“Key Aspects Of A Rental Agreement Sample” written by Mike Marko
What key aspects should you look for in a rental agreement sample?
If that’s the question running through your head right now then you’re in the right spot. A rental agreement is important to both the property manager and their tenants because it protects them if ever something bad happens during the tenancy.
The rental agreement also sets the expectation for both parties during the tenancy. That’s why the rental agreement that you’ll provide to your tenant should reflect everything about their tenancy.
Today, we will discuss the key aspects of a rental agreement and where you could get the best rental agreement samples.
What To Make Sure Is Included In The Rental Agreement Sample
When running a rental property management company the goal to success is to keep your rentals occupied with happy tenants.
The best way to accomplish this goal is to make sure that your tenant or prospective tenants are educated and knowledgeable about the rental process, rental procedures, and terms and responsibilities that they have agreed to in the rental agreement. Having a comprehensive rental agreement that is customized to your rental business is key to avoiding any misunderstandings or missteps when managing a tenant’s rental of your properties.
As the property manager, it is your responsibility to develop an effective rental agreement for you and your tenants to follow during the rental of the property.
The rental agreement is a legal document that informs all parties to the rental the terms and responsibilities that will manage and oversee the successful rental of the property. A comprehensive rental agreement will inform your tenant everything they need to know while renting the property.
When developing an effective rental agreement there are many things and duties that must be addressed and covered. Before we discuss what should be included in your rental agreement let’s first understand exactly what a rental agreement is and does…
What is A Rental Agreement?
A rental agreement is a contract between the property manager and the tenant that details the terms and responsibilities of all parties during the rental of the property. The rental agreement is normally produced and given to all parties to the agreement prior to the actual start date of a tenancy. Rental agreements contain details about the lessor, the lessee, and all details regarding the property that is being rented.
For residential rental agreements, they must contain all details about the rented property, the tenant, the landlord or property manager, and all other things that are related to the tenancy.
Rental Agreement Contents
Rental agreements will normally contain the terms of the rental, policies, and rules for the rental, as well as all of the clauses or agreements that the property manager and the tenant have agreed before the actual start of the tenancy. Details about the terms of rent, amounts, and preferred forms of payment are also included in the rental agreement.
Everything regarding the tenancy including who is responsible for damages to the property, upgrades to the property and anything else relevant to the property should be included since it will become a legal document once both parties have signed it.
Clears Up Obligations
Almost all rental agreements are written because they provide a legal document of what was agreed to by all parties prior to the rental of the property. Having a legal document to settle all disputes or questions that could arise during and after the rental of the property is finished is key to avoiding any misunderstanding between you and your tenants.
Written vs Verbal
Even though the majority of rental agreements are in written form there are still landlords and property managers who are having an unwritten rental agreement with their tenant.
Having a verbal agreement with a tenant is rarely used these days. We would highly recommend against having a non-written agreement as it could cause misunderstandings between you and your tenants since there’s no document that can back up either party’s’ claim.
Key Contents Of A Rental Agreement Sample
When developing a rental agreement for your properties it is best to start with a template from a rental association or a legal rental site and then customize that agreement to meet the demands and needs of your specific rental properties.
If you’re not yet familiar or have yet to develop a rental agreement, then there are hundreds of free rental agreement sample that are posted on the internet. You could use those samples to customize for your properties when making your own rental agreement.
However, you need to be aware that a lot of rental agreement samples contain irrelevant clauses or contents that are not needed for every property rental. When developing a rental agreement from a template you should edit it to make it appropriate and a good fit for your rental business.
To better help you, here are the key contents of a rental agreement sample that should be included in every rental agreement you develop.
Name Of The Tenants
The first part of most rental agreements contains the name of everyone that is involved in the tenancy. In addition to listing the main tenant, you should always include any and all names of the individuals that are moving in with the tenant.
Listing all tenants that will be living at the property during the rental period allows you to hold any and all of those parties responsible for any damages or losses of rents that could occur during the rental period.
You can also require that any individuals that are living at the property go through tenant screening as a condition of rental. Aside from the tenants that will be living at the property, you will also name of the property manager or landlord will also be included.
All of the individuals that are mentioned in the rental agreement are legally bound and required to follow all the terms and policies for renting the property.
Limits On Occupancy
When renting a property you should develop a maximum number of individuals that will be allowed to live at the property. By limiting the number of people allowed to live in the property rental can help in avoiding noise or parking conflicts with other tenants that could be renting properties next to that property.
Many property managers include the maximum allowed number of individuals inside the rented property and this number is agreed to in the rental agreement.
Having limits on occupancy clause allows the property manager to remove or force the individuals to leave the property if they violate the terms or move tenants into the property without their permission. Most rental property businesses include a limit on occupancy clause in their rental agreement for additional security and safety of their tenants.
Term Of Tenancy
All rental agreements need to specify the term or length of tenancy or rental period of the tenant. Prior to renting any property, you need to determine if you want to have fixed-term leases or run month to month rental agreements.
If you are flexible then when you’re interviewing the tenant it is important to discuss what type of tenancy that they prefer and what you are going to offer them for their rental of the property. As the property manager, it is your decision to determine tenancy and if you want to let your tenant choose the right term according to their budget and needs.
While editing a rental agreement sample and developing it to match your rental properties, it is important to state if the tenancy is a rental agreement or fixed-term lease or month to month to avoid confusions. Since the rental agreement sample will eventually become a legal document it is advisable to finalize the information and tenancy requirements prior to getting it agreed to for the rental of any property.
To avoid any kind of mistakes or omissions to the rental agreement we would highly recommend that you have your rental agreement reviewed by a real estate attorney prior to finalizing it for use. Any kind of mistakes on a rental agreement could be a factor if ever the property manager and the tenant brought their misunderstandings to court.
All rental agreements need to specify rents, types of payments, and any penalties if rents are paid late. The best place to list rents and these conditions is right after the details about the type of the tenancy. When describing the tenancy it is logical to include the important details about the rent.
Many rental agreements will specify preferred forms of payments and possible fees or consequences for late payments. If you’re accepting checks, it is also important to include what will happen if ever the tenant had provided a bounced check.
Deposits And Fees
In developing a solid legal rental agreement you need to address and list any deposits and uses for these deposits. This helps to avoid any misunderstandings when tenants leave a rental property.
When a rental agreement is not specific enough property managers and tenants are having huge misunderstandings about the security deposits. To avoid any problems or lawsuits regarding this matter it is important to state the amount of security deposit and how it will be used.
While writing and developing a deposit and fees clause in your rental agreement you should be clear on the amount, use for any and all damages or wear and tear at the property, and the detailed way the deposit will be returned after the rental.
It’s advisable to be specific on how the security deposit will be used and mention any legal non-returnable fees. Listing cleaning or replacement of carpets, painting or cleaning of the unit, or any other uses for deposit is ok as long as the tenant agrees to this use when signing the rental agreement.
It is important to be clear not only on deposits and fees but to all of the clauses in your rental agreement to avoid misunderstandings or confusions.
Repairs And Maintenance
An effective rental agreement will list all the parties responsibilities when it comes to repairs and maintenance while the property is rented. As the property manager, it is your responsibility to protect and preserve the rental property because it is the biggest asset of the business.
To keep costs down you could hire a handyman or contractor to handle repairs efficiently when they arise. If the repair is not the responsibility of the tenant then the property management company should pay for the costs of the repair.
However, if the tenant has caused the damage it is still better to use a trusted repair team to fix the rental and pass those costs back to the tenant as they caused the damage. It’s important to list terms as to who is responsible for payment of repairs when they arise in the rental agreement. Even if a tenant is already renting a unit it’s advisable to make sure they agree to any repair and maintenance repair updates when they become available.
The most effective way to protect yourself and the property for repairs and maintenance is to list and get these terms agreed to when signing the rental agreement with tenants. Any misunderstandings or confusions about the responsibilities for repairs and maintenance could also end up in court. That’s why the repairs and maintenance are also key contents of a rental agreement.
So while you’re editing a rental agreement sample, make sure to be specific about the tenant’s responsibilities regarding the repairs and maintenance of the rented property.
Restrictions On Tenant Illegal Activity
Aside from the rental property to your tenants it, is also your responsibility to protect your other tenants and the community where the rental property is located against any kinds of danger, including illegal activities at your rental properties.
Most effective rental agreements contain the restricted activities, like no drugs or dealing of drugs or have a general clause that states anything illegal is not allowed to take place on the property while it is being rented. When editing a rental agreement don’t forget to include a list of restricted activities inside your rental properties.
Listing the restriction on illegal activities at your rental properties could also help you protect yourself and minimize your exposure to any kind of lawsuits or court or police actions that could arise...
A comprehensive rental agreement will take into account any and all things that could happen at the property. When developing or customizing a rental agreement you should list miscellaneous stuff like trash collection, pets, and other factors that could affect the property while it is rented.
While making a rental agreement, make sure to include other clauses that should be followed in order to keep the whole rental property safe and healthy to live in.
Here are the other clauses that you might want to address and be included in the rental agreement
- Business restrictions inside the rented property
- Subleasing if allowed
- Allowed changes that could be made in the rented property
- Utilities and who is responsible
- Trash and yard clean up and maintenance
Where To Get A Rental Agreement Sample
Rental agreement samples can be found on different websites across the internet. But before you download and edit a sample you should make sure to check the laws in your state regarding the specific forms of a rental agreement and what best suits the laws in your area for rental agreements.
Here are some of the popular websites that have a rental agreement sample template that you can download. Most of these websites offer basic forms for free and also advanced and more detailed forms for a small membership fee or cost per document fee…
ez Landlord Forms will give you many forms including templates for your rental agreement.
Their website also has rental agreement samples that are State specific. This is a useful feature especially to those property managers that are living in areas that require a specific rental agreement format.
Most of this website’s visitors end up finding more than they had bargained for after downloading their rental agreement forms. Their samples are already made up so that you do not have to do extra work other than filling it in and filing it.
RentalAgreements.net gives you a wide range of templates to choose from. This helps you decide which rental agreement sample will be the most suitable one for you.
Having multiple rental agreements to review and download is helpful when customizing a rental agreement to your specific properties. Having an almost completed rental agreement form or sample is key to helping you get your form finalized and filed as soon as possible.
Their templates are all certified by experts on their website and help to get you a rental agreement that helps you have your tenant move in your rental space as soon as possible.
If you’re tight on budget then FormSwift will be the best option for you as their website offers many free legal documents for personal use.
They also provide free legal documents related to real estate which includes:
- property purchase agreements,
- deed contracts,
- lease agreements,
- leasing options,
- mortgage transfers,
- and many others.
FormSwift is providing real estate forms that are relevant to individuals, large companies, and small businesses. They also have templates that are useful when purchasing a home or business locations, when transferring a deed from one party to another, or when finding funding for a real estate transaction.
Legal Templates equip people with the right tools to be their own legal advocates. Property managers could create simple and quick free legal documents using their cutting-edge technology. However, even though the name of the company is Legal Templates, you should still have a lawyer you trust to review your documents after you have finished customizing them. This helps make sure they meet all the legal requirements in your area.
During its foundation, the Legal Templates’ vision was to break down the barriers that exist between the legal world and people that need to get things done in a fast and easy way. Their website gives you access to the documents you need and all the necessary education and information to fill them out accurately and quickly.
Most of the documents provided by Legal Templates are samples created by professional attorneys. Each document was explained thoroughly so its users don’t get hung up on trivial clauses or legal complexities.
Their free template creation software is easy to use and it comes with helpful tips and explanations to guide you through the whole process.
This website provides free printable business form templates. They offer a wide range of business form templates including letters, reports, log sheets, and forms.
Examples of the sample templates on their website are bills of sale to expense reports, medical release forms (which are all printable templates). These forms can be used by employers, small business owners, and anyone else doing business.
If you’re in a hurry, their templates are easy to download and print.
The TemplateLab was created to combine all document templates in one place and make property management easier.
This website provides 40+ free rental agreement templates and forms which are either in Word or PDF format. Aside from that, they have also articles that are discussing everything you need to know about a rental agreement or different sections of a basic rental agreement.
Their website also provides questions that one needs to answer to help guide them when creating their own rental agreement.
Final Thoughts About A Rental Agreement Sample
In today’s article, we talked about the key elements you will need in your rental agreement.
Make sure to keep these points in mind when you’re ready to get a rental agreement sample.
Each of those key elements is important. They can help you protect the rental property and yourself from the stress and problems of managing a rental property business.
But before you customize your own agreement, remember that the rental agreement sample will eventually become a legal document. So make sure to avoid any kind of mistakes when you’re editing a rental agreement template. Your rental agreement should also contain all your business policies to help minimize any conflicts in the future.
Feel free to comment below for questions regarding the key elements you will need for a rental agreement.
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