Thorny homeownership or not being able to afford a home is the biggest reason why 43 million renters occupied housing units in the United States in 2019. A report from Statista found that this number remained steady since 2014 but is part of a rising trend since 1975. The reason for this is because leasing is cost-efficient than maintaining a house. For tenants and landlords to maintain a harmonious relationship, a tenancy agreement must be drafted beforehand.
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What Is a Tenancy Agreement?
A tenancy agreement or a lease agreement is a document that explains the terms and conditions when a tenant rents a residential or commercial property. It is legally binding and indicates the obligations and rights of the involved parties. Whether renting out a room or a house, you need a tenancy agreement for legal protection against problems with your tenants.
How To Write a Tenancy Agreement
Whether renting a monthly or leasing short term, a rent agreement must be written to set out the parties’ roles and responsibilities. Thirty-six percent of American households are rented, and it continues to rise as many people move from one place to another to work or study. Property owners took this as an opportunity to lease a spare room in their house for extra income. If you are leasing one for a similar reason, below are steps on how to write a tenancy agreement.
Step 1: Check Your State’s Tenancy Law
The terms and conditions in a simple tenancy agreement are governed by the state laws to ensure that these terms are fair and reasonable. Every state has different legal requirements when it comes to tenancy. Thus, check these laws before writing a tenancy agreement. Knowing these rules will give you an idea of organizing the agreement’s terms to set out a strong legal document.
Step 2: Specify the Parties of The Lease
The parties are the most important element in every agreement because they indicate the individuals bound by its provisions. A tenancy agreement’s parties are the landlord and tenant. To specify who the parties are, write their names and addresses. You can also use legal names if the agreement is between businesses. Most landlords check the tenant’s background and rental history before signing an agreement because bad tenants are harmful to their business.
Step 3: Set the Lease Term Period
The tenancy agreement’s lease term indicates the period that covers the lease, its duration, and expiry. It lays out the conditions for the lease’s termination and renewal too. Since a lease term can either be monthly or yearly, determine the lease commencement date and termination date. You can even include in this part the leased property’s location and its premises.
Step 4: Indicate the Lease’s Do’s and Don’ts
The rules and regulations are crucial for a tenancy agreement. It outlines both landlord and tenant’s rights and obligations, including the contract’s limitations. This part is where the landlord can impose authority over the property. To write the rules and regulations, make sure that it abides by the state court’s legal requirements. If not, the agreement will not be valid.
What if I have no tenancy agreement?
If there is no tenancy agreement, the landlord cannot enforce any authority over the tenant. The landlord has to obtain the possession order before evicting the tenant instead of using the accelerated procedure for possession under the 1977 Act.
Is it illegal to rent a room without a contract?
There is no law against a tenant without a written contract. This tenant still is entitled to all the legal rights a tenant with a contract has, including water, heating, security, etc. Similarly, this tenant is also obligated to pay rent on time and be accountable for the property’s condition.
Can a landlord refuse to add someone to a lease?
Legally, a landlord cannot withhold unreasonable consent. A landlord can only refuse consent if adding a new tenant would result in overcrowding the property or a tenancy agreement’s breach.
While renting a property sounds like a good idea for less expensive living, it is not without risks. Renting a room from and to a total stranger can put you at stake. However, you can protect yourself with a tenancy agreement form. To add an extra layer of protection, do a background check and modify the agreement’s term based on the legal requirements.
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