As a landlord, its crucial that you maintain a respectful relationship with your tenants. The first step to do this is creating a solid rental agreement before they move in. A clear rental agreement will outline all the responsibilities of both landlords and tenants, as well as set all expectations straight.
It’s important to discuss the provisions of the rental agreement with your tenants before they sign the contract. As a landlord, it is your responsibility to ensure that they understand their obligations, as well as the consequences in case they fail to perform their duties. To leave no room for confusion, ask your tenants if they have any questions before they sign.
To create a solid rental agreement, you need to include all the important clauses that you and your tenant will agree to. Aside from the landlords and tenants’ responsibilities, your rental agreement should also outline the terms and conditions of the lease, restrictions, and other necessary disclosures.
In addition, you should also state the possible penalties in case tenants violate any provisions in the agreement. This should also be discussed accordingly so that your tenants are fully aware of what will happen if they don’t uphold their duties and responsibilities under the law.
Basic Information to Include in the Rental Agreement
Usually, landlords draft their own rental agreements. There is no standard draft to follow, so it’s expected that lease agreements vary from one rental property owner to another. However, a solid rental agreement should include all the basic and necessary information, such as the following:
Name and address of the rental unit
You have to include the name and address of the rental agreement in your lease agreement. It’s important to state the complete address of the rental property, including the house number (or floor and door numbers if the rental unit is in a building), street name, city or town, and zip code.
Names and contact information of the parties involved
The rental agreement should include the names and contact information of the landlord and the tenants. If the landlord has an authorized representative, the name of the authorized person should also be indicated.
Likewise, if there are other adults who will occupy the property, make sure to include all their names and contact details in the lease as well. All adult occupants should be considered tenants, allowing the property owner to go after any adult occupants in case the primary lessee fails to pay the rent.
Rent amount and when it is due
Don’t forget to indicate the amount of the rent. To make it more clear for your tenants, it’s best to state the amount both in figures and words. You also need to indicate the specific due date for your rent, as well as the duration of the grace period if the law requires it.
To avoid any confusion, make sure to state the day of the month when rent is due, such as “1st of the month”. Also, clearly state when the rent is considered late (e.g. “rent is considered late when payment is not received one day after the due date”).
Term of the lease
Some lease terms have fixed end-date. If this is your agreement with your tenant, make sure to include the date of the end of the lease. Make sure to include the specific date. For instance, say “the lease will end on the 30th of September, 2023.”
If your agreement is on a month-to-month basis, make sure to include the amount of notice you require from your tenants if they decide not to continue with the lease. Keep in mind that the number of days for the notice should be in compliance with the landlord-tenant law in Arizona.
Signatures of all parties
The landlord and all tenants mentioned in the rental agreement are required to sign the lease. Signing the lease is a sign that all parties mutually agree to all the provisions stated in the agreement.
This also indicates that all parties understand the clauses included in the lease. Make sure to also put the date, time, and place of the signing.
Important Clauses to Include in the Agreement
A solid rental agreement should also cover important provisions that you and your tenants should agree on. These provisions may vary depending on the rules of the landlords. It’s best to include all legal clauses and restrictions to prevent potential problems.
Here are some clauses that you need to cover:
As a landlord, you can either allow or prohibit tenants from subletting the property. If you allow them to sublet, make sure to state the requirements in the lease. For instance, you may require tenants to request your permission and approval first before they can sublease. If you want to prohibit subletting, state this clearly on the agreement.
Tenants should know their responsibilities in maintaining the upkeep of the property, as well as other tasks that are expected of them. Be sure to list the tenants’ responsibilities to remind them of their duties. Any consequences or penalties for violations should also be stated in the lease.
As the owner of the property, you have the right to enter the unit as long as you don’t invade your tenants’ privacy. Landlords may enter the property to perform inspections and repairs, as well as during emergencies. Include the schedule of your property visits, and state all the possible instances that are considered an emergency.
Restrictions and Disclosures
If you have other restrictions, such as pets and vehicles, make sure to add them in the agreement. Plus, if you require security deposits, you have to indicate the amount of the deposit and the possible deductions that you may charge. Be sure to stay in compliance with the law and include all required disclosures.
A lease is important to protect both the landlord and the tenant from conflicts, disagreements, or any legal trouble. If you are not comfortable drafting your own rental agreement, it’s best to work with a professional property manager. For your Phoenix rental property management needs, contact SGI Property Management Phoenix at 602-714-7933.