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A lease document always spells out some key terms about your rental arrangement. The address of the property, names of the parties, and dates of occupancy are obvious information to include. But there is so much more that your lease can do for you. The agreement may seem unneeded when times are great, but it is there to cover you when issues arise. That is when you need your document to reflect every detail that you and your tenant agreed to. These are the times when a verbal agreement just will not do. A comprehensive lease gives you a detailed roadmap along the journey of being a landlord.

State Specific Regulations

Every state has different rules regulating the landlord tenant relationship, so it is important to use a lease that addresses state laws. You can find ezLandlordForms’ state specific leases here. It is important that you use a trusted state specific lease in order to make sure you are covered for the unique regulations of your municipality, as these can vary widely. This way, you can feel confident if you must ever go to court over a dispute.

Tailor Your Lease to Your Property

The next key is knowing the ins and outs of your property. Think of every eventuality that could take place within your unit, and how you want it to be handled. This is your chance to spell out rules, regulations, consequences, and the actions that you will take if needed. Any issue or feature that does not appear in your original lease may come to light when it becomes a problem. As the landlord, it is easier to establish the terms at the outset of the lease period, rather than having to negotiate them with a renter who is settled into your property. Here are just a few of the issues that you should be thinking about.

Pets

Thinking about pets entails more than whether you will allow them or not. Specifically what kind of pets will be allowed? Will you allow an aquarium that could flood your unit if it fails? You may be okay with a 20 pound dachshund, but what about a 120 pound Great Dane? If pets are not allowed, what are the penalties if you find pets in the unit? Are you going to charge pet fees or non-refundable deposits?

Home Business

Home businesses take many forms. Consider whether your tenant may operate a hair salon, host demonstrations as a sales consultant, or repair automobiles in and on your property.

Landscaping

If the tenant will be taking care of the lawn and property in any measure, spell out your expectations. Will the tenant handle mowing the lawn only, or will they also care for beds, perform weed whacking, and the like? What happens when winter weather strikes?

“As-Is” Appliances

Will all included appliances be replaced if they stop working? Typically included appliances are expected to be maintained in the same condition. Think about specialized appliances, such as a trash compactor, and spell out whether that will be replaced. In many states, if you do not specifically spell out appliances that will not be replaced, the landlord will be responsible.

Move Out Cleaning

What is the expectation when tenants move out of the house? Do you require professional cleaning? Along with the walls and carpets, don’t forget to think about other types of cleaning you might want, such as cleaning ducts.

Final Thoughts

Everyone house is different! These are just some examples of the things you should think about when you are writing your lease. If you have more than one property, remember to tailor each lease for each individual property. And always keep local laws in mind.

Your goal is to create a lease that stands up to every day of the tenancy, not just the days when everything is running smoothly. Be specific and meticulous to be sure that the things that are important to you are covered.

 

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