When investing in a rental property, you will need tenants who will pay rent on time and will not damage your investment. However, if you do not create an enforceable lease, you may find it much more difficult to protect your property if you rent to the wrong type of tenant by accident. Fortunately, a landlord-tenant attorney can assist you in creating a lease.
Customize Your Lease
There are lease templates you may download but you would be better off working with an attorney who can assist you in creating a lease that is tailored to your unique situation. For example, whether or not utilities are included or whether or not you want the tenant to maintain renter's insurance should be a part of the lease.
Include Contact Information and Other Details
Include the address of the lease office and your phone number. Clearly state the rental amount and any other fees the tenant will be responsible for. For example, the tenant might be responsible for also paying for electricity either to the utility company or directly to you so that you can pay the utility bills.
State whether rent control laws are in effect. In some states, landlords are required to abide by rent control laws. Regardless of whether this affects you or not, clarify this in your lease agreement.
Know the Law
A landlord-tenant attorney can assist you in remaining in compliance with the law. There are certain rights that a tenant has and responsibilities that a landlord must fulfill. You do not want to put a clause in your lease that is not legal. Otherwise, you will not be able to enforce the clause. The cost of hiring an attorney is much lower than the cost of trying to recover from damages done to your apartment when you are not able to use your lease to evict a tenant.
Know Your Rights
You will also want to know your rights as a landlord so you can act to protect them. For example, you will want to know under what circumstances you will have the right to evict a tenant. An attorney can help you create a lease that will protect all of your rights.
Ask Your Attorney if You Need an Addenda
You may wish to put in place a pet policy. You might be required to disclose if there is potential asbestos. Your attorney will help you make sure that all the necessary details are in your lease so everything remains clear.