5 Lease Terms You Need to Include in All Your Contracts

Are you a landlord managing an apartment complex?

Lease agreements can be confusing. Having the right lease terms in place ensures that everyone involved in the rental process is always on the same page. If you don’t, you might end up in a legal battle over a vague agreement that could cost you dearly!

In order to make a lease agreement legally enforceable, certain key elements of the rental must be included by all parties signing the contract. Read on for the five most important lease terms and why protecting yourself with a contract is a must.

1. Rent Amount and Other Fees

Rent should specify how much is due. Late fee amount and rate should be stated, as well as a grace period for late payments, and notification of late fees being filed.

Security deposits may be required at the start of the lease agreement and this should be detailed. The terms should also include any interest that may be payable, when the security deposit is refundable, and which party is responsible for returning the deposit. Additional fees may be payable such as cleaning and pet deposits.

2. Payment Terms

The tenant and landlord should agree on the frequency of payments and the preferred payment method. The amount and due date should also be included within the lease agreement to avoid any confusion down the line.

Furthermore, the lease should include provisions for any changes to the payment terms that may need to occur in the future. Having these terms in writing and agreed to by both parties will help protect the interests of the tenant and landlord.

3. Occupancy Details

Occupancy details are a critical part of all leases, as they establish the rights and responsibilities of both the tenant and the property manager. All leases should clearly define the beginning and ending dates of occupancy and any other conditions of occupancy.

It should also specify the tenant’s right to terminate the lease early and any applicable penalties for doing so. Finally, the lease should define the number of occupants permitted and any specifics on pets.

4. Communications and Notifications

In any contract that you have with a tenant, include lease terms that dictate the communication and notification protocol they are expected to adhere to. It should also state that the tenant is responsible for providing you with either written or verbal notification for any disputes.

This also applies to requests for repairs, maintenance, or to extend the lease. If a property management service, like Balanced Asset Solutions, is used, make sure that requests are done there for proper documentation.

5. Property Damage Clauses

These lease clauses are used to determine the party that is responsible for the payment of any damages made to leased property by the tenant, the landlord, or a third party. Property damage clauses also establish the terms for repair and maintenance of both the structural elements of the property and its contents.

It should also clearly state what is considered normal wear and tear. More importantly, it should state that the tenant will be taken to court to cover the costs of any damages that cannot be adverted.

Include These in Your Lease Terms

Once you understand the basics of lease terms, you can easily incorporate them into all of your contracts. Make sure to include all of the legal requirements, such as the month-by-month rent and any changes to the terms of the lease.

If you need help crafting the best lease for your specific situation, contact an experienced attorney!

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