What to include in a rental lease agreement

A rental lease is a legally binding agreement between the tenant and landlord. The agreement sets out the conditions on which they will let their property to a third party. The most popular form of rental lease outlines how long your stay is expected to be, what fees you are expected to pay, what you will be required to provide notice as well as other crucial details. Before you move in, make sure to get an official rental agreement signed by your landlord. This will protect your possessions from being damaged by other people or transferred to a different owner.

The purpose of the lease agreement between a landlord and tenant is to protect both tenant and landlord. It outlines what each individual is allowed and is not allowed to do with the home they are renting, as well as how much each party is expected to contribute to the upkeep of their property.

You should carefully read the lease before signing it. If you find something that you aren’t sure about, ask your landlord to explain it prior to signing.

In a rental lease agreement, there are three main kinds of clauses:

1.) Rent and the payment terms

2) Termination, term and renewal

3) Damage deposit

4) Utilities

5) Maintenance

Rent and Payment Terms The amount of rent that you must pay, the date on when it will be due, and whether you agree to make the deposit.

The actual term of the rental: The length of the lease be for, the renewal terms and if there is an possibility of a termination in the early hours by either party.

Changes in ownership: This clause defines what happens to your lease when your landlord intends to sell their house or their building.

Damage deposit Damage deposit: This is the sum you will need to deposit upfront in the event that your property is damaged. Any deductions made from this deposit should be stated in the agreement.

Utilities: Find out if utilities are included with rent or are an extra cost.

Maintenance: Are you accountable for maintaining the yard and cleaning up the pool? Does your landlord expect that you fix any problems or let them handle everything?

In addition to a signed rental lease, you should always file a copy of it with your town office. This will establish that there was a rental lease agreement in place in the event that you ever have to appear in court to prove that it was in place.

It’s important to note the timeframe within which you need to submit this document. Each town has its own protocol to determine how long information like this to remain in their records. Keep in mind that if there were significant changes made to your written rental lease, then you’ll have to file a brand new one with the town.

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Keep a copy of your rental agreement secure. Also, make a list with all the key aspects of your rental contract and ensure that it is updated during your stay. This is to ensure you are able to prove your claim in the event of a dispute. If you can, it’s good to document the property and the damage that is done.

Since this document shields both parties, keep in mind that your landlord may not always be willing to compromise. If things get heated and your landlord has agreed that some conditions can be modified (e.g. increasing rent prices or altering the amount of damage deposit) Make sure you keep this updated list. Noting down the changes will help you remember them when it’s time to renew your lease, or re-lease an additional property. It could be a source of negotiation when you are in that process.

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