Published On: Tue, Jan 15th, 2019

10 Terms That Must Never Be Excluded on Your Lease Agreement

As a landlord, there are a couple of things that you must include in your lease or rental agreement. There is no shortcut to it. This is the one issue that you must prepare yourself to face as a landlord and do so with extreme caution. Lease Agreements are put in place to set rules that landlords and tenants must agree to follow to begin their rental relationships. Without these rules, the business of leasing homes and apartments could have already died. Think of a lease agreement like a government or covenant between the landlord and his/her tenants. A set of rules that, if breached by any party, subjects the person liable has to suffer the consequences. A lease is a legal contract between the landlord and tenants. And an immensely practical document that’s full of crucial business details.

It’s as simple as going to jail for breaking the law. Only that in this case, in the case of the tenant, you are more likely to be evicted. However, if the landlord is the culprit, then you can include the law to back you up.

Photo/Nodar Kherkheulidze via wikimedia commons

Here are some crucial terms that you must never exclude from your Lease Agreements


  • Terms of the tenancy


As mentioned earlier, a lease is a set of rules and terms that both landlords and tenants must abide by to coexist peacefully. In this document, it is also essential that you state whether it is a fixed-term lease or a rental agreement. Rental agreements run from month-to-month and are self-renewed unless either the landlord or the tenant terminates it. Leases, however, typically last a year.

Therefore, your choice in such a situation depends on the period you want your tenants to stay. The terms of your Lease Agreements can also determine how flexible the contract can be.


  • Limits on occupancy


You must also have, in the Lease Agreement, clear and specific terms stating that the rental units are only meant for tenants who have signed the agreement. As the landlord, this helps to guarantee your right to determine who gets to live in your property. The importance of this term is to have only the people you’ve screened and approved living on your leased premises. Also, it helps you limit the total number of occupants in the rental units.


  • Names of all tenants


It is also essential that you have the names of every adult who resides in your rental units at all times. Have every adult, whether married or unmarried, living in your premises sign the lease. Doing this makes every occupant of the rental unit responsible for all the terms set in the lease. Including paying the full rental amount and proper use of the rental unit. To mean that if one tenant isn’t unable to pay rent, you can seek for it from the other occupants whose names are on the lease as well.


  • Rent


You must also specify in your lease or rental agreement the total amount of rent and when it is due. Here, you must also include how you expect the tenants to pay the rent. This is vital to avoid any confusions and head off disputes that might arise between you and the tenants. Therefore, you must spell out the rent details as clearly as possible.

  • Include the acceptable payment methods
  • Ant charges should the rent be late or if a rent check bounces.
  • The amount of fees charged for late payment
  • Whether there is any grace period


  • Repairs and maintenance


Lease Agreements must also contain rules set for rental unit repairs and maintenance. This is the best defense landlords can have against any future rent-withholding hassles or any other related issues. Security deposits are especially sensitive in this section. You want to explicitly set out both your and the tenants’ responsibilities for any repairs and maintenance issues in the agreement. So, everyone knows his/her place and role should any repairs be deemed necessary.


  • Deposits and fees


The lease agreement must also be clear and precise on the limits, use, and the return of deposits. Therefore, always ensure to include the amount of security deposit, how you may use the deposit, when and how you may return the deposit, the amount for deductions, and any nonrefundable legal fees. Ensure you make all these points clear in your Lease Agreements to avoid any confusions arising especially when a tenant wants to move out.


  • Entry to the rental property


As the landlord, you also need to clarify, in the lease, that you have the legal right of access to the tenants’ occupied rental unit. This is essentially meant to help protect you, the landlord, from any claims by the tenants of illegal entry or a violation of privacy rights. Some instances may prompt you to access your tenants’ units such as to make repairs. In such cases, it is essential that you also state how much advance notice your tenants should have before entering the premises.


  • Pets


Some tenants don’t allow pets into their rental units. For such cases, also ensure to state this in your Lease Agreements clearly. However, in case you do allow pets, then it is also essential that you identify any special instructions or restrictions on the subject. For instance, you want to state the limit to the type, size, and the number of pets allowed in the premises.


  • Restrictions on illegal tenant activity


As the landlord, it is your responsibility to ensure that there isn’t any trouble with your tenants as well. To that regard, you want to have rules set that limit your exposure to any lawsuits from tenants and also prevent damage to property. Therefore, ensure to include clear sets of rules prohibiting any disruptive behaviors like excessive noise or any other illegal activities like drug dealing.


  • Other restrictions


Here, you must ensure that all the terms of your Lease Agreements also don’t clash with any relevant laws. Therefore, remember to consider rent control ordinances, occupancy rules, health and safety codes, and anti-discrimination laws. You might want to pay special attention to state laws as well.

Here is where the bulk of other terms lie. It is also just as sensitive and equally relevant.

Final thoughts

Most people think Lease Agreements to be simple sets of rules written to scare tenants. However, lease or rental agreements are the core sets of rules and features meant to govern how landlords and tenants can peacefully co-exist. Get all these terms right, and that can be possible.

Author bio:  Sumeet Manhas is a T-Shaped digital marketer, writer and freelancer on Up work where he talks about digital marketing case studies, tips, techniques, and more. Helping startups with digital marketing is what he loves.

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter

* indicates required

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.


Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter



At the Movies

Pin It