Rental Housing Agreement
One of the best ways for landlord and tenant alike to protect their interests is to have a well-written lease agreement. A good lease agreement spells out the terms of the lease contract clearly enough so that there are no surprises for either side.
Make It Clear
Take your time to concisely spell out the terms of the lease agreement. A poorly written agreement can be misinterpreted, lead to disagreements and may not hold up in court. Make all points easy to understand and add an extra explanation for anything that might be misconstrued. Leave a space for the landlord and tenant to initial each section.
Familiarize Yourself With State and Local Law
Each state has different laws regarding the management of property as well as the rights of landlords and tenants. Familiarize yourself with the laws of
Condition of the Home
The lease should provide a description of the condition of the rental property. If it is in good condition and without damage or problems, write it in the lease. Ask the tenant to inspect the property before he signs off on the condition.
Right of Entry
Each state requires a specific amount of notice be given a tenant before a landlord can legally enter a rented property.
Rent and Deposit
Clearly state the amount of rent and any deposits that need to be made on the property. State when the rent is due and if there is a period, after which the rent will be considered late. Spell out how much late fees will be. Specify the purpose for which the deposit or deposits will be held. Say, for instance, you require a pet deposit, explain under what circumstances the deposit will not be refunded. Landlords commonly call pet deposits non-refundable when in fact
A landlord is normally responsible for providing repairs to fixtures, heating and cooling equipment and appliances. The lease, however, can designate that certain maintenance responsibilities belong to the tenant. Spell those out clearly so that each party understands exactly what they are responsible for.
Specify if you allow pets and any restrictions you may have, such as certain types and sizes of animals. If you wish to enforce a code of conduct it must be included in the lease agreement. For example, if you want loud music to stop after a certain time, want a limit on how many complaints you receive from the neighbors, or want the tenant running a business from his home, make it clear in the lease. Also make clear what will happen if the lease is breached by the tenant. State what the landlord will do in each situation.
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