The rental agreement is a legal contract that defines all the agreed terms in the landlord-tenant relationship, their rights, and obligations to each other and what measures should be applied in specific possible scenarios. A rental agreement protects both the landlord and the tenant, as long as it is done correctly and thought through by both parties, with the honest intention of mutual respect and advantage.
When taking new tenants in your space, be sure to cover all the important issues and have them sign a valid rental agreement. It might not cover every possible incident that could happen while they live there, but it will protect you in case what they promised is not delivered, or if other incidents happen.
If you want to cover the most critical situations in your next rental agreement, but you don’t know what to demand, here is a list of terms that you can include in it.
1. Who Will Live There?
It is best to include all the adults that will live in your space, not just one of them. Mention their names, identification details and ask them to sign as well. That way, if one of them fails to meet their end of the deal, you can try to solve the issue with the other tenants.
2. Rental Agreement or Lease?
One of the basic information in a contract is the type of arrangement you want to make with your guests: will they stay there for an indefinite period or do you prefer signing the contract for a minimum one-year lease, for example? It’s up to you to decide, but make sure it is clearly stated in the agreement.
3. Security Deposit Details
If you want to avoid future misunderstandings, then you should clearly state the deposit details in the contract. Write down the exact amount, the time and conditions of return. Clearly mention that certain expenses will be covered by the deposit (property damage) and that it will only be returned if all the stipulated conditions are met.
4. Payments of the Rent
All the details of the financial aspect should be here: the exact monthly amount of the rent, due date, accepted methods of payment, what happens if they are late with the payment and any other applicable fees.
As the landlord, you are required to offer a space that is fit for living, renovations, and investments when are needed.
On the other hand, you cannot be held liable for any damages to the property that tenants actively caused. Protect yourself from this situation by including maintenance and repairs terms and conditions.
Another important precaution to take to avoid future conflict is to define the restrictions that you feel are necessary. That may include terms about pets, noise, inviting friends over, relatives staying over, and so on. Try to think about possible sources of conflict and set rules about them.
Ultimately, the rental agreement is a convention between you and the tenant. Make sure you communicate well with them and that they understand the terms and agree to follow them.
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