What Makes A “Rock Solid” Lease?

Top Excuses For Not Paying Rent And The Solution To The Problem

Are you just getting started with owning rental properties or you’ve owned them for some time and you have a rental that’s going to be vacant soon?

One of the keys to success with rental properties is having a “rock solid” lease because your lease will protect you legally but few owners know how to create a lease that can be considered to be rock solid by the legal profession that’s why in today’s blog post we will break down the elements of an excellent lease.

What Makes A Rock Solid Lease?

  • You Must lay out the terms of tenancy: This should include if the tenancy is a fixed-term, month-to-month lease, self-renewing or has a specific end date.
  • Your lease should set rules for rent payments: Your rules should include the amount, due date, and format (e.g. mailed check or online payment). Most important of all, you should also spell out regulations for late fees and bounced checks.
  • Be specific about the terms for deposits & fees: How much is your security deposit? What are the terms of its use (e.g. the landlord can use it for damage repair; the tenant can’t apply it toward their rent)? Do you charge any non-returnable fees (e.g. for pets or cleaning)?
  • Each adult tenant must write down their name: This is essential so that they can be held accountable for paying rent or violating the lease’s terms.
  • Occupancy must be limited: Only tenants whose named are on the list may be allowed to live in the rental property and you should also define your subletting clause.
  • Talk about maintenance: You should specify that it’s the tenant’s job to keep the unit in good shape, so they’re responsible for any damage. Lay out maintenance request procedures.
  • Define access rights: Make the tenant aware that you have a legal right to enter the unit under certain conditions (e.g. for repairs, inspections, or emergencies), and that you’ll give advance notice.
  • Discuss rules for pet owners: These should include regarding spaying/neutering, vaccinations, waste disposal, and pet deposits. Reserve the right to approve each pet.
  • Be clear about your policies for disruptive and illegal behaviors (e.g. excessive noise, drug dealing) to keep other residents happy, prevent property damage, and protect yourself from lawsuits.

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