The Landlord of the Future – The Lease By Jennifer Mackay

by Joe Thomas on May 11, 2010

What constitutes a well written, binding Lease?
Many factors go into a well written, binding lease.   Again, landlords should be informed of what they are and are not permitted to require of their tenants.  If in doubt, it would be prudent to hire a legal professional to draft or provide information for the lease.

The lease should outline not only what the tenant’s responsibilities are, but also what the tenant can expect from the landlord.

Renting property is a two way transaction and a binding contract – both tenant and landlord expect something out of the agreement.

So what types of items can you include in a lease for the landlord and tenants responsibilities’?

Depending on the location, the landlord may opt to include clauses and services covering items such as:

  • Common area ground maintenance
  • Tenants’ maintenance requirement – Private external and internal maintenance such as: replacing the batteries in smoke detectors etc.
  • Instructions as to where to send rental payments – Office address or landlords address or post office box.
  • List of any utilities provided for the tenant – Gas, Electric, Water etc.
  • Inventory list of furnishings provided to the tenant including: Furniture (if the unit is furnished), washer dryer, refrigerator etc.
  • Repairs and Maintenance of the unit – How soon must the tenant report any issues with the unit.  How soon will the landlord respond to a tenants request for service.
  • Types of equipment not permitted in and out of the unit – Example: No parking of vehicles on the lawn at any time, no parking of boats or trailers on the property etc.
  • How property abandonment will be handled – How long is the landlord required by law to store abandoned property before disposing of it.
  • The types of payments accepted – Cash, Check, Credit Card etc. Note: We do not recommend a landlord accept cash for rent due.  Unless the landlord is prepared to accept the liability of losing the cash, offer receipts every time the rent is paid (whether the tenant wants one or not), and take meticulous notes – accepting cash is a path to problems.

These and other items provide notification to both the tenant and landlord of what their individual duties and responsibilities are to each other.Summary
Being a landlord does not have to be another horror story.  It can and should be a profitable venture.

Preparing both your property and yourself properly by becoming an informed property owner, may provide you not only financial security for you and your family’s future, but also provide you a pleasurable experience by obtaining quality long term tenants.

As a landlord, you are offering your tenants a clean, safe place to live.  The quality tenant in return, is maintaining your investment in good condition and paying your mortgage.

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