As you review your rental lease agreement with your tenant, it’s important to highlight a few key areas of that lease. Today, we’re talking about why it’s important to put rules and regulations in writing. It’s especially important to have everything documented if your property is in an HOA with a governing community. That will require you to share the CC&Rs with your tenants as well.
Important Things to Include in Your Rental Lease Agreement: Rent and Utilities
Make sure the lease includes the rental due date. For most of us, the rent is due on the first of the month. However, we also have a grace period of three days. So, if rent is due on the first but must be paid by fourth, it’s important for the tenant to know that.
You must put in writing which utilities the tenant is responsible for paying. That might be gas, electricity, and water. Highlight in the lease agreement what your tenant will have to pay each month.
Important Things to Include in Your Rental Lease Agreement: Tenant and Landlord Relations
You need to address whether a tenant is allowed to make alterations to the property. Can your tenant hang photos and pictures? If so, how should they remove them when they’re vacating? You also need to include the terms of landlord entry. Landlords are probably not allowed to enter the property at midnight or without proper notice. So, let the tenant know how much time will be provided before you can enter the home.
Make sure you have a guest policy in place. Describe whether the tenant is allowed to have guests, and if so, for how long. Your tenant needs to acknowledge this policy.
Your lease also needs to have a provision for pets. You should state whether pets are allowed in your home, and if so – whether cats or dogs or both are allowed. Specify the dog breeds you will permit, and remember the rules are different for service and comfort animals.
In addition to everything in your lease, you need to provide your tenant with CC&Rs, if applicable. If you don’t provide a physical copy, make sure you refer them to an electronic version.
Document all of these things, and have your tenants sign off that they understand. They can initial these provisions of the lease so you know your tenant is aware of what’s allowed and what isn’t. You want a happy tenant who enjoys the property.