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I'm drafting a lease document and have to state the following provision.

The Lessee(s) holds the Lessor and the United States harmless from any loss, liability or damages resulting from the Lessee(s) use of occupation of the premises or the Lessee(s)s' personal property.

Should Lessee(s)s' be Lessee(s') or Lessee(s)'?

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This sort of thing is best left to lawyers, assuming you're not one yourself. –  Barrie England Jan 11 '13 at 18:51
    
What @Barrie said. Matthew, even if you were a fluent native English speaker (which you're probably not), it's unwise to take a chance on trying to word such a legal document. IANAL, so I can't say for sure if it might feasibly be established phrasing, but I don't know what holding you "harmless from any loss, liability, etc." is supposed to mean. The Lessee will reimburse any losses you suffer? He agrees not to pursue you for any losses he suffers? You don't want to end up in court arguing over what you meant, if it becomes an issue later. Get a lawyer to draw it up properly. –  FumbleFingers Jan 11 '13 at 21:35
    
This question should be reopened. Matthew wanted to know how to show the possessive form of a singular(plural) noun. This is very on-topic for this forum. –  Albert Renshaw Jan 13 '13 at 13:24
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3 Answers

Why not just say something at the start of the contract like "The Lessee(s), herein referred to as the 'Party'".

And then later on say "The Party's personal property".

That's what we do with the contracts we use in my company.

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The thing is that I've cited the lease applicant as Lessee(s) and our client as Lessor thoughout the lease. So substituting the term the Party for the Lessee(s) is not an option. –  matthew carriaga Jan 11 '13 at 20:35
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Lawyers like the "party of the first part" and the "party of the second part" for a reason. –  Fortiter Jan 12 '13 at 10:11
    
Did you make it in Microsoft Word? Just find and replace (cmd+f or ctrl+f) to replace every word "Lessee(s)" with "Party". –  Albert Renshaw Jan 13 '13 at 13:22
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One solution would be to rephrase a little to avoid using the possessive apostrophe:

the Lessee(s)s' personal property.
the personal property of the Lessee(s).

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In a contract, prior to the first use of the word Lessee use "hereinafter referred to as Lessee", then put in parenthesis "(whether one or more)". And then just type the word Lessee throughout the rest of the document.

... and ABC Company and XYZ Company, Ltd, hereinafter referred to as Lessee (whether one or more) ...

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