As a landlord, you have to take measures to protect your interests and property from tenants who may not turn out to be as upstanding and caring as you'd assume. The best way to achieve this is by including the correct terms in your lease. Here is a look at three lease terms you should always include in order to protect your property and profits.
Acceptable Rent Payment Methods
If you do not specify how or when rent must be paid, you may find that you have a hard time getting tenants to pay on time or in a manner that is convenient for you. If there are several methods of payment you're willing to accept, for instance personal checks and cashier's checks, list them on the lease. Also, list a late charge that will be assessed if rent is not paid by a specific date. For instance, this sentence could read:
"Rent is payable by personal or cashier's check only and is due by the first of the month. If rent is paid after the first, a late fee of $20 per day will be added to the amount due."
Names of All People Who Dwell at the Apartment
Don't just record the name of the primary tenant. Require that the names of all tenants are on the lease, including children, spouses, and friends. This will make it so you don't end up with a tenant who moves in with five or six unscrupulous friends without giving you notice. Include a statement that says:
"The above tenants are obligated to provide the property owner with 2 weeks' notice prior to having any other tenants move into the apartment. The property owner retains the right to refuse to add new tenants to the lease."
Your Pet Policy
Many landlords make the mistake of assuming that telling their tenants that pets are not allowed is enough. You may also find yourself in a situation in which you allow your tenant to have one cat or dog, but then they assume that all pets are allowed and suddenly accumulate six other animals that leave the place smelly and loud.
Be very specific about your pet policy in the lease, since this makes it legally binding. Include the number of each kind of animal permitted. If you do not want to allow a specific animal, say so succinctly in the lease. For example, you could state:
"Tenants are allowed to keep up to 2 cats in the apartment. Alternatively, 1 dog (and no cats) can be kept. All other animals, including rats, hamsters, mice, gerbils and lizards, are prohibited."
Don't make the mistake of leaving vital details out of your lease. You never know what a tenant may cause trouble, and having your rules and regulations listed in what is a legally binding lease statement will go a long way towards protecting your interests. For more information on apartment rentals, contact a professional like Dale Forest Apartments.