Here’s what every lease should include
If you want to protect yourself, the property, as well as your tenant, every landlord must have these 5 basic clauses before moving someone in.
Every property is different, however, should include certain basics that outline important details of the lease document. Before you accept residency, you should no doubt have a written, signed, lease agreement that governs the terms and conditions of the tenancy and landlord relationship.
Good news is that a lease agreement doesn’t have to be a fancy legal-word filled document. As long as you include these 5 details a scrap of paper can turn into a legally binding agreement.
Parties in the Lease Agreement
Every agreement should clearly state who the lease is between. Every agreement should state the landlord or agent such as a property management company and the tenant(s) full legal name. In most states, anyone 18+ should be on the lease.
If the home has a specific name such as “Rave Estates” or “Peak Mountain Villas” you’ll want to include that in the lease. Otherwise, the full mailing address is necessary:
Street name (unit or apartment number if applicable)
City, State, County, Postal Code
The Term of the Lease
Every agreement should have a term such as a date it starts and ends. You’ll want to include the exact month, day and year the lease begins, and the exact month, day and year the lease ends. It’s not conducive to short step this by writing “this agreement is valid for one year”, or “this agreement is good for 24 months” as it can be confusing so be sure to state this clearly. By entering the exact dates from beginning to end it becomes unquestionable.
Monthly Rent, Due Date, Late Fees & Deposits
A landlord must include the full amount of rent due each month over the entire lease. The dollar amount to pay, what day the rent is due by, where to submit payment, forms of payment, and any late fees associated. Most leases require rent to be due by the 1st, late on the 5th and charge a one-time initial fee of $60, then $10 per day for example.
As an added security precaution for possible late rent, unpaid fees, or damages to the property, you’ll want to collect a security deposit before allowing occupancy. It’s normal practice to charge a security deposit as the same amount of the rent and collect it by certified funds such as a money order or cashiers check. Be sure to log a receipt for every payment you receive for your records and provide a copy for the tenant.
Make the Document Legal
A lease agreement between landlord and tenant is worthless if it’s not signed and dated by all parties. By having signatures and dates proves acknowledgment that the parties agree to adhere to the terms and conditions of the rental agreement. You’ll also want to have all names in print for legibility followed by signatures and date signed.
After the terms, conditions, have been defined by all parties and the lease agreement signed, you must keep a copy of the signed lease agreement for your records as well as providing one for the tenant as well.
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Note– State laws vary for landlord and tenant relationships. The information on this website is for guidance and tips only and do represent legal advice in any capacity. If you have specific questions please consult with your legal counsel.