If you've decided to lease out your investment property, then an ideal way to protect your interests is to prepare a clear and airtight written lease agreement between you and your tenant. A well-prepared rental lease agreement protects you from problematic tenants. Whether you're preparing your lease individually or through a property management company, these guidelines will help you in your quest to prepare an airtight rental lease. Most professional property management companies typically offer some of these clauses. If not, be sure to add them.
Offer Written Confirmation Of The Present Condition And Contents In The Unit
The rental lease agreement should contain written confirmation of the present condition and contents in the unit to prevent any damage and items being stolen from inside. For instance, if the unit is in good condition with no problems or damage, then a clear clause must state that the unit must be given back in the same condition. If a fully furnished unit contains electrical appliances, sofas, beds and televisions, then the contract should recite all these items to prevent anything from being taken away from the home once the tenant leaves. If you're working with a property management company, ask them to create a checklist of all items in the house, along with the condition of the unit. Include all this information in the tenant lease agreement.
Be Specific About Your Pet Policy
Some landlords don't mind pets in their homes, while others have a strict no-pet policy. Whether or not you're happy to allow pets into your investment property, make sure you write it unambiguously in the lease agreement to prevent any confusion or disagreements later. If you do allow pets, be sure to list down the types and sizes of pets allowed in the unit. For instance, some landlords only permit dogs and cats up to a certain height based on the size of the unit. Being specific about your pet policy in the beginning will prevent any ambiguity later.
Be Clear About The Repairs You Will And Won't Cover
Your responsibility as a landlord is to offer repairs for HVAC equipment, fixtures and appliances if they are damaged because of natural wear. Certain responsibilities may also lie with the tenant, such a regular maintenance and pest control. If tenants are responsible for any damage in the home to any appliances or fixtures, then a clear clause must be written to hold them responsible for repairs because of negligence. Make sure you clearly list down the repairs you will and won't cover to avoid any miscommunication later.
Follow these essential guidelines when preparing a tenant lease agreement on your own or with a property management company.