In a perfect world, all residential tenants would be responsible people who take care of their apartment as if they owned it, would cause no careless damage beyond the ordinary “wear and tear,” would make very little or no noise and would always pay their rent on time. On top of all that, they would be pleasant, agreeable and honest.
As most landlords in California and elsewhere realize, it certainly is not an ideal world. Some tenants do resemble those described above. They are people who resolve to consistently live up to their end of the deal when they rent residential property like apartments. Landlords value individuals like that.
But other tenants are more problematic. At worst, they can be a source of endless, frustrating headaches for landlords. You may be a responsible landlord with either great or bothersome tenants. Regardless, you need to be absolutely sure that the leases your residential tenants sign contain all the appropriate elements and are written in compliance with the law. You want to be covered for any situation that may arise now or in the future.
Things to include in your tenants’ leases
While it’s best to take your unique needs into account, every lease should:
- State the procedure for tenants to follow if they have gripes or questions.
- Describe everything that pertains to actually paying the rent. That means how it can be paid, what is the due date and what happens if it is missed.
- Define the property’s occupancy capacity. Guidelines that may apply are the physical size of the property, any local laws plus the Fair Housing Act.
- Put in all the routine items, like the apartment’s address. The adults living there should each sign the lease.
- Note if the lease is by month or year.
Make your residential lease as airtight as possible
There are many important details that should be in a residential lease. Protect yourself by consulting an expert to be sure that you have mentioned all of them.