Property owners must realize the importance of having a well-written lease agreement to protect their investments. Documenting what's allowed and not allowed in a standard lease agreement helps real estate investors avoid lawsuits or other legal issues down the road. One of the property management services Renters Warehouse Atlanta provides is helping landlords write their customized lease agreements. This blog post includes some of our best Cobb County property management insights about ten things owners need to know before writing rental agreements.
1. Include a Detailed Property Description
Every lease agreement must include a complete description of the property to avoid confusion. Your lease should have the following information:
- The address of the residential property
- The name of the subdivision or neighborhood
- Any zoning restrictions
- A description of the property (including common areas or additional structures that go with the address)
Don't forget to include any specific storage areas or parking places available (or off-limits) to your resident.
2. Add Other Necessary Clauses
In addition to the property description, rental property owners should include other essential clauses in your lease agreement template, including:
- Lease beginning and end dates. Also, include what happens when the lease ends. For example, let a tenant know that if they decide not to renew, the lease will convert to month-to-month when the lease term ends.
- Monthly rent amount. Include how to pay rent, whether online or by check.
- Security deposit and fees. Include any security deposits and pet deposits if applicable.
- Maintenance policies. Give instructions for tenant maintenance responsibilities vs. what you'll handle as the property owner.
- Landlord entry. Lease agreements should give information about the type of notice you will give to enter the property.
- Rental house rules. Document rules about the rental property like no smoking, no pets, or guest policies.
- Contact information. Give details about how to contact you or a property manager if there are any issues.
- Landlord disclosures. A landlord may be required to disclose certain information by federal, state, and local legislation.
If you're not sure how to include these clauses, work with a property management company to walk you through them.
3. Customize the Lease Based on Needs
Cobb County property management companies can help you draw up a customized lease agreement based on your specific needs. Customizations to a standard lease agreement can include when:
- A tenant needs a co-signer
- A renter requests an early move-in date and needs prorated rent
- Residents want a pet on the property.
- A renter has an emotional support animal
Allowing pets could be beneficial for a property owner, but be sure to establish the rules. For example, investors can limit the size and breed of dogs they allow. However, make sure pet restrictions and criteria apply to all renters to avoid discrimination claims.
4. Update a Lease Agreement as Needed
Since the lease agreement is a legal document, property owners should regularly look over it to ensure it is still up to date. Then, make updates based on different needs, your preference changes, or legalities. A real estate attorney and a property management team can help you keep leases up to date!
5. Provide Consequences for Lease Violations
Make sure your renter understands the rental agreement's information on lease violation consequences. Violations could include late fees, returned check fees, and having a pet or smoking to break the rules. Remember that state and local regulations govern some penalties, so work with Cobb County rental management experts to keep your lease legal.
6. Answer All Lease Questions Before Signing
Give your renter ample opportunity to ask questions or clarify any item when reviewing the lease with them. This can help avoid any confusion (or violations) during the lease term.
7. Know the Laws in Georgia
Before you create a lease, familiarize yourself with the landlord and tenant laws in the state of Georgia. A property management company will ensure your residential lease agreement complies with federal and state laws.
8. Get All Signatures
Make sure every adult on the lease signs their name on the agreement. Your signature or your property manager's signature is also required for legal rental agreements.
9. A Free Template is Insufficient
We all like free things. However, when it comes to such an important document, property owners shouldn't rely solely on a free rental or lease agreement template. You'll need an expert in real estate law or an experienced property manager to review the document and make changes to ensure your investment is protected.
10. Work With a Property Manager
While some general clauses should be included in a simple lease agreement, a property manager can help you identify weak areas that could leave you vulnerable to a lawsuit. A strong lease is also necessary for property owners to enforce the rules.
Choose the Best Cobb County Property Management for Strong Leases!
Working with a property management company helps ensure that every lease agreement is legally binding and covers most situations that might come up during a lease. The best property management companies also enforce the lease to protect rental properties! Reach out to learn how Renters Warehouse Atlanta can help you draft an ironclad lease agreement!