When push comes to shove, a judiciously made rental agreement can help you get out of a legal hiccup.
The best way to start, or rather even the right way to start drafting your rental agreement is by having an expert such as a property management team that has a lawyer or an individual lawyer onboard.
A lease or the rental agreement should cover all the rights and obligations of both the owner and the tenant. A rental/lease agreement is a legal document stating that the owner and the tenant agree to follow the rental rules agreed upon and signed by both parties.
Following are the few points which need to be considered before signing a rental agreement:
- Who is involved
- Naming all parties
- Number of occupants and tenure
- Restrictions and rules
- Personal requests
Who is involved?:
When an agreement is signed between the owner and the tenant, other people may be present at the time of signing to ensure there are non-invested who are witnesses to the agreement.
Apart from the above mentioned, an owner may choose to have a lawyer present as a guarantor or even a property manager.
What’s in a name?:
We always recommend that the names of all members occupying that property (be it a child, a bachelor, a spinster etc) are included in the agreement. This ensures the proper usage of the property.
It is a legal procedure that every individual staying as a tenant is liable to pay the rent in case the actual tenant fails to pay the rent. By including all names, the responsibility is divided amongst all the tenants/people living on that property.
Also the owner can terminate the tenancy in case of any violations as per the rental agreement.
What are the limits?:
You have 2 main limits to cover when it comes to your property. The first being the number of people living on that property and the second the tenure of the agreement.
The agreement should clearly specify that the property can be occupied only by the people who are registered as tenants (their name is on the agreement). This gives the owner the authority to imply rules on the tenants and also to limit the tenants. In case if there are additional members residing on your property without consent, he/she can be evicted from the home.
When drafting the agreement, you should see to it that the number of years a tenant can reside in that property is made very clear. While both the tenant and the owner have to agree on this, you as the owner are the final decision maker.
Generally, agreements are based on every month and can be self-renewed unless the tenant vacates from the property.
Prohibition of entry:
Sometimes some agreements don’t go down well and to save yourself in those situations; should an old tenant illegally evade the property, there needs to be a plan of action.
In your agreement, precisely mention the entry restrictions and violation rules.
Every owner has their own personal reservations on how they wish for their property to be kept and used. It is essential that these are not only discussed before drafting the agreement, but are also a part of the rental agreement.
Things such as decorum for the tenant, pets, payment deadlines and maintenance or damage costs. You have to specifically mention the expectations before the agreement gets signed so you don’t face any unexpected situations with your property.
A well-made rental agreement that covers all aspects and allows for a good relationship between the tenant and the property owner. If the expectations are set from day 1 and the terms and conditions are transparent, neither the tenant or owner should have any surprises once the agreement gets signed.