When you are in the business of land-lording, a rental agreement is necessary to make sure that terms and conditions are properly laid out and that your tenants clearly understand the rules you have set pertaining to rental payment, house rules, and other details about their tenancy.
A rental agreement is a written legal contract and is every landlord’s form of protection against nasty tenants and any disputes or misunderstandings. Although establishing a written contract is not exactly required by law, some states have laws that limit the amount of rent a landlord charges, which still makes a rental agreement necessary.
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The Difference between a Lease and a Rental
A rental agreement allows a renter to dwell in a rental property for a short period of time, usually a period of up to 30 days. A rental agreement automatically renews at the end of the 30-day period unless otherwise specified by either the tenant or the landlord.
A lease, on the other hand, allows a renter to dwell in a leased property for a set period of time, typically a longer period of time, which is about 6 months to a couple of years. When a lease expires, it does not automatically renew itself and requires permission from the landlord in order for it to continue.
A rental agreement has to be foolproof to make sure that it touches base on all important details. Below is a list of information that are integral in the construction of a rental agreement:
Names of All Parties Involved and Occupants
A rental agreement should list down the names of all adult occupants living in a rental property. Doing this makes each tenant legally responsible to abide by the rules and regulations that are specified in the agreement—as well as being able to legally ask for rental payment from any of the occupants should the other one be unable to pay.
Specify Limitations on Occupancy
Your rental agreement should have clear specifications that only the tenants whose names are indicated in the agreement have the legal right to dwell or take residency in the rental property. Doing this ensures that the people who are occupying your property are only those who have been thoroughly screened. This also helps to protect and secure the safety of your other tenants.
Provide clear and precise details about payment terms, your preferred mode of payment, as well as schedule of payments or the date each month wherein rental payments are due. Doing this gives tenants a heads-up and enables them to prepare ahead of time so that late payments can be avoided. Also provide details about fees or penalties such as late payment fees or fees for bouncing checks.
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It is important to always read thoroughly a contract or agreement before signing it. This is to avoid any misunderstandings and complications later on.
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