What Is A Rental Agreement?
A rental agreement refers to a type of rental contract, between a renter and the owner of the property. The agreement states the parties involved, the terms, time frames, rental costs, and other rental property specifics. It can be overwhelming to try and brainstorm all the things to include in your rental agreement.
Every U.S state has a set of rental regulations, designed to protect the rights and interests of both the landlord and the tenant. The tenant gains protection in terms of maintenance issues and rental increases. The landlord can use the agreement to protect the physical condition of the property and outline rules. There are several things that you must include in your rental agreement.
1. Tenancy Length
Include the tenancy length and state the terms, for example, whether the agreement is a fixed 6-month rental, or rented on a month-by-month basis. In this section, you should also specify the required notice period for moving out. Outline the required process for ending the rental agreement for both parties.
2. Security Deposit and Rental Costs
State the rental costs each month, including instructions on how the tenant(s) should make their rental payments. Provide details of late fees, if applicable, and also include how much is required as a security deposit.
Before setting a security deposit amount, you’ll need to check the security deposit limits by state. Each U.S state has a maximum amount you can charge, in compliance with U.S law. Generally speaking, security deposits do not exceed one-two month’s rent.
3 . Number of Occupants
A rental agreement should include the name of each occupant, and how many occupants will reside in the property. The property owner should declare that the tenants are the only people who are allowed to live at the property. State that the tenants are not permitted to sublease the rental. Ensure they understand that you can terminate the lease if these terms are broken.
4. Included and Non-Included Utilities
Draft a section stating what is and isn’t included as part of the rental agreement. For example, some property owners include water, gas, or electricity. If no utilities are provided, state in the contract that all utilities are the responsibility of the tenant(s).
You should also declare whether the property will be furnished or unfurnished. For furnished properties, write inventories for each room, by listing the included items. State that if the tenant causes any damage to the included items, that the repair costs will be deducted from their security deposit.
As part of this section, you should also list the keys that have been provided to the tenant(s). Tell them what they should do if they lose their keys and if they are liable to pay for a replacement set.
5. Landlord Access
Tell the tenant that you retain the right to access the property for inspections, maintenance, and repairs. Outline how much notice you will give when you need to access the property. According to SafeWise, ‘In all states, a landlord can enter the property in an emergency without notice or permission.’ It’s important to check your specific state laws regarding landlords’ access to occupied rental units.
List which type of maintenance issues you are responsible for. Let the tenant know if they have any small maintenance responsibilities, like preventing excessive wear and tear or cleaning.
6. Include A Pet Policy
State whether the tenants are permitted to have pets in the property or not. A no-pet policy should be clear. If you do permit pets, you may want to tell the tenants which types of pets are acceptable, and how many pets.
If either party breaks any terms of the rental agreement, the other party is within his/her right to exit the contract. For more guidance check the state laws on rental agreement termination.
Drafting Your Property Agreement
Property management services can help you create a professional agreement to protect your property and your rights. Property management services can also support you to adhere to the correct legal requirements for your state. There are several other advantages to working with a property management company, including:
- Marketing for your rental property, helping to ensure that you always find the right tenants
- Organization and management of repairs, maintenance, and inspections
- Support with evictions, including court representation
- Tenant qualification processes, including background checks and references
At Amanica property management services, we offer all this support and a whole lot more. For further advice on drafting your rental agreement, get in touch today.