What Should be Included in a Residential Lease: The Details
When leasing a residential property it is important to ensure that both you and the tenant know exactly what is expected from you and what to expect from the other party.
Previously, we discussed some of the basic items that should be included in every residential lease. However, a thorough landlord will include much more than just dates and fees in their leases.
Here are a few items you may want to consider when leasing your property:
When leasing a property, one of your main concerns as a landlord is collecting rent. But you might want to put some thought into what payment methods you want to allow, while also considering any state regulations that may define what method of payment you must accept.
Many landlords for example, choose not to accept cash as it allows for the possibility of future discrepancies. Say, for instance, your tenant states that they paid $200.00 extra last month to be applied to this month’s rent. Your paper trail will be limited to a receipt or transaction ledger at best. Whereas a check, money order or cashier’s check, and online payment is documented in multiple places by third parties.
Once you determine what method of payment works best for you, placing it in your lease protects you if the tenant tries to pay in a way that you find unacceptable.
Lease Termination Option/Provisions:
While this may seem unnecessary to some, it is important to define what will happen if your tenant requests to terminate their lease earlier than the expiration date.
Keep in mind that most states have regulations that allow the tenants to terminate early for specific reasons without penalty.
Before determining how to address pets in your lease you need to decide if you will allow pets or if you prefer the property to be marketed as “no pets allowed”.
If you decided not to allow pets you may want to consider placing some verbiage in your lease that states what the penalties will be if a pet is brought onto the property.
If you choose to allow pets, items such as pet deposit, pet rent, and pet details should be included in the lease.
Not every animal is a pet. Fair Housing covers the use of certified companion and service animals and it’s important that you understand the difference. A no-pet policy does not apply to service animals, as they are considered to be tenants and not pets.
Additional Issues to Consider
There are many items outside of these that should be considered when constructing your residential lease. Some examples include maintenance duties (tenant vs. landlord), who is responsible for the utilities and landscaping, parking rules, property access by landlord, etc.
If this sounds overwhelming, let Frontline Property Management, Inc. help! We have access to forms written by a professional real estate lawyer and broker committee to ensure the best protection for all of our clients.
Find out more about how we can help you manage and grow your property portfolio!