Today, we are talking about the elements of a good lease and the importance of including everything you are legally required to include. It is very important to have the correct things on the lease, including the landlord’s name and the tenant’s name, as well as the names of all the other occupants, including children. You need to list the personal property that was left behind, including the refrigerator and washer and dryer if those appliances are provided for the tenant.
Make sure you have a beginning date and an end date to your rental agreement. Obviously, if it’s a month to month agreement you will not have an end date, but you always want to include a date that the lease is effective. Include the amount of rent and when it’s due, as well as how much the security deposit is. Your lease must also include information on who keeps that security deposit money. Other provisions in the lease include whether you will allow pets, if smoking is allowed on the property and what the tenants can and cannot do while living in your house. For example, you will want to stipulate if they can install that 54 inch television onto the wall or install a satellite dish on the roof. These are important points to include in a well written lease.
Always provide information on what will happen if there is a dispute between the owner and tenant. Most parties prefer mediation, and that process will have to be included in the agreement. Cover all these points clearly. Problems can arise because memories are short. We want everything written out and clearly defined so there is no question about what the expectations are from the tenant or the landlord. At Select 1 Realty, we are members of the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM), and that organization helps us stay updated and educated on all the current laws pertaining to property management and rental agreements. All of our contracts and agreements are approved by the California Association of Realtors.
When you are writing up a rental agreement, it’s a good idea to work with an attorney who specializes in tenant law. At the very least, you should always get help from a professional property management company when it comes to drafting a rental agreement and having the tenant sign it. If you go about the lease the wrong way, you could find yourself in court. Your rental agreement should be the beginning of a happy and healthy landlord and tenant relationship.
If you have any questions about what to include or how to find a good rental agreement, please contact us at Select 1 Realty.