A Complete Guide on Lease Agreement Creation and Automation

Apr 24, 2024



A lease agreement serves as the cornerstone of any landlord-tenant relationship. As they govern the terms and conditions of the rental of a property, lease documents are inherently complex. Crafting and managing them the traditional way requires navigating through a plethora of paperwork, regulations, and numerous details.

Modern document automation software offers a compelling solution, allowing you to streamline the creation and management of lease agreements with unprecedented efficiency, accuracy, and compliance.

Did you know?

According to a Thompson Reuters, respondents who use document automation for lease agreements (22%) report that they have time to Leverage workflows to develop new business models with clients and Win new clients with better business development.

That’s why, today most property owners or realtors leverage document automation software to create and manage lease agreements. It helps them to significantly reduce the time and effort spent on the leasing process.

In this blog, we'll explore lease agreements in detail, including their content, types, and more. We'll also compare automated leasing with traditional methods and uncover the benefits of creating them through document automation.

What is a lease agreement?

A lease agreement is a legal document that outlines the terms and conditions under which a landlord (property owner) can rent a property to a tenant (renter). Also referred to as a rental agreement or tenancy agreement, it encompasses vital details such as the duration of the tenancy, rent amount, payment schedule, and maintenance responsibilities. Signing this agreement is a crucial step in the rental process as it helps prevent or solve disputes in the future.

Type of lease agreement

It's common for lease agreements to extend beyond real estate into other property types, such as vehicles and equipment. While leasing cars, boats, and other items is prevalent, the primary focus often remains on real estate, including residential and commercial properties. Let's explore some of the most common types of lease agreements:

Name of the lease Purpose of the lease Characteristics of the lease
Residential Lease For renting a residential property like a house or apartment. The lease outlines the terms between a landlord and tenant for living purposes only. It specifies the rent amount, duration of the agreement, rules regarding guests, pets, modifications, etc.
Commercial Lease For renting an office, retail, or industrial space for business use. A commercial lease has different terms compared to residential leases involving longer periods, rent calculations based on square footage, allocation of maintenance costs and taxes, etc.
Condominium Lease For renting out a condo unit by the owner to a tenant. While similar to an apartment lease, it may include association rules, fees paid by the tenant or owner, parking, and amenity usage terms.
Sublet Lease Allows an existing tenant to re-rent the property to a sub-tenant. The original tenant becomes the sub-landlord, collecting rent from the sub-tenant. However, the original tenant remains bound by the terms of the master lease with the property owner.
Short-term lease For renting a property for a brief period like months or weeks. A short-term lease provides flexibility but less security compared to long-term options. The terms can vary significantly based on the rental duration.
Fix-term lease Renting a property for a set period like 6 months or 1 year. A fixed-term lease has a clear start and end date. Both landlord and tenant are bound to the full term unless other provisions for early termination exist.
Room Lease For renting out a single room in a housing unit like an apartment. While the basics are similar to a residential lease, they will specify rules regarding common areas, shared amenities, and tenant behavior.
Equipment Lease For renting machinery, vehicles, or other equipment rather than real estate. Details on the leased equipment, rental rates, maintenance responsibilities, and return conditions.

Elements of a Lease Agreement

While the structure of a lease agreement may vary based on property type, location, and societal norms, certain key components persist across most residential and commercial leases.  

Let's look at the key elements of a lease agreement and understand their significance.

  1. Names of Parties: Legal names of the landlord/lessor and tenant/lessee.
  2. Property Description: Includes a detailed description of the leased property, including its address, unit number (if applicable), and any specific features or amenities.
  3. Term of the lease:  Specifies the duration of the lease, including the start date and end date or any provisions for renewal or extension.
  4. Rent Payment Details: Outlines the amount of rent, the due date for payments, acceptable forms of payment, and any late fees or penalties for overdue payments.
  5. Occupancy limits: Refers to restrictions placed on the number of individuals who are allowed to reside in or occupy a leased property. 
  6. Use of Property: Defines how the leased property may be used by the tenant, including any restrictions or limitations on activities such as subleasing, alterations, or commercial use.
  7. Maintenance and repairs: Specifies what the landlord covers (repairs, utilities) vs tenant duties and responsibilities.
  8. Restrictions: Outlines any restrictions or rules around noise, pets, parking, smoking, etc.
  9. Utilities and Services:  Clarifies which utilities and services are included in the rent (e.g., water, electricity, internet) and which are the responsibility of the tenant to arrange and pay for separately.
  10. Dispute resolution: It lists how landlord and tenant can resolve disputes using techniques like mediation, arbitration, or litigation.
  11. Entry and Inspection Rights: Establishes the landlord's right to enter the property for purposes such as repairs, inspections, or showing to prospective tenants or buyers, and specifies the notice required.
  12. Security Deposits: Lists if any amount of any security or other deposits or additional fees are required from the tenant.

What is document automation for property management?

Document automation is the process of using automation software to create, manage, and distribute documents at scale. It enables property managers to eliminate manual data entry, reduce errors, and accelerate document generation and approval processes.

Property managers can leverage document automation software to create templates for various documents they commonly use such as rent invoices, lease agreements, rental applications, property inspection reports, renewal letters, etc. Each time they need to generate one of these documents for a new tenant, they can easily customize the templates to include standard property-specific details and automatically populate them with relevant data. This process saves time and ensures consistency in document formatting and branding.

Document Creation Software for Lease Agreement

Property managers often find themselves juggling numerous tasks, from screening tenants and handling maintenance requests to managing property inspections and addressing tenant inquiries. Unfortunately, many of these tasks involve creating and managing extensive paperwork. Property managers cannot dedicate endless hours to manually draft and organize these documents.

Usually, the process of creating, managing, and obtaining approval on lease agreements requires property managers to gather and input various details, including rental terms, lease duration, rent amounts, maintenance responsibilities, and any additional clauses or provisions specific to the property or rental agreement. Additionally, property managers often need to communicate with prospective renters to negotiate terms, address questions or concerns, and finalize the agreement. As a result, it often involves extensive back-and-forth communication between property managers and prospective renters before reaching a final agreement. This prolonged process can lead to frustration for both parties and delay the onboarding of new tenants. 

By leveraging documentation automation software, property managers can significantly shorten the lease processing cycle, improve document accuracy, and expedite the onboarding process. Plus, property managers can enhance the tenant experience at every step of the leasing process. 

Creating a Lease Agreement: Traditional vs. Automated Approach

Let’s dig deeper into the intricacies of lease agreement creation, comparing the traditional approach with the automated alternative. By examining the benefits offered by automation, you'll gain insight into how document automation solutions enhance efficiency, accuracy, and overall tenant experience in the realm of property management. 

Step Traditional Approach Automated Approach
Gather information Manually collect tenant details and property information from various sources. Pre-fill tenant and property data from integrated databases/CRM.
Document creation Find/update existing lease templates manually or create from scratch. Generate new lease documents automatically from pre-built templates.
Data input Manually enter all relevant details into the lease document template. Data auto-populates into template fields based on rules/logic.
Customization Customize a generic lease manually for each tenant/property and add relevant details. Highly customizable templates with editable fields.
Review and Approval Manually route documents for reviews, and approvals via emails/printing. Automated workflow routing for reviews, e-approvals, and version control.
Signing In-person signing meetings require physical presence. Integrated e-signature capabilities for tenants to sign remotely.
Document storage Manually file, store, and retrieve paper copies of executed leases. Secure cloud storage of all leases with access permissions.
Document Access Locate and retrieve physical lease files from storage as needed. Search and access all leases instantly from a centralized repository.

Benefits of Automating Lease Agreements

Property owners and managers can unlock many benefits by embracing document automation software for lease agreement creation. Let's delve into each one.

  • Improved tenant experience: In today's digital age, tenants expect a modern, convenient rental experience akin to other consumer services they utilize. By leveraging document automation software, property managers can deliver just that - transforming what is traditionally a cumbersome, paper-based process into a seamless digital journey. For instance, document automation eliminates the need for printing, signing, or scanning paperwork, simplifying the process for both property managers and tenants. Tenants can access a self-service portal to review lease documents at their convenience and e-sign from anywhere using their mobile devices
  • Improved compliance: The use of up-to-date, legally vetted templates embedded with the latest policies and regulations reduces risks around non-compliance. Most Lease automation systems meticulously capture document versions, approvals, and activity timelines, serving as robust evidence of compliance adherence. These audit trails provide property managers with a detailed record of every step in the leasing process, from document creation to final approval.
  • Time and efficiency gains: This is one of the most obvious benefits of automation in any case. The traditional manual approach of creating lease agreements is incredibly tedious and fraught with inefficiencies. By leveraging automation, many time-consuming tasks in the leasing process can be eliminated or streamlined. For instance, you can use automated workflows to route documents to tenants for reviews and e-approvals. This optimized, digitized process allows property managers and leasing staff to focus on higher-value activities like nurturing client relationships, marketing properties, and revenue-generating initiatives. 
  • Cost reduction: By going fully digital, property managers can reduce the overall operational costs as there will be almost zero paperwork and documentation work. Not only that, it also helps to reduce administrative labor costs by automating manual tasks like printing, scanning, filing, and retrieving paperwork.
  • Scalability: Document automation software empowers property managers to efficiently manage a growing volume of leases. By automating labor-intensive manual tasks, such as document generation and approval workflows, property managers can seamlessly scale their operations without being limited by resource constraints. This increased efficiency allows property managers to handle larger portfolios and accommodate business growth while maintaining high standards of service and compliance


In today's dynamic real estate market, embracing document automation software is no longer just advantageous—property managers need to stay competitive and seize new opportunities. By digitizing the entire leasing process, from start to finish, property managers can streamline operations, drive efficiencies, and deliver exceptional value to property owners and tenants alike. Moreover, lease automation not only meets the demands of digital transformation but also contributes to sustainability efforts by reducing environmental impact. Are you ready to modernize your leasing process and position your business for success? Try Docupilot for free.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

1. What is the importance of a lease agreement?

A lease agreement is crucial for both the landlord and tenant. This legally binding document serves as a roadmap for the rental relationship, outlining essential details such as the rent period, rent amount, deposit requirements, and more. By clearly defining these terms, the lease agreement provides clarity and certainty to both parties, helping to prevent misunderstandings and disputes down the line.

Also, a lease agreement plays a crucial role in delineating the responsibilities of both the landlord and tenant. From maintenance obligations to rules regarding pets and subletting, the lease agreement sets forth the expectations for each party, promoting a harmonious living arrangement or business relationship.

2. How secure is document automation software for handling sensitive lease information?

Most document automation software offers robust security measures to safeguard sensitive lease information. These measures may include data encryption, access controls, and regular security audits to ensure data integrity and confidentiality. Additionally, reputable document automation providers often adhere to industry best practices and compliance(GDPR and HIPAA) standards to mitigate security risks.

3. Is lease automation suitable for all types of properties?

Yes, lease automation can be suitable for various types of properties, including residential, commercial, and mixed-use properties. Whether you're managing single-family homes, apartment complexes, or retail spaces, document automation software can streamline the leasing process and enhance efficiency. The key is to deploy the right document automation software to appropriately map to one's real estate management model and business requirements.

Did you know?

According to a Thompson Reuters, respondents who use document automation for lease agreements (22%) report that they have time to Leverage workflows to develop new business models with clients and Win new clients with better business development.