Can the Power of Attorney Sign a Rental Agreement?

All states allow people to use powers of attorney.

If you want to allow someone else to enter into agreements on your behalf, you can grant that person a power of attorney. Powers of attorney can only be given through writing, but they can include the right to enter into rental agreements on the grantor's behalf. Power of attorney laws are state specific, so talk to a lawyer in your state for advice about how to use a power of attorney in your state.


Power of Attorney Requirements

A power of attorney exists between three main parties: the person granting the power, called a principal, the person or organization receiving the power, called the agent or attorney in fact, and third parties with whom the agent interacts on behalf of the principal. All powers of attorney must meet the legal requirements of the states in which they are created before the agent can legally act on behalf of the principal.


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Not all powers of attorney allow the attorney in fact the right to enter into rental agreements on behalf of the principal. A general power of attorney, the broadest kind available, allows the agent the right to do anything that the principal can do, including the right to enter into a lease. Powers of attorney can also be much more limited. For example, the principal can grant an agent power of attorney solely for the purpose of entering into a rental agreement. The limitations placed on the attorney in fact are entirely up to the principal and the terms of the power of attorney.



The principal has the right to terminate the agent's authority at any time. Also, the agent's ability to enter into any agreement is automatically terminated upon the death of the principal. It is also terminated if the power of attorney is not made durable. A nondurable power of attorney terminates as soon as the principal becomes incapable of revoking the power, such as when he falls ill. A durable power of attorney does not terminate upon the principal's incapacity, and the agent can continue to enter into agreements until his power is otherwise terminated.



In general, powers of attorney do not have to be registered with a state or local government agency. However, powers of attorney that are used or intended to be used to allow an agent the right to convey real estate, or interests in real estate, on behalf of the principal do generally need to be registered. In general, the agent wishing to convey real estate interests can only do so if the power of attorney is filed with the county register of deeds in the county where the property is located.



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