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DRAFTING A RENTAL AGREEMENT AS A LANDLORD

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As a landlord, one must take all necessary precautions when drafting a rental agreement. It is important to cover all aspects of the rental process and be prepared for any complications that may occur. A thorough rental agreement allows the landlord to have complete confidence when leasing out property. Below are some important issues to address when drafting a rental agreement: 

Name All Parties in the Agreement

All adults occupying the property should be named in the rental agreement. It is crucial for all occupants to be bound by the same obligations as the tenant, outlined in the terms of agreement. This way, if any one of the occupants of the premise violates the terms of the agreement, the landlord will be able to terminate the rental agreement and evict the tenant. If only one person is listed on the agreement and another occupant violates the terms of the agreement, the landlord will not have the authority to evict the tenant.

Term of the Tenancy

Setting the term of the tenancy allows the landlord and tenant to settle on a lease agreement. This will clarify whether the rental agreement is a fixed term or if it will run from month to month. Most lease agreements are fixed to one year, with the option of renewal on the expiration of the term.

Rent Payments

Outlining the rent payment ensures that the tenant will pay on time and in the full amount discussed. The rental agreement should specify the exact amount that is due, when the payments should be made, and the form in which they should be paid.

Subleasing

Tenants should not be able to sublease the property without approval. The contract must state that only tenants who have signed the lease agreement, along with their minor children, are able to reside on the rental premises. Occupants that are not listed in the agreement should not be allowed to reside on the property, as they can be a liability to the landlord.
Damages to the Premises

The rental agreement must specify who is responsible for what damages to the property. Delegating which types of damages the tenant is responsible for will decrease the likelihood of disputes. It is also be important to discuss what types of alterations the tenant is allowed to make during their stay and whether or not they must seek the approval of the landlord approval.

Repairs and Maintenance

Both the landlord and tenant have certain responsibilities to keep the property in good condition. Those responsibilities should be clearly specified and delegated in the terms of agreement. It should be clear that the tenant is responsible for any damage they cause and for maintaining a clean premise. They should also be responsible for notifying the landlord when there are damages that require the attention of the landlord.

Right of Entry

If there are repairs that need the attention of the landlord, he or she should have the right to enter the premise. State law often regulates landlord entry, so it is important to make sure the terms of the agreement complies with legal requirements. The rental agreement should state the conditions in which the landlord is allowed to enter the rental property.

It is very important to establish a good landlord/tenant relationship from the very beginning. A thorough rental agreement provides security and protection for both the landlord and the tenant.

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