A lease agreement is the epicenter of the relationship between you and your tenants as a landlord. It dictates the terms you and the tenant should adhere to during the tenancy period. You shouldn’t rush through sketching it without including the necessary details, given its importance.
If you’re just venturing into real estate, you need to understand how to write a rental property lease agreement.
Are you wondering where to start writing a rental property lease agreement? This guide takes you through the vital steps to ensure you don’t leave out crucial information.
Outline the Lease Document
Your aim should be to write a lease agreement that is organized logically and readable. The best way of attaining this goal is to start with an outline of the critical headers and subheaders.
Outlining the headers will ensure that you include all the vital details in the lease. At a minimum, your outline should have the following headings:
- Property details
- Lease terms
- Rights and responsibilities
- Fees and payments
- Governing laws
You have a lot of leeway in the subheadings you want to include in the lease. You can add more if you believe it is necessary.
Determine the Important Provisions
You should come up with a list of the conditions that the lease addresses. The provisions include the rules that the lease agreement should enforce.
After listing all your provisions, group them into categories so that similar provisions fall under similar topical headers.
Write the Lease Clauses
Writing a clause simply means adding details to the provisions you have listed. Each clause should give legally binding information about the relevant provision.
It is advisable to work with an attorney when drafting the clauses. The attorney will ensure that the clauses have the necessary information to enforce them.
When it’s time to write your rental property lease agreement, you should include the following clauses:
Details of the Leased Property
This clause should include information about the property and details about the tenant.
As for the property, you should include the address, property type, and zoning type. You should also describe the areas that are part of the leased property.
The tenants’ information includes all the identifying information of the property’s occupants. To get to know the tenant better, you may need to conduct some background checks.
Here, you need to focus on the lease terms and how to renew them. Start by stipulating the lease period and dates when the lease will remain in effect. Check whether your state places restrictions on the lease period to ensure that you comply.
In the renewal terms, indicate whether you and the tenant agree to renew the lease automatically. You should also state the notice period if the lessee intends to continue or end the lease.
Payments and Fees
This is where you explain anything money-related and the terms of the payment. Start by stipulating the rent amount and the date by which the tenant should pay. You should also state the accepted means of payment.
Besides rent, explain the fees that will accrue if the tenant fails to pay the rent on time. Mention the penalties that you might impose for late payments.
Your fees and payment clause should also include the security deposit amount. As a landlord, you may need the deposit to repair the property in the event of damage caused by the tenant. For this reason, you should include what will count as damage.
It is also vital to factor in utilities. Specify who will pay for different utility bills. Clearly state if the bill amount will be split between various tenants.
Rights and Responsibilities
You need to inform your tenants that they are responsible for protecting the property from damage. So, your tenancy agreement should list all the things that a tenant cannot do on the property.
In Tennessee, tenants are responsible for keeping the property clean and safe. They should also adhere to the landlord’s rules, including keeping the supplied appliances intact.
You should include all the details about what the client can or cannot change about the property. Also, specify whether the tenant should have renter’s insurance.
In addition to the tenants’ responsibilities, you should stipulate your duties as the landlord. You will be responsible for keeping the property in perfect condition. You might need a property management company to manage routine maintenance tasks.
State and federal laws require that landlords give renters some information about the property. For example, you might have to tell tenants about the bed bug history on the property. Research the disclosures and give them to the tenants before signing the renter agreement tenant forms.
You should have a disclosure section stating that you have given the renters the necessary information about the property.
The rental property leasing agreement should include circumstances under which the lease may end before the stipulated term. The clause should mention when to terminate the contract, penalties, and alternative remedies.
There should be a clear statement of why you have decided to terminate the lease agreement. It is also essential to explain the lease termination process.
You should clearly state the governing law that forms the basis of the lease. Stipulate that you can invoke the governing law. This is especially true when something in the lease does not align with the governing law.
The governing law will correct any errors without voiding the entire rental property lease agreement.
Prepare a Signature Section
Your lease agreement will not be legal without a signature. Thus, you should prepare a section where you and all the tenants will sign. The section should also have a date when the agreement is signed.
Get Ready to Write a Rental Property Lease Agreement
Writing a rental property lease agreement is not easy, especially if you are a new landlord. This guide can help you write the agreement effortlessly while ensuring that you don’t forget the essential details. It may take some time to perfect, but you will eventually write an excellent lease agreement.
If you still feel like you’re not ready to write a lease agreement, you can talk to our experts at Reedy & Company. We have an experienced team that can give you the best advice to make informed property decisions.