02 Oct Your Lease Agreement Should Include These 10 Things
A lease agreement is a legal document that the renter and owner both must sign that outlines what is expected during the term(s) of the lease. In order to protect your Emerald Coast property, your lease agreement should include critical provisions in the rental agreement to protect yourself and/or investors from any disagreements or lawsuits down the road.
1. A List of Names of Everyone Living on the Emerald Coast Property
Property owners should list all names of every person who will be occupying the property. This does not just apply to adults but also children under the ages of 18, even if they are not the ones responsible for paying the monthly rent. This is to protect your investment and help with any legal matters that might arise later.
2. The Monthly Due Date and Rental Rate
Be absolutely clear on how much the monthly rental rate is and the exact dates that each is due. For instance, many properties clearly state that the rent is due on the 1st of each month. It should also be stated how the rent should be paid – cash, check, online, and if there are any fees for insufficient funds or late payments.
3. Any and All Fees
This section of the lease agreement should include any additional fees in addition to the monthly rental amount. Perhaps your rental has an HOA fee, this should be included in the price or stated in the agreement that the tenant is responsible for this fee. This section should also disclose the security deposit amount, the amount of late fees for past due rent or other fees for breaking a lease. If you allow pets but require a one time fee or monthly fee, include this information in this section as well.
4. Length (Term) of the Lease
It should be clearly stated with start and end dates of what the length of the lease term is. This section should also include what will happen after the lease has ended. If the lease was yearly but after 2 years turns into month to month, this should be clearly stated in the document.
5. Right-To-Entry Directions
All efforts should be made to schedule entries during regular business hours unless the entry is an emergency. Landlords/owners should give at least 24 hours notice before entering into the property.
6. Repair and Maintenance Inquiries
This section of the lease agreement should include any scheduled maintenance that will apply to the property as well as including specific directions on how the tenant may go about reporting or asking for any issues or problems that need to be addressed or repaired.
7. Occupancy Limits for the Rental Property
Local zoning ordinances may sometimes limit the amount of people who can live in your rental property. If you aren’t sure about the local ordinances regarding occupancy limitations, check with a property management group. As a property owner, you may limit the amount of people living in your property because of concerns over noise levels, safety hazards, parking issues, etc.
8. Any Additional Terms and Rules
If there are any local or state regulations that include any restrictions for the property, be sure to include these in the agreement. These may include:
- Parking spaces (if available)
- Common area usage
- Anti-discrimination laws
- If a tenant can sublet
- Disclosures required by law
- Rules about whether a business can be run from the property
If this information isn’t clearly stated or missing from the terms, tenants can act in ways that could get your or your investors in trouble with the law.
9. Ramifications for Lease Violations
In addition to clearly stating the rules, as a property owner, you must also include ramifications for violating any terms in the lease agreement. This will ensure that both the landlord and the tenant are in understanding of what will happen if either party neglects the contract. Having this material in writing will help to prevent any misunderstandings or conflicts in the future.
10. Additional Policies
The list above states some of the basic clauses that many property owners have included in their rental agreements. In addition to these, some might include additional policies regarding where you may or may not smoke in or outside of the rental premises, placing quiet hours into effect, allowing pets (with stipulations). All of these additional policies should be understood before signing a lease agreement to stop any issues from coming up down the road regarding these policies.
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