If you just started lending properties to various people, then most probably the contract is still difficult for you to create. This happens often with new landlords, so we have a little guide for you, which will help you write all the right things in your tenancy agreement and have happy tenants in exchange! Whether you give a house or an apartment for rent, the agreement is the same. There are a few free points in it, but these depend on your preferences, so it won’t be hard stating them. Welcome to our guide on preparing your tenancy agreement and read closely if you don’t want to miss anything!
Every tenant’s name
It is important to state the names of every single tenant in the contract. Even if you give the place to a couple, you should write both names. The benefit is that you will be legally able to demand the rent from both and if one is incapable of paying it, you can ask the other. Otherwise you have one tenant and the second one would be what then? State all names of your tenants, no matter how many they are.
Exact amount of the rent
Not only that you should state the exact amount of the rent, but you should mark it somehow, to be easily visible. You don’t want any misunderstandings, so make sure everything is properly done and specified. Apart from the rent, you should state any preferred methods; rent due date; charges for unpaid rent or slowed payment, etc. Another thing you should keep in mind is that if you intend on changing the rent, you should notify your tenants three months before that.
Set an occupancy limit
Let’s say you didn’t include this in your rental agreement and after few months you notice an unknown face more than a few times near a particular property. Are they living in there too? Do they have the right to? If you don’t state the number of occupants in the property, disputes may occur, which is unpleasant and you should definitely avoid it. To make things easy, be exact in your statements and don’t allow other people living in there and not paying for it.
State the tenancy terms
First, note the difference between the two main types of tenancy agreements – self-renewing and month-to-month. In the first case, the agreement has a certain expiration date and until then it self-renews, meaning that it continues to be valid, unless one of the parties decides to end the agreement before its expiration date. In the second type – month-to-month agreement, it again renews after each month, but it does not have an expiration date and is more suitable for shorter leases. You should consider how much time the tenants are planning on staying and how much time you would like to have them living in your property.
You’ve heard of refunding on deposit money, right? Make sure you have it written in your agreement with the tenants, as well. State a limit, use and return clauses for the deposit in the contract and make sure they are quite clear for the tenants.
Would the tenant be able to use the deposit to add from it to the monthly rent; in what circumstances the tenant will get the refund on the deposit; what amount of money will be the limit. These and similar explanations must be added for the better understanding of this particular clause.
Maintenance of the property. Repairs
Very important part of every lease agreement is to state whether you, the proprietor, or the tenant will be responsible for repairs, whether they are minor or major. You have the obligation to provide a habitable property, but tenants should keep in mind its maintenance, as regular cleaning procedures and not causing damages to the interior.
If, for example, something is broken by a tenant, state in your contract, that they are responsible for the repair. In cases like their wish to install a dishwasher, or similar ideas, according to your preferences, state whether it is allowed or not. Painting walls, changing carpets and other alternations to the property’s interior, should not be made by the tenant without your permission. These and similar points, should be taken into account when preparing your agreement.
In case you want to visit the property and value its state, you should give the tenant a notice. Furthermore, you have no right to invade their private space when you haven’t set an appointment, so you should state in your contract what period the notice requires. Of course, emergencies exist, so make sure you state those in this clause as well.
If, perhaps, you own a whole building of apartments, filled with tenants, then you should think thoroughly on what you expect from their behaviour. If you want to have happy tenants and no disputes, make such a clause and limit their actions in the common areas and in their private rented apartments as well. Loud noises, drug dealing, fights and similar disturbing and illegal activities should be out of the questions if you want to have a well-organised building.
Smoking in closed areas; pets
If you prefer your tenants not to smoke in the property – state it. If you have nothing against smoking, or letting pets live with any tenant – state it in the contract. These are important clauses, as some landlords are not so positive about either of the before mentioned and others have nothing against.
Include this type of clause if needed. Here you can state if a tenant is allowed to execute any working activities in the property – giving massages, selling different items, etc.
One thing you shouldn’t forget is that you should consult with an attorney in the making of any type of agreement or contract (not only rental ones), because they are the ones who can help you state everything in the proper way. This is a document, after all, it should be well-thought and prepared with attention if you want to be absolutely clear about every point of it.