Building a good relationship with your tenants is always a good idea. But when it comes to issues that concern the lease, the property, and rent, it's best to have things written.
Keeping everything on record ensures everyone is clear as far as responsibilities and accountabilities. And that including all the necessary info on the lease agreement. To give a better idea on which info you should prioritize, check out our list here:
Include the Full Names of Tenants
Make sure you list down all the adults, 18 years old and above, and name them as your tenants and have them sign on the lease agreement. Having them named as your renters will provide you with legal protection as each tenant will be responsible for their paying the rent.
If one of the renters cannot pay the rent on time, you can seek the payment from any of the other tenants. You may also add an "occupancy limit clause," and limit occupancy only to the tenants and their minor children. If they invite another roommate or sublets the unit without permission, you can terminate the lease and have the tenants evicted.
Include Contact Information
You will also need your tenants' contact information. Sure, instant messaging and social media platforms may work when you need to make short discussions.
However, you need to have a way to document (and print) all communications to protect both parties in case legal issues arise.
Include Terms of the Tenancy
This vital information should not be missing from the agreement because it indicates how long your tenants can stay on the property. This will also clarify if you have a short-term rental agreement or a longer-term lease agreement.
For a more precise agreement, you can write exactly when the rent starts and when it ends. If it's a lease agreement, you can include the tenancy expiration date.
Include the Rent Amount
A lease is a legal agreement. This means that it can be used to support your claims if you ever need to go to court. That's why you need the critical details in your lease agreement, like the rent amount.
Remember not just to write down actual numbers but spell them out. These can easily be altered by adding extra lines on the numbers or by adding actual numbers. This information may include charges for bounced checks, late rent fees, grace periods, and acceptable payment methods.
Include the Fees and Deposits
A common argument between tenants and landlords is the fees and deposits. To avoid confusion, details about the deposits and fees should be specific and clear:
- The dollar amount of security deposit that you will require and making sure that you are complying with the state-mandated deposit limit.
- How the deposit will be used. This means listing down the scenarios where the security deposit will be used (e.g., unpaid rent, cover for the damage to property caused by the tenants). Be specific about the scenarios that you will not use the deposit (e.g., it will not be accepted as payment for missed payment).
- The timing and manner the security deposit will be returned, keeping in mind your state's laws on security deposits.