If you have a property that you are considering renting out, you probably want to draft a solid lease agreement that will protect you and meet the needs of both you and your tenant. Anyone can find basic lease agreements on the internet, but that does not necessarily mean that those options are the best choice for your individual situation.
Here is business law attorney Megan Daic’s advice for 5 terms you need to include in a lease agreement.
- Name Every Tenant – Your lease agreement should always include the names of all adult tenants who plan to live at the residence. These individuals should be identified, and should sign the agreement. This is important because if one tenant violates the lease or skips out on you, you can legally seek rental amounts from any of the other tenants, or evict all of them if needed. You can also identify limits on occupancy.
- Set Duration of Tenancy – You lease agreement should specify whether it is a standard rental agreement (month to month), or a fixed-term lease (fixed number of months or years). How you set this term up will depend on how much flexibility you want in the agreement, as well as how long the tenant is looking to stay in the home.
- Rent Terms – Whether flexible or fixed-term, your lease agreement should identify the amount to be paid, when it is due, and how it should be paid. Identify the following clearly to avoid issues with payments:
- Amount due
- Due date
- Accepted methods of payment (check, cash, etc.)
- Late fees, and when they apply
- Charges for returned checks
- Deposit Terms – Security deposits are one of the most disputed areas of lease agreements. To avoid dispute, set clear terms about the amount of deposit required (check laws in your state for maximum deposit limits), how the deposit will be used, when it can be refunded, and any applicable fees that may come out of it.
- Pets – You should be very clear about whether you will allow pets in the home, and if so, what the terms are. Consider the following terms:
- Amount of pet deposit, and specify if it is refundable
- Limits to the type and number of pets allowed (cats only, indoor/outdoor, etc.)
- Set terms on maintenance that may apply, such as keeping the yard clear, keeping pets off neighboring property, and tenant responsibility for repairing damage.
Need Help Drafting a Lease Agreement?
As you can see from just these 5 terms, lease agreements are as unique as your situation. If you need help drafting a lease agreement, or need legal advice about a disputed agreement or term, contact Daic Law today. Schedule a no-obligation consultation by calling (713) 808-5246 or by sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.