The key to success as a landlord is having a “rock-solid” lease agreement because it’s the one thing that will provide your tenants with all of the rules for things that they can do, and can’t do, when they are living in your rental property.
If you’re new to owning investment properties, or have already had a portfolio of rentals, this article will provide you with a list of things that you should have in your lease agreement.
Disclaimer – The most important thing to do when creating or editing a lease agreement is to consult with an attorney because you want to make sure that your lease is in compliance with all State, Federal and local laws.
The Essential Items for Your Lease Agreement
#1 – Name of Every Resident – This is the first thing that your lease agreement should have because you want to know the identity of each person (over age 18) who is living in the property.
Each resident must be responsible for paying the rent and they should abide by the terms of the lease agreement.
#2 – Communication Preference – Another thing that you should have in your lease is your preference for how you expect your tenants to communicate with you. If your preference is email or text message, make sure that you have the ability to backup all communication with a tenant should you need to have records of that communication later on.
When it comes to repairs that the rental property may need, you should ideally tell your renters to communicate those repair requests in writing because written communication will create a paper trail and prove to be helpful should you have to face them in court.
#3 – Description of The Rental – This is another important part of the lease because you want to specify what your tenant gets with the property, and which items stay with the property after they move out.
Tip – If your rental property includes an assigned parking space or storage area, you must specify the parking space number or lot number for the storage.
It’s also important to be clear about any areas of the rental property that are “off-limits” like a locked shed just so your tenant knows what they should not attempt to access when renting from you.
#4 – Term of Tenancy – If your lease is month-to-month then you should specify in your lease that it’s going to renew automatically until either you or the tenant chooses to terminate their lease. For annual leases, you must be specific about the start date, tenancy length and expiration date so there’s never any question about the length of your lease.
#5 – Rent – Obviously this is one of the most important parts of the lease. You should be very specific about when rent is due, how it’s to be paid, when it’s late and how late fees are assessed if your tenant is late paying their rent.
Besides the points in this article that we’ve offered you, your lease should also include the following information:
- Deposit and fees
- Landlord access
- Your rules for the property and or policies
- Any additional restrictions that you may have
Contact GoldenWest Management
We’ve covered a lot of information in this article that you should consider adding to your lease. To speak with a property manager about the services we can offer you contact us today by calling (866) 545-5303 or click here to connect with us online.