“Guide On Making An Apartment Lease Agreement”
Don’t have experience in making an apartment lease agreement?
You’re not the only one with that problem. Many first-time landlords don’t have experience in making an apartment lease agreement as well.
Not knowing how to make an apartment lease agreement could be a big disadvantage. This can cause a lot of problems in your rental property business.
In fact, the consequences of not giving the right lease agreement to your tenants could cost you your business. I’m sure you don’t want that to happen.
That’s the reason I created this blog post about how to make an apartment lease agreement. This will give you an idea of how to create the right agreement for your tenants.
How to Make an Apartment Lease Agreement
Every landlord needs to know how to make agreements like an apartment lease agreement.
That’s because the apartment lease agreement is an important document for a tenancy. It can be used to defend the landlord against any accusations by a tenant… and sometimes, vice versa.
Rental laws acknowledge lease agreements. Hence, an agreement can be presented to the court to support a lawsuit charged by the tenant or landlord.
That’s why you need to provide an apartment lease agreement to your tenants. It’s to ensure there’s a legal record of the agreement you and your tenants are entering.
The Use of an Apartment Lease Agreement
Let’s make it clear first that a tenancy with a verbal agreement is still accepted in most quarters. But this has many possible risks.
Without a written agreement, you and your tenant could have a lot of misunderstandings.
Your misunderstandings could range from simple things like garbage disposal to complex ones like the use of a security deposit.
A tenancy filled with misunderstandings will not benefit you or your tenant. In worst-case scenarios, you could end up losing your rental business if tenants file lots of lawsuits due to these misunderstandings.
That’s the reason you need a lease agreement. The written agreement will tell the new tenant what they can and cannot do in their leased apartment.
A lease agreement basically contains all of the important details about the tenancy and the rented property.
It has information about the landlord, tenant, and leased apartment. This will give the new tenant an idea of how they are supposed to behave inside the apartments.
Making an Apartment Lease Agreement
Making an apartment lease agreement is relatively easy. It’s just time-consuming, since a lot of things have to be covered.
The terms and clauses in this agreement are similar to what you see on other types of contracts for a rental property. You just need to indicate that the agreement is for an apartment for lease.
To help you create an apartment lease agreement for your tenant, follow these steps:
Check and Study Rental Laws
Landlords should check rental laws in their area before creating the apartment lease agreement. This will give them an idea about what they can and cannot include in their agreement.
Each state has its own rental laws. You could face legal charges if you’re using terms and clauses that are not legal in your area.
For example, not all states allow landlords to enter the rented premises without notice or permission from the tenant.
Thus, you can’t include a clause giving yourself such permission in your apartment lease agreement if you live in states where that’s illegal.
If you’re confused about the rental laws in your area, it’s best to get help from a lawyer. They can give you an idea of how rental laws work in your area.
This can help you make an apartment lease agreement without violating any rental laws.
Make a Draft First
Don’t even try to make the final version of your apartment lease agreement right away. You should start writing a draft first.
A draft can be changed easily. It allows you to make changes without having to reprint every copy of your lease agreement.
The draft should contain all of your preferred terms and clauses for leasing the property. It should provide basic information about the tenant and the rented property.
Also, your draft should have details regarding the tenancy and the terms and clauses for leasing your apartment.
The draft of your apartment lease agreement should include the basic information first. This will include the names of the people involved in the tenancy.
The top part of your apartment lease agreement will have details about the people involved in the tenancy and the leased apartment.
With that said, your apartment lease agreement should contain the following information about the tenant:
- The current address of the new tenant,
- Social Security number, and
- Contact information.
Also, don’t forget to provide the basic information about you (the landlord). This is needed so the people involved in the tenancy know your role in the apartment.
In addition to that, include details about the apartment as well. This is needed because some rental laws allow you to require that the tenant returns the apartment to its original condition before moving out.
You can give a detailed description of the rented apartment for that. But you can also just give details like the following:
- House number,
- Street name,
- State, and
- Postal Code.
If you opt for a detailed description, consider including pictures of the apartment for lease. This will give the tenant a better idea of how they will leave the property at the end of their tenancy.
Details About the Tenancy
A lease agreement is given to long-term tenants. This agreement typically lasts for more than 3 months.
Anything that’s written in the lease agreement can’t be changed once it (the lease) comes into effect. The landlord or tenant can only change a term or clause if the lease is being renewed.
Your apartment lease agreement should thus include all important information about the tenancy contract.
Start by stating that the tenant has a lease agreement. After that, include the start and end date of the tenancy.
Next, state if the tenant can renew the lease agreement once it’s ended. You could charge a penalty if the tenant doesn’t renew the agreement before its actual end date.
On that one, be specific in giving dates. This is extremely important when creating an apartment lease agreement.
Don’t write vague information like “this lease agreement will last for 12 months”. This will create confusion for you and your tenants.
It’s best to give specific dates like “The tenancy begins on Dec 09, 2019 and ends on May 21, 2021”. This allows both parties to prepare for the exact end of the tenancy.
Details About Rent
Your apartment lease agreement should give details about rent to avoid confusion.
In your apartment lease agreement, give the exact amount of rent. If possible, break down the cost of the rent.
Explain too how you charge the rent. This can help tenants understand where their money is going.
For example, state “the cost of the utilities and maintenance are added to the base rent”, if applicable. This will avoid complaints regarding the amount of rent that you’re charging.
Apart from that, state your preferred payment options as well. Are you going to collect rent the traditional way? Or you will use online services?
It’s best to use both methods so your tenants have options in paying the rent. This prevents late payments.
Also, state in your apartment lease agreement if there are penalties for late payments.
Use of Security Deposit
The apartment lease agreement also contains details about the amount and use of the security deposit.
The security deposit is equivalent to two months of rent. It must be given by the tenant to the landlord before their tenancy starts.
Landlords use the security deposit to cover the cost of unpaid rent or to repair the damage done to the leased apartment. Sometimes, the security deposit is also used to cover the cost of a lease break.
There’s a lot that you can do with the security deposit. That’s why it is important to give specifics regarding this as security deposits can be one of the common causes of arguments between the landlord and tenants.
More often than not, most tenants expect to receive their security deposit in full at the end of their tenancy.
With that said, you must avoid confusion to prevent any mix-ups. So be sure that your lease agreement will state the following details:
- The amount of security deposit.
- How you’re going to use the deposit.
- Whether the deposit is refundable or not.
Most rental laws prohibit landlords from keeping the security deposit after the tenancy. Usually, the landlord has 14 days to give the security deposit back to the tenant after the lease ends.
Responsibilities and Obligations
The apartment lease agreement should also contain details about the responsibilities and obligations of both parties.
This is important to include in your agreement. It could prevent possible altercations that could result in lawsuits.
That’s because common arguments between the landlord and the tenant are caused by unrepaired damage to the property.
In most cases, tenants assume that their landlord is responsible for the repair and maintenance of the rented property.
But not all landlords are required to fix the damages. Sometimes, the tenant is the one who’s responsible for fixing the damage in their rented property.
The obligations and responsibilities depend on the rental laws in the area where the apartment is located. Also, the task of both parties depends on what they agreed on before the start of the tenancy.
Rights of Both Parties
Lastly, your apartment lease agreement should contain the rights of both parties to avoid mixups.
You can check the rights of a landlord and tenant in the rental laws in your area. But usually, some of them are only included in the lease agreement.
One of the common rights in the apartment lease agreement is the landlord’s right of entry.
As the landlord, you’re usually not allowed to enter the apartment without notice. The tenant must permit you first, so you need to state terms like that in your apartment lease agreement.
Apart from that, make sure to include the rights and limits of your tenant. This will prevent any altercations between the tenants in the apartment building.
If possible, list all the things that the tenant can and cannot do in the apartment. Also, include details like the terms for moving with pet animals or rules for the amenities like parking spaces.
Final Thoughts on How to Make an Apartment Lease Agreement
In this blog post, I talked about how to make an apartment lease agreement.
Landlords need to make an apartment lease agreement. This gives their tenants an idea of how to behave in their rented property.
The apartment lease agreement is easy to make. It contains all the usual terms and clauses that you can see in usual lease and rental agreements.
When making an apartment lease agreement, be sure to include the following:
- Basic information of the people involved in the tenancy,
- Details about the tenancy and rent,
- Responsibilities, obligations, and rights of both parties.
Just go over the steps in the article for more detail on what to put in your apartment lease agreement. If you have more questions about an apartment lease agreement, leave them in the comments below.
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