What Should a Lease Agreement Contain?

The property market is a whole big and fast changing world. The prices always go up and down, depending on the condition of the world's economy, but even when they are high, there are always people searching for a place to live in. The rental market is more popular nowadays, because most people prefer to rent an apartment than to buy it. There are many reasons why they would prefer this solution, but the main one is that they won't have to pay a big amount of money or take a loan from a bank and pay it back for tens of years. But still, even renting a place could have some hooks. After all, you're signing a binding lease agreement which can state anything. Many people sign leases like that and then regret it. To avoid this situation, let's see what should a lease agreement contain.

The names of the tenants. This is the first and mandatory clause of every lease agreement. Every adult, who's going to live in the apartment, must be named in the document and has to sign it. This means that he or she will be held responsible to pay the full amount of rent and to keep the property clean and undamaged. In case there's something wrong with the property, or the rent is not paid, the landlord can terminate the lease for all tenants, who are mentioned in there. The number of occupants should also be mentioned in the lease agreement. This also includes the children. If you're about to invite someone to live with you, you should let your landlord know too, because the name of the new tenant should be included in a new lease.

Terms of lease. This clause in your agreement should specify the duration of the lease. Most rental agreements usually run from month to month and are renewed unless the landlord or the tenant decides otherwise. Leases, on the other side, last a little longer – usually a year. It's up to you which one would you prefer. This clause also contains any rules, which the landlord would like you to follow. The landlord will have the right to conduct regular checks in a specified by the lease period.

Rent details. This clause will contain every piece of information about the rent you agreed to pay. This includes the amount of rent you'll owe, the date of the month or the day of the week you'll have to pay it, and the place where the payment will occur. To avoid any confusion, the lease agreement should specify the acceptable for the landlord methods of payment (cash, checks etc.), any fees if the rent is not paid on time, and rules if your landlord decides to increase the rent at any time.

Deposit details. The return of the security deposits is probably the main reason landlords and tenants argue. To avoid these unpleasant situations, your lease agreement should contain the exact amount of the deposit you're going to give, how can it be used (for example for damage or for the last month's rent in the end of lease), how and when will the deposit be returned when you move out. It would be also good to include in the clause where is the deposit being held, because many landlords just take the deposit and use it for their own purposes like if it was their money.

Maintenance. This clause should be included in your agreement. It should define each side's rights and responsibilities when it comes to the repairs and the maintenance of the property. Usually the landlord is the one, who should carry out all the big repairs, perform safety checks and renew stuff. But the tenant is the one who must keep the property clean during the lease and return it in a good condition after the lease agreement is over. If the renter can’t clean the property by themselves, they are recommended to seek end of lease cleaning services. Otherwise they will have to pay any damage done by negligence or inattention in full. The renter also has the responsibility to alert the landlord if there is something needing repair.

Entry and restrictions. The rental agreement should clearly specify the circumstances when the landlord has the right to enter the property and the needed advanced notice he must give you. He can usually enter if you're not there if there's something which urgently needs repairing. The landlord has the right to include a restrictions clause if he wants to prevent any illegal activities and damages that could come along with them.

Pets. Every agreement of this kind should have a clause about the pets, if the landlord even allows them in the building. If he allows having pets, the lease should contain all the special restrictions about size and number, and fees in case of damaged property.

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