“Guidelines For Filling A Blank Lease Agreement”
Planning to lease out your property but not sure how to fill your blank lease agreement?
A blank lease agreement is a lease agreement template you can use for your rental contracts. Despite the name, it’s not completely blank. There’s a lease agreement skeleton on it that you just fill out with appropriate details to customize it for your situation.
Today’s article will talk about some of the important guidelines you need in filling in details for a blank lease agreement. This will prevent you from missing important data or terms.
That means fewer chances of misunderstanding between you and the other party in the future.
So if you’re ready, let’s learn about the points to include in a blank lease agreement.
Filling in a Blank Lease Agreement
As mentioned before, a blank lease agreement is a lease contract template that you fill in with details. If you don’t know what to include in it, you may forget important clauses. That could lead to future problems.
That’s because the lease agreement contains the responsibilities and obligations of both the property manager and the tenant. The agreement should contain a detailed description of what both parties agreed on, which includes these:
- Term of tenancy,
- Monthly rent cost,
- Additional payments and fees,
- Restrictions, and
Your blank lease agreement must also specify that both parties agree to a fixed-term lease and not a month-to-month renewal. The corresponding rental cost should also be clearly stated together with its terms of payment.
Keep in mind that the agreement can be altered and discussed only before being signed by both parties. Once it’s signed, the agreement and its terms are binding.
Terms to Consider in Your Blank Lease Agreement
It’s important to be familiar with the terms you may encounter when filling your blank lease agreement.
Most blank lease agreement templates will have placeholder text for items like the “Terms of Tenancy” or “Limits of Occupancy”. You’re supposed to fill those in with the appropriate details.
You can’t do that if you don’t know what they mean, however. You don’t want to take the risk of just inserting your preferences or clauses anywhere in the document either. You could make a mistake that way.
A lease agreement serves as a contract between both parties. Since it’s a contractual agreement, both parties are obliged to abide by it during the course of its duration… whether mistakes were made during its creation or not.
So to avoid such mistakes, below are the terms you’ll run into with most blank lease agreement templates.
Names of Both Parties
The lease agreement should include the names of all involved and bound by the agreement. All the tenants should be included so that the blank lease agreement states who has legal access to the property.
All those named on the blank lease agreement are responsible for keeping the terms and conditions stated in the agreement. This means that both the property manager and all the tenants should comply with what’s written in the agreement.
Terms of Tenancy
Every agreement (whether rental or lease) should indicate the terms of tenancy. This is actually where you also clarify whether the blank lease agreement you’re filling out is being used for a rental or lease contract.
So how do rental and lease contracts differ in terms of the tenancy period?
A leasing period often lasts 6-12 months. However, it can be set for a longer or shorter period depending on what both parties agreed to.
On the other hand, a standard rental agreement follows a month-to-month renewal format.
Rent Amount and Payment Terms
When filling out your blank lease agreement, be sure to indicate the amount of rent to be paid and the payment deadlines. Property managers usually choose to collect rent every start of the month, but you can customize it to your preferences.
You could also provide the grace period you’re willing to grant for the tenant to avoid a late payment penalty. In addition to this, the amount of late payment penalty should also be stated, together with its due date.
The agreement should also contain the acceptable payment methods such as bank deposit, post-dated checks, or credit cards. Make sure that you provide the needed information so the tenants can make the payment.
Deposit and Other Fees
It’s a customary practice to require a fixed security deposit fee when a tenant moves into your property. A security deposit usually amounts to a month or two of rent. A separate clause for the security deposit should be part of what you add to your blank lease agreeement.
The security deposit serves as collateral in case the tenant fails to pay rent or causes damage to the property. However, you can customize what the security deposit covers. Just make sure to declare it in the agreement.
By the time the tenant moves out, he or she will be refunded what’s left of the security deposit. Deductions to the security deposit will be made accordingly, depending on the agreed coverage.
A clause about the additional fees that may occur such as bounced checks or damage fees should also be included. The clause should detail how the tenant would be able to pay the said fees.
Limits on Occupancy
As the property manager, you have the option to allow your tenant to sublet the property. Whether you allow it or not, it should be clearly stated together with its terms.
If you accept subletting, provide a separate and more detailed agreement on that. Not all blank lease agreement templates cover this, so you may need to look for another template just for it.
Repair and Maintenance
Damage to your property is inevitable. So it’s wise to specify in your blank lease agreement who’s going to be responsible for repair and maintenance.
Oftentimes, property managers take the responsibility of the maintenance by themselves. If you have trusted contractors, you may want to specify in the blank lease agreement which ones the tenants should contact for maintenance.
When it comes to alterations, make sure to include a statement on asking for your approval first. This is pretty standard when filling out this part of a blank lease agreement.
End of Term and Evacuation
A lease agreement is only valid within its set leasing period. Therefore, the start and end of the leasing period should be written on the lease agreement form.
You should also be able to indicate how long the advance notice will be sent prior to the evacuation day. This is to give time for the tenant to prepare for moving out.
You can also have an additional clause regarding your tenant’s left-behinds. This should include what will happen to the items and until when can the tenants claim them.
Other Things You Should Know
As mentioned earlier, the lease agreement serves as a binding legal document to protect both parties from doubts against each other. That means it should cover even the terms for situations such as eviction, contract renewal, etc.
Below are some of the other things you may want to provide for when filling out your blank lease agreement.
Rules and Terms of Eviction
In case the situation should arise, it’s better to have this covered in your blank lease agreement. State possible causes for eviction in your agreement and provide the terms for eviction as well. Possible causes of eviction could be violations of the agreement or failure to pay rent.
Keep in mind that there may be eviction laws to observe in your state, however. Research those before setting out your own terms of eviction.
State too in the agreement if you want to reserve the right to evict tenants of the property in certain urgent cases.
For example, if you find that the property has structural issues that make it dangerous, that could be cause for eviction. It would even be for the tenants’ own welfare.
Legalization of the Document by a Notary
Although not necessary, it’s recommended to have your lease agreements notarized. This gives your agreement added legal protection for both parties.
Having your lease agreement notarized also helps prevent identity theft. This makes sure that the tenant and the property manager are legitimate and credible persons capable of making binding contracts.
Optional Renewal of Lease Agreement
Some tenants may want to renew their lease at the end of a contract. If you want to use the exact same contract, you may simply add an optional renewal or even auto-renewal clause to it.
If doing an auto-renewal clause, be sure to detail how long the tenant has to decline the automatic contract renewal. Most property managers specify a grace period of at least 30 days when filling out this part of a blank lease agreement.
Final Thoughts on Blank Lease Agreement
When filling up a blank lease agreement, you have the freedom to customize it according to your particular situation. However, it’s important that you understand first the basic terms of lease agreements and what should be included in them.
The essential terms we’ve discussed in the leasing agreement include these:
- The names of all involved parties,
- Important terms included in a tenancy,
- The amount of rent to be paid,
- Other additional fees,
- Subletting terms, and
- The terms for maintenance of the premises.
Be sure to tackle all of these clearly when writing your own lease agreement. This helps you to prevent conflict with tenants in the future.
Lastly, remember to have your agreement signed by both parties. The signatures mean that both parties agree to whatever’s written in the leasing agreement.
Please comment below if you have any more questions about filling up your blank lease agreement.
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