As the central and legally binding document between a landlord and a tenant, the rental agreement is a vital part of the rental process. It states the rights and responsibilities of both the tenant and the landlord.
Many lease samples can be found online. However, it's critical to learn how to create one from scratch and customize it. The lease should fit your rental property's unique needs.
In this post, we will outline all the important things that must be included in a rental agreement.
Purpose of a Lease
While verbal agreements can be quicker than signing rental agreements, they don't hold much power in court. If you have problem tenants, they may take advantage of verbal agreements as this type of agremeent is hard to prove in court.
A signed document is the safest and most legal agreement you can have. Having a solid lease can protect you if there's a downturn of events in the future.
Tips Before Creating a Rental Agreement
Here are some simple things to consider before you start producing your rental agreement:
- View sample rental agreements.
- Avoid using technical and legal jargon. The simpler and more specific the words, the better.
- Use headers and subsections so the reader can easily find specific information.
- Check local and state laws to ensure you're compliant with specific rental agreement formats.
- Have a general lease that you can use as the basis for your agreement with the tenant. You can change this to fit each specific rental property and tenant you have.
Once your rental agreement is made, hire an attorney to review it thoroughly to ensure it complies with local laws.
Parts of the Rental Agreement
Each solid lease has these corresponding sections. Consider the following suggestions:
1. Title and Format your Document
On the first page, place "Lease Agreement" in the center of the document in large and bold letters. Include headers to organize specific sections of the agreement. By doing so, your tenants will be able to quickly find information they're looking for.
You can follow these headers in your rental agreement:
- Leased Property
- Security Deposit
- Rights and Responsibilities of the Tenant
- Rights and Responsibilities of the Landlord
- Required Disclosures
- Lease Termination
This format will provide you with direction and make things clearer and easily understandable.
2. List Your Rental Agreement Provisions
Cover the important points and include the provisions you want. You can label and categorize them under specific headers.
3. Detail Each Clause in the Document
After finalizing each provision, details are needed for each clause. This is important so tenants are properly guided. Detailing rules help clarify tenant expectations.
Here are some clauses you can place in the rental agreement:
This will provide the specific information on the property for full identification. It includes the following:
- Name and address of the property
- Description of the property
- Common areas of the property
- Type of zoning
- Complete name of the tenant
- Contact information of the tenant
- Complete name of the landlord
- Contact information of the landlord
This clause will provide the length of the rental period and contain specific dates on the effective start and end date of the rental contract.
This part will mention the rental price and the rent due date. Some leases will contain a grace period of one week. This is an acceptable allowance for a tenant to pay. You should also mention the accepted methods of rent payment.
Generally, all rent information details are found under this heading.
This clause will offer information on who is responsible for paying the specific utility bills in the rental property. It can be split between tenants sharing a common area or between a renter and a landlord, depending on the agreed arrangement.
4. Importance of Signature
To guarantee the legality of the rental agreement, all parties must sign. The landlord and all the tenants' signatures and date of signing must be found in this rental document.
Apart from the aforementioned provisions, you can always include addendums in your rental agreement.
Some addendums you can consider are the following:
This informs the tenants if you allow pets in your rental unit. If you do, details on pet restrictions, pet fees and penalties for pet-related property damages will be found here.
This informs the tenants of the penalties and fees they'll be facing when they move out of the property without notice. Legal repercussions can also be discussed here.
Termination on Sale of Premises
This informs the tenants what to expect when the landlord decides to sell the rental property while the rental period is ongoing.
Having a guide makes it far easier to craft a rental agreement. Remember, it's vital to divide sections into categories, make specific headers and then detail the corresponding clauses.
Check the local laws to ensure your lease is compliant.
We hope this article was helpful for you. For more information, contact Limestone County Properties today!