Lease agreements don’t need to be in writing to be legally binding, but enforcing oral agreements is considerably harder. Invest time in preparing a rental arrangement that protects your rights as a landlord and also recognizes those of your tenants. There are two types of landlord and tenant agreements: rental leases and agreements. Rental agreements work on a monthly basis and may be canceled with little if any notice. Leases, however, bind landlords and tenants during the entire lease period. That is, a landlord cannot evict a tenant who’s current with payments before the lease expires, and tenants have to pay the lease for the entire lease, whether they use the property or not.
List on the rental who the landlord is and who the tenant or tenants are.
Detail how long the lease will probably continue –for instance, three months, six months or a year. Also spell out how much monthly payments will be, and the amount of deposit the tenants must pay before they proceed in. Specify what charge, if any, will apply if a check bounces.
State what utilities that the landlord needs to pay and the renter must cover. Specify if pets are permitted and what affects the renter can make to the property, such as installing a satellite dish.
Include a clause that says the renter cannot sublet the apartment without your approval.
Describe the state of the property prior to the rental begins. Describe that the tenants realize this, agree to maintain the property in the exact same state and pay for any damages caused by misuse or negligence.
State that the landlord is permitted to inspect the property after providing 24-hour notice, which tenants cannot change the locks without the landlord’s permission.
Supply a list of maintenance and repair principles. Including not blocking sidewalks, drives and other entryways, and maintaining pipes, air conditioning and electrical systems in good working order. Detail the responsibilities of the renter. As an example, the tenant must inform the landlord when there is a leak, a faulty smoke alarm or when the keys to the property are lost.
Specify what penalties will apply if the tenant violates the lease arrangement. For instance, explain the result if a renter brings a furry friend to the property, or what overdue charge will apply if the lease is not paid when due.
Sign the rental arrangement, and be sure all tenants sign it also.