on your behalf. That way, if you decide to change your attorney during the lease, you don't have to amend your lease each time you do so. And describe the sender of notices only generically in the lease's notice clause. For example, say simply that your “attorney” is authorized to send notices on your behalf. For additional protection, specify that your “agents—such as someone you've given a “power of attorney” to—can send notices on your behalf, too. Add this language to your lease's notice clause: “Notices required hereunder may be given by either an agent or attorney acting on behalf of Landlord.”

Additionally, don't specify a sender of notices elsewhere in the lease. In any clause but the notice clause, avoid specifying, even generically, who must send your notices. For example, in the default clause, don't say that the tenant will have violated the lease if it “fails to pay Rent after Landlord sends notice.” Instead, say that the tenant will have violated the lease if it “fails to pay Rent after notice.” You don't want language in other parts of the lease to contradict what you've added to your notice clause.