“An Essential Guide About The Home Rental Agreement” written by Mike Marko
Are you looking to gain a better understanding of what home rental agreement is?
Before you start renting a home to tenants, having a thorough knowledge of what a home rental agreement is essential.
Just like for any rental property, you’ll need an agreement. This will serve as a legally binding document between you and your tenant.
In this article, we’ll discuss the key information you need to gain a better understanding about what home rental agreement is about and the basics on what to include in it.
Understanding The Home Rental Agreement
Rental agreements are a legal document that contains all needed information when it comes to matters relating to the tenancy. Property managers must be able to understand its contents so they can ensure that their rental agreements are fair to both parties involved.
If you’re about to create a home rental agreement, you’ll need to know the crucial terms to include in it. Before we proceed, it is recommended to know what home rental agreement really is.
What Is A Home Rental Agreement?
A home rental agreement is a legal agreement between the property manager and the tenant and is used to detail the terms of the rental as well as the responsibilities of all parties during the rental of the property. The agreement contains the basic information of the property along with the name, contact information, rights, and responsibilities of each party and other terms specific to the property that is being rented.
Many rental property businesses provide a home rental agreement before the actual start of the tenancy in order to ensure that all parties are in agreement of the terms included. It also helps both sides to establish a clear relationship and detail responsibilities throughout the rental terms of the property.
Unlike a lease agreement, however, a home rental agreement is not normally used as a long-term contract. A home rental agreement term varies from one month to one year but is commonly used for short-term rentals and often expires after a month.
Who Uses Home Rental Agreement?
A home rental agreement is used by a landlord with a residential property to rent. It’s also used by property managers taking care of home rental properties on behalf of the landlord.
The home rental agreement is then shared with the tenant who will be renting the property. Aside from the landlord and the property manager, a rental agreement is also provided by someone overseeing a property management company. Since the home rental contract is a legal document, if there is a dispute between parties to the agreement, the courts could use the rental agreement to settle that dispute
Important Items To Cover In Your Rental Agreement
Whenever you’re providing a home rental agreement, make sure that the basic terms of the tenancy are included.
Additionally, it is important to include these important items in your rental agreement:
-Names of All Tenants
-Limits of Occupancy
-Terms of the Tenancy
-Repairs and Maintenance
-Entry and Restrictions to the property
And other terms depending on your rental criteria…
Names Of All The Tenants
Every individual who will be living in the rental unit must be included in the rental agreement and is required to sign. Each tenant is legally responsible for all terms mentioned in the home rental agreement. The dedicated amount of rent should be paid and rules for using the property must be followed.
Should any of the tenants skip a payment or are unable to pay, you are legally allowed to seek the entire rent from any of the others listed on the home rental agreement. If one of the tenants have violated an important term of the agreement, you’re allowed to end the tenancy for all tenants listed in the home rental agreement.
Limits On The Occupancy
A rental agreement clearly specifies that the individuals who have signed the lease and their minor children are the only allowed tenants in the rented property. This clause gives the property manager or the landlord the right to determine who lives in the rental property.
The allowed individuals should undergo the same process of tenant screening to ensure that the property is free from unwanted individuals. If this clause is violated, the landlord has the right to evict a tenant who moves in with a friend or relative or sublets the unit, without their permission.
Term Of The Tenancy
Every agreement should state whether it’s a rental agreement or a fixed-term lease. Rental agreements usually end after a month with a new agreement negotiated should the tenant decide to stay in the property.
When the terms of the home rental agreement end it is commonly preferred to get the tenant to commit to a longer lease agreement. When transferring tenants to a long-term lease agreement, terms and all responsibilities must be negotiated and agreed to by all parties involved. Leases normally last a year and allow the property manager the choice to give more flexibility in the arrangement.
Your home rental agreement should include information regarding the rent. The amount of rent to be paid should be specified, as well as the date that it is due (typically, the first of the month).
All payment options must be stated. If there are penalties for late rent payments, it is important to include any penalties and terms in the agreement too.
Security Deposit And Fees
The security deposit is normally collected by the landlord or property manager prior to the tenant moving into the property. The security deposit normally serves as a form of insurance against possible damages that could occur during the rental of the property.
The use and return of security deposits are the common reason for disputes between the property manager and the tenant. Hence, a rental agreement should include a clause that states the amount of security deposit and how it’s going to be used. The more specific you can be on uses for the security deposit the fewer disputes you will have when the tenant vacates the property. Details as to when and how the deposit will be returned must mentioned, as well as specific information for any legal non-returnable fees.
Repairs And Maintenance
The home rental agreement should contain details regarding your responsibilities as well as your tenant’s responsibilities for the rented property.
It is common for repairs and maintenance to be shared between the property manager and the tenant. If this is the case for your rental properties then you should make sure to detail all responsibilities regarding these terms. To avoid and minimize the stress of repairing the damages done to the rented property, it is best to clarify who is in charge of certain maintenance and repair responsibilities for the property. Your agreement should inform your tenant to contact you if there are defective or dangerous conditions in the rental property.
Don’t forget to add a clause that include restrictions on tenant repairs and alterations. Additionally, you might want to include in the terms that any repairs that are not authorized by the property manager would be the responsibility of the tenant. This way you can require the tenant to get approval for any repairs even though they may be the party listed in the agreement as responsible for making the repairs…
Entry To The Rental Property
There are times and situations where you may need to enter the rental property. To avoid any legal disputes or privacy complaints you need to make tenants aware that the home rental agreement indicates the property manager’s right of access to the property. Having this clause in the agreement could help you avoid tenant claims of illegal entry or violation of their privacy rights. Normally you need to post the notice to enter the property several days prior to entering the property. Check with your local laws to meet any requirements needed.
When writing this clause, make sure to state how many days of advance notice you will need to provide the tenant before entering the property.
Restrictions On Tenant Illegal Activity
All rental agreements should include terms and clause that terminate the rental agreement if the tenant is found to be doing illegal activities. This is an important clause that should be in your home rental agreement. You can also consider adding an explicit clause, prohibiting disruptive behavior since this clause will help you avoid problems with your tenants or extensive damages to the rented property. Make a list of restricted activities and have them included and agreed to in the terms of the agreement prior to renting to the tenant, to limit your exposure to lawsuits from residents and neighbors.
If pets are not allowed in the rental property, be sure to include its restriction on your agreement. If pets are allowed inside the rented property, you should clearly identify any special restrictions that come with it. Include details on the agreement such as the limit on the size, number of pets, or a requirement that the tenant will keep the yard free of animal waste.
Make sure that your rental agreement complies with all relevant rental laws in your area. State that the property will be used solely for residential purposes only, and should the tenant decide to run a business from home – indicate the limits, rules and regulations.
Advantages Of Having A Home Rental Agreement
The terms and clauses of a home rental agreement are based on a standard lease. However, its contents can be changed after the end date of the tenancy. Since a home rental lease is normally used as a short-term rental agreement, new terms can be easily negotiated when transitioning to a long-term lease agreement.
A home rental agreement allows property managers to rent properties that might not be desirable to long-term renters. Since the property would only be rented for a short period of time, you have the opportunity to raise rental amounts quickly. You can even renegotiate the terms in your agreement once the tenant decides to renew their contract.
Since a home rental agreement’s used for a short period of tenancy, it gives the tenant who is unsure of how long they want to rent in the specific area flexibility.
Final Thoughts On A Short Guide About Home Rental Agreement
In this article, we discussed what home rental agreement is and the vital terms that must be included to minimize chances of legal disputes or headaches in the long-run. The agreement contains the basic information of the property along with the name, contact information, rights, and responsibilities of each party.
Expect to see the names of the property manager, landlord, and tenant in the agreement along with the description of the rented property.
Aside from that, several clauses or terms of the tenancy should be completely provided such as:
- Amount of rent to be paid and due date
- Type of tenancy
- Security deposit
- Repairs and maintenance
- Entry to the rented property
- Restrictions on activities.
Remember that you can renegotiate with your tenants to renew and alter the clauses on the rental agreement once the tenancy has ended.
If this blog post helped you or you have further questions regarding the home rental agreement, let us know by providing a feedback in the comments section below.
1. A Property Manager’s Guide To Understanding The Generic Rental Agreement
2. Rental Laws That Property Managers Should Know
3. What You Need To Know About The Standard Rental Agreement
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