Draft Strong But Fair Attorney’s Fees Clause

Negotiating a favorable reciprocal attorney’s fees clause can make a huge financial difference if there’s a dispute between you and your tenant. Legal costs can add up quickly, but you can avoid a gray area and arguments over who should bear those costs, if you remember two things when drafting your attorney’s fees clause:

  • Don’t Agree to One-Sided Terms. Giving the owner a strong attorney’s fees clause that makes you responsible for all legal costs in any situation is a costly mistake.
  • Consider Compromise. A typical “reciprocal attorney’s fees clause” will provide that if a lawsuit occurs, the losing party is responsible for paying all of the legal fees—for both parties. This is fair and reasonable.

For more tips on drafting a fair and balanced attorney’s fees clause, and for Model Language you can use in your clause, see “Negotiate Favorable Reciprocal Attorney’s Fees Clause,” available to subscribers here.


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