Good landlords know that a legal and fair lease is one of the best ways to protect their investment. But having a lawyer draw up a rock solid lease and other landlord forms can run into the thousands. It can be tempting to grab a free form off the Internet or from your local office supply store.
Don’t do it! THIS IS DANGEROUS!
Instead, there are several online landlord forms services that offer nearly all, if not all, of the same protections as having a local lawyer create your forms for you but at a fraction of the cost. But there are so many to choose from. Which one is best for you?
I’ve reviewed 14 of the top landlord forms services and eliminated most because they lacked some of the key features you need. I boiled it down to the top 4 that I think will work best for most landlords.
In this article, I will show you:
- What to look for in a landlord forms service
- A comparison chart of the top four landlord forms services
- What each landlord form service costs
- A detailed review of the key features offered by the top four landlord forms services
- Visuals of two of my favorite landlord forms services
Why Use Online Landlord Forms?
Hiring a lawyer to create your legal landlord forms is the best thing you can do as a landlord to ensure maximum legal protection. However, a lawyer will run into the hundreds if not thousands. This cost may be prohibitive if you are just starting out but it doesn’t mean you should forego the protection of a well-written lease or other landlord form.
The next best thing to hiring an experienced landlord attorney is to use an online landlord forms service. Many of these landlord forms services have packages of common landlord forms that have been created by experienced lawyers. Some also offer legal help on staff to assist in any questions you might have – often for an extra charge.
Perhaps the best way to get full legal protection without breaking the bank is to create your own lease using a landlord forms service and then hire a local attorney to check it to ensure compliance with local laws. This too can save you quite a bit of money while offering the full protection of a lawyer-prepared document.
Why Free Landlord Forms Are Dangerous
Do not use free, generic landlord forms you found on an Internet site or your local office supply store. You need to be certain the language is legal in your jurisdiction and it covers the issues you need covered.
- You risk having a judge throw out a portion or all of your lease if you ever find yourself in front of a judge
- Notices To Quit and similar eviction proceedings require EXACT language to be compliant. This is unlikely to be the case with a free landlord form.
Key Features To Look For In Online Landlord Forms Services
Landlord-Specific vs. General Legal Forms Services
Either can be good, depending on the package of services and features you want. General legal forms services offer a wide range of additional forms you may find helpful, such as Business Formation or Estate Planning. However, I prefer to use a landlord forms service that was designed specifically for landlords and with the help of landlords.
Free vs. Paid
You get what you pay for. One of the services reviewed offers a 7-day unlimited access for free! This could be perfect if all you think you need is a one-time form.
This is a must-have feature. Do not even consider an online landlord forms service that doesn’t offer you a form specific to your state. Every state has special laws and wording that your forms need to have in order to be compliant. In my state, NJ, judges don’t have much leeway. You either complied with the requirements of the law or you didn’t.
Some landlord forms services provide editable documents that can be later reused for another property or situation. Three of the four services reviewed below offer this flexibility. However, you risk missing out on an important update in your state’s requirements. Beware. You need to always use the latest forms to be sure you are protected.
Even a State-Specific form needs to be tweaked in some instances. Maybe your local county has special provisions that you need to include to be totally compliant. Or perhaps, you just want to include a number of Rules and Regulations in your lease. You want a landlord forms service that allows for this level of customization.
This could be a very useful feature if you are a long-distance landlord or want to avoid paper documents altogether. Be sure to download and save the final executed copies of any forms you send via e-signatures. Most landlord forms services charge extra for this feature. One of the services below includes this for free.
While not absolute necessary, I prefer landlord forms services that clearly state they were created or reviewed by legal experts. This gives you many of the same protections your local lawyer would at a fraction of the cost.
Choose a landlord forms service that stands behind their product! While most services reviewed indicated they would work with any customer on a one for one basis if there were an issue, only a few explicitly state they offer a full money back guarantee. One explicitly stated “no refunds.”
Technical Support & Customer Service
You want to be able to reach someone if you have a technical problem. Most services offer a few convenient ways to get support via email, contact forms or chat. One forms service can only be reached by phone. I called them to learn more about their service and found them to be very helpful.
I’ve chosen four landlord forms services that I believe are best for most landlords out there. I included two landlord-specific services and two general legal forms services. See the comparison chart below and the accompanying detailed comparison to see which landlord forms service is best for you.
|Landlord Focused or General||Landlord Focused||Landlord Focused||General Legal Forms||General Legal Forms|
|Cost||30-Day Access: $9.99 All Forms Except Lease or $29.95 Unlimited Access*|
6 Month Pro Access $39.95*
1 Yr Pro Access $75.00*
|Unlimited access with membership ($129.99)|
Lease - $29.97
Other Forms - $ varies
|7-Day Free Trial Full Access|
$33.00/mo After Trial
$95.88 1 Year Pro Account
|Sold Individually or in Packages (save up to 60%)
- Lease Package $59.95
- Lease $24.95
- Notice To Quit $18.95
|State-Specific Forms||Yes||Yes. Lease Only.||Yes||Yes|
|Reusable Forms||No. Protected PDF Forms. Unlimited forms per property during membership.||Yes. All Essential Forms are reusable for everyone. Free Forms are also reusable for members.||Yes. Most forms come in PDF, Word, HTML or RTF.||Yes. Most forms in Word format.|
|Customizable Forms||Yes. Unlimited Editing & Printing.||Yes. After Purchase. Free forms not editable for non-members.||Yes.||Yes.|
|Variety of Forms||100+ Landlord Forms||100 Landlord Forms||About 40 Landlord Forms. Other categories available.||About 100 Landlord Forms. Other categories available.|
|E-Signature & Document Management||Yes. E-Signature & Read Receipts Included.||No||No||No|
|Refund Policy||100% Money Back Guarantee||None||100% Satisfaction Guarantee. $10,000 Legal Guarantee.||100% Satisfaction Guarantee|
|Customer Service & Tech Support||Mail, Contact Form, Phone and Live Chat||Mail, Phone and Email||Phone, Chat and Contact Form||Phone.|
|Best For||Smaller LL's who want unlimited forms, E-signature & Document Management||Strong, Reusable Lease||LL's who want unlimited landlord forms and other form types||LL's who want a package of reusable forms|
|Get Started||Get Started||Get Started||Get Started|
Landlord-Focused or General Forms Service
I came across several landlord forms services. Some specialize in Landlord Forms only while others were general legal form providers. I prefer to use a landlord-specific service because they understand that business better than a generic forms service.
However, you may find yourself in need of more than just landlord forms. In this case, a membership to a general forms services can be a great value.
|Landlord-Specific vs. Generic Forms Services|
|EZ Landlord Forms||Landlord Specific. Founded in 2005 by a landlord. They specialize in landlord forms.|
|Landlord Protection Agency||Landlord Specific. A landlord membership service offering several benefits including landlord forms, Tenant Screening and other landlord resources.|
|Law Depot||General Forms service. Founded in 2001. Offers various personal and business forms.|
|US Legal Forms||General Forms service. Founded in 1997. Offers various personal and business forms.|
How Much Will It Cost?
While all of these services only cost a fraction of what a lawyer would charge, pricing for landlord forms vary across the services. Some offer individual forms or bundles of forms sold in related packages. Others offer time-based access. See the breakdown in the chart below.
|Cost To Use|
|EZ Landlord Forms||· 30 Day Access $9.99 – $29.95*
· 6 Month Pro Access $39.95*
· 1 Year Pro Access $75.00*
|Landlord Protection Agency||· Unlimited Access $129.99
· Single Forms – Various $
· Lease $29.95
|Law Depot||· 7-Day Free Trial With Full Access
· $33/mo after trial period or
· $95.88/yr after trial period
|US Legal Forms||· Individual Forms – Various $
· Packages (Up To 60% off)
EZ Landlord Forms
EZ Landlord Forms offers two 30-day access plans. You can access all forms including lease for $29.95 for one property. Alternatively, if you don’t need a lease, you can access all other forms for only $9.99 for one property.
Longer access to their forms will cost between $39.95 for 6 months and $75.00 for a year. Extended plans are available for additional savings.
* EZ Landlord Forms prices are for one property. Additional properties can be added for a small fee of only $4 for 30-day and 6-month plans or $8 for annual plans.
Landlord Protection Agency
The Landlord Protection Agency offers unlimited access to all forms included with a membership, which costs $129.99. The annual membership renewal fee is discounted to $99.99.
Alternatively, you can purchase individual forms for various prices. For example, a Lease will cost $29.97 while a Notice To Pay form will cost $14.49.
Law Depot offers the most liberal pricing policy. Try any and all forms for free for 7 days! You will need to provide your CC information but they tell me they do not charge you until the 7 days are up when you auto renew. You can cancel anytime before the 7 day trial period is up.
After your trial period is up you can opt for a monthly charge of $33 or an annual account for $95.88.
US Legal Forms
US Legal Forms offers individual forms for various prices or you can purchase one of several forms packages for approximately 60% off the individual prices. They also offer an automatic 10% off for signing up – no obligations.
- Lease $24.95
- Notice To Quit $18.95
- Lease Package $59.95
Why Is State Specific So Important?
I only included landlord forms services that offered state-specific forms. Too much is at stake with your investment to risk using a generic form.
Every state has different requirements for how to deal with landlord-tenant issues. These differences are reflected in the state-specific forms. Things like how many days notice you need to give a tenant for various violations, what information needs to be included in notices to tenants, security deposit restrictions, etc. all vary from state to state.
Never risk having your lease provision struck down or eviction thrown out of court because you used the wrong wording or notice type!
Note that only the Leases from the Landlord Protection Agency come State-Specific. Notices can be customized to your state based on the number of days notice required. They offer a simple reference chart to help.
Can I Reuse A Form For Another Property Or Tenant?
Most forms services want you to keep buying forms again and again but some do offer the ability to reuse their forms. While reusing forms can save you money, the risk is that you will miss a critical update and it will cost you much more in the long run.
All the forms services reviewed make an effort to keep their forms and leases up to date with the latest state laws. The Landlord Protection Agency even goes so far as to add clauses to strengthen their lease forms when issues arise from their members. You won’t want to miss out on these protection-enhancing changes.
See the chart below for whose forms are reusable and what document types are available.
|Form Types & Reusability|
|EZ Landlord Forms||No. Protected PDF Forms. Unlimited use per property.|
|Landlord Protection Agency||Yes. Word, Works and Word Perfect.|
|Law Depot||Yes. Most forms in PDF, Word, HTML or RTF.|
|US Legal Forms||Yes. Most forms in Word format.|
Can I Customize Or Edit My Form?
All landlord forms services reviewed offer the ability to customize your forms. Most will give you an editable form that you can download and customize while others only let you customize your forms before you purchase them.
While you shouldn’t modify the provisions included in the leases or strict wording in the other forms, you may want to include additional clauses in your lease. My lease for example has an Other Lease Provisions section which keeps getting longer with every new tenant.
I really like the Lease Wizard feature from EZ Landlord Forms. It’s a step-by-step questionnaire that helps you build a totally customized lease that’s perfect for you. See their video for more on this feature (skip to about 1:55).
|EZ Landlord Forms||Yes. Unlimited editing and printing.|
|Landlord Protection Agency||Yes. Paid forms available in editable formats. Free forms only available as protected PDFs to non-members.|
|Law Depot||Yes. Most forms are editable. Some are protected PDFs.|
|US Legal Forms||Yes.|
Who Offers The Most Landlord Forms?
I compared how many forms each landlord forms service offered for my state (NJ). The chart below shows the approximate number of landlord forms each service offers. The General forms services also offer hundreds of other legal forms such as Estate Planning and Business Formation forms.
|Variety of Landlord Forms|
|EZ Landlord Forms||Over 100 Forms|
|Landlord Protection Agency||Over 100 Forms|
|Law Depot||About 40 Forms|
|US Legal Forms||About 100 Forms|
EZ Landlord Forms
EZ Landlord Forms separates their forms into different categories. Below is a summary and count of their forms. Note some forms are duplicated under multiple categories.
- Free Documents (28)
- State-Specific Forms (35)
- Rental Application Forms (13)
- Leasing / Move In (17)
- Tenant Notice Letters (21)
- Move Out (10)
- General Management (29)
Landlord Protection Agency
Landlord Protection Agency also separates their forms into different categories. Below is a summary and count of their forms. Note some forms are duplicated under multiple categories.
- Leases, Addenda, & Disclosures (38)
- Rental Applications, Tenant Screening, Move-Ins (12)
- Lease Enforcement and Rent Collection Forms (29)
- Property Management Forms (25)
- Free Forms (40)
Law Depot’s landlord forms can be found via their dropdown menu on the home page. Click on “More” to get to the full list of forms offered organized by groups. See below.
- Lease, Rental & Tenancy (3)
- Subleasing (3)
- Real Estate Transaction and Transfers (12)
- Lease Amendment & Assignment (3)
- Prior to Leasing (6)
- Lease Notices (10)
- Equipment & Property Rental (3)
US Legal Forms
US Legal Forms offers forms individually and in packages. Below is a list of the different packages and the number of forms in each.
- Residential Lease Package (9)
- Supplement Lease Package (9)
- Lease Purchase Package (4)
- Assignment of Lease Package (2)
- Amendment of Lease Package (4)
- Property Management Package (9)
In addition to these packages, US Legal Forms offers about 75 other forms and notices.
What’s Included In The Lease Package?
The US Legal Forms Residential Lease Package includes: (1) Application, (2) Lease, (3) Lead Paint Disclosure, (4) Other Disclosures, if applicable, (5) Termination Notice for Non-Payment of Rent, (6) Pre and Post Inventory Report, (7) Salary Verification Form, (8) Tenant Welcome Letter, (9) Landlord Tenant Closing Statement.
Which Online Landlord Forms Offer E-Signatures And Document Storage?
The ability to sign and send forms electronically can be a nice to have or a necessity for out of state landlords. Not all services offer this feature.
|E-Signature & Storage|
|EZ Landlord Forms||Included|
|Landlord Protection Agency||Not Available|
|Law Depot||Not Available|
|US Legal Forms||Not Available|
Which Online Forms Service Has The Best Refund Policy?
Most landlord forms services I reviewed stood behind their product and offered some kind of guarantee. Only the Landlord Protection Agency said they did not offer refunds.
|EZ Landlord Forms||100% Money Back Guarantee|
|Landlord Protection Agency||No Refunds|
|Law Depot||100% Satisfaction Guarantee. $10,000 Legal Guarantee.|
|US Legal Forms||100% Satisfaction Guarantee|
Law Depot even goes so far as to offer a $10,000 legal guarantee should anything go wrong using as a result of their mistake. That shows real confidence in their forms!
Which Online Landlord Form Service Offers The Best Support?
You want to choose an online landlord forms service that will provide the support you need should you run into problems. Most offer multiple ways to contact them via email, contact forms online, online chat or phone.
|Customer & Technical Support|
|EZ Landlord Forms||Email, Mail, Phone & Chat|
|Landlord Protection Agency||Email, Mail & Phone|
|Law Depot||Phone, Chat & Contact Form|
|US Legal Forms||Phone & Double Secret Email Address|
While I found most services were prompt at returning my emails, some were faster than others. In fact, I had to send a second message to Landlord Protection Agency before I got a reply. Many also offer helpful FAQs pages to answer some the basic questions about their services.
EZ Landlord Forms – Very responsive customer service available by Email, Mail, Phone or Chat. They even replied to me on weekends although the live chat service is only available during office hours.
The Landlord Protection Agency – Available by Email, Mail and Phone, I didn’t receive a response from my first email sent to their forms@theLPA.com address. I suggest you call or email the general info@theLPA.com address instead.
Law Depot – Available via Contact Form, Chat and Phone from 8AM – 7PM EST. I found them to be very responsive as well via their contact form. Their Help Center page even gives you a quick link to cancel your free trial. I like their confidence!
US Legal Forms – Their website only lists a phone number where you can reach them between 8AM and 6PM CST. They did call me back within a few minutes of leaving a message so they are fairly responsive. However, they do have a secret customer service email address not listed. Message me if interested.
Which Landlord Form Service Has The Best User Experience?
It may not seem that important but user experience matters. You want to be able to quickly navigate a website to find what you need and get on with your day. Some landlord forms services do it better than others.
Here are some observations I made while navigating each of the four services reviewed.
EZ Landlord Forms
EZ Landlord Forms is not the most aesthetically appealing site I reviewed, but the navigation is clear and all the functions you need are there.
Forms are easily accessible from the main menu:
The Lease Wizard is very easy to use. Follow the 7 sections or skip around.
You can select from a number of pre-made lease rules (see Landlord Tip #17 for some of my favorites):
It warns if you if more forms are required for your state:
There’s also live support and a good FAQs page if you get stuck:
The Landlord Protection Agency
Unfortunately, this was the least appealing aesthetically of all landlord forms services I reviewed. The pages are crowded with too much text making it a little difficult to navigate.
They offer a number of versions of their lease. Most landlords will want the LPA lease.
You will need to search for the Customer Service and FAQs links. It’s at the bottom of the page.
Law Depot has the best website aesthetically-speaking. It has a clean layout with easy to navigate tiles.
Filling out a lease is easy with their simple questionnaire:
When building a lease, there is a progress bar and you can use it to skip to sections
There are relevant FAQ’s every step of the way as you build your lease. You won’t have to leave the page to find an answer if you get stuck.
It will suggest other forms you may need:
Live Chat with FAQs
US Legal Forms
US Legal Forms is easy to navigate via the categories or you can search for a form using the search toolbar.
You can add a “Completed Sample” of some forms, including leases, to your shopping cart. This is to help you save time and avoid mistakes.
US Legal Forms gives you the option to checkout without registering so you can avoid adding another password to your list.
It’s easy to find Help links but they only bring you to a contact form. You will have to wait for someone to get back to you during business hours.
Unique Features / Who Is This Best For?
Still can’t decide which landlord forms services is best for you? Each of the landlord forms services I reviewed had a number of other features and benefits, some unique to them. You may find some of these features useful and they just might tip your decision.
EZ Landlord Forms
- Lease Wizard walks you though the simple 7 steps to making a lease
- E-signature feature is included in the cost of forms
- It was the only forms service I reviewed with a comprehensive Document Management System:
- Access saved forms from anywhere
- Property and Tenant info are saved so it auto-fills many fields
- Email forms to tenants through their website (no uploading to emails)
- History of all forms sent to tenants (paper trail for court records)
- Reminds you to renew leases
- State Assist – helps to ensure that your lease agreement meets your states requirements
- Add your logo to forms for a professional look
- Transunion Screening available
- Works with Windows Envelopes
- Extensive FAQ
- Discussion Forum
- Free resources including a newsletter, REI Club Directory, Attorney Directory, articles and more
- BEST FOR – Landlords with a few properties (pay per property) who want unlimited access to one of the largest collections of state state-specific, customizable landlord forms with free e-signature and document capabilities included.
The Landlord Protection Agency
- All forms are free for members
- Forms are also available on disc for members
- Spanish forms available
- State Specific Clauses and Notices Index
- Q&A Forum
- BEST FOR – Landlords who want a strong lease they can use again and again.
- $10,000 Legal guarantee
- Free 7-day trial with full access
- Awesome lease questionnaire and guide to help create a rock solid lease
- BEST FOR – Landlords who want unlimited access to all the landlord forms (and many more categories of forms) they will probably ever need, in an easy to use interface, backed by a unique legal guarantee.
US Legal Forms
- They will print and mail forms for you (extra cost)
- Some of the most specific forms available (including a form to lease watertower space for a cell tower)
- BEST FOR – Landlords who want a package of forms they can use again and again.
And The Winner Is…?
EZ Landlord Forms
I prefer EZ Landlord Forms overall for several important reasons:
- Easy to use lease wizard
- One of the most customizable and comprehensive leases available
- More state-specific forms
- Free e-signature
- Free document management
- Tons of free resources and forms
However, I also like Law Depot because it was super easy to use and they offer a free trial. If I also needed other forms, I would definitely give them a try.
- Free trial with full access!
- $10,000 Legal guarantee
- The simplest interface to use
- Best value if you are looking for more than just landlord forms
Paperwork is part of being a landlord. Be sure to protect your family and your business by using a state-specific legal form. The best thing to do, if you can afford it, is to use a local lawyer to draft all of your leases and notices but this will cost you thousands.
The next best thing is to use a state-specific, landlord forms service. Never use a generic landlord form. It could cost you much more in the long run.
It’s best to choose a landlord forms service focused only on landlords. However, if you are in the market for more than just landlord forms then you may find great value in one of the generic forms services.
Either way, be sure to choose the landlord form service that best suits your business needs. Choosing the right landlord forms service depends on what you are looking for. Review the features above to understand which are most important to you and your business.
I want to make sure I include the very best landlord forms services and keep this article as up to date as possible. Please leave me a comment below if you know of any changes or want me to review another landlord forms service.
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