Lease Agreement Template Details
Do you need a lease agreement template in order to provide your tenants with a legal agreement? In most cases, if you are trying to rent out your apartment to someone and become a landlord – you will need what’s called a lease agreement form. Here are some of the basics for getting one that will suit your needs and hopefully not invite legal issues.
Download a sample lease agreement here: LEASE AGREEMENT TEMPLATE
Most rental agreements have a segment concerning the renter breaking the lease agreement. While there is also likely a section or even several sections concerning when the leasing agent or owner can eject the renter, the section on breaking the lease ought to be of particular concern. This is especially true for those who may be in a position to break the lease someday due to unforeseen circumstances.
Renters should recognize these contract terms so they can make a knowledgeable decision and avoid legal issues. In addition the renter should consider all financial costs related with breaking the lease. This includes both financial costs as well as emotional costs.
The basics in every lease agreement
Although the laws and local ordinances can vary considerably from state to another and even one county to another, certain rules and criteria are pretty basic for these forms.
Terms – the terms of the lease should be clearly stated, so you know the exact length and when the lease will end. Is it a month to month lease or full year? This must also be spelled out clearly, and also how long the tenant must give notice before his/her intention of moving out.
Payments – how often and how much are the payments for the term of the lease? Normally an exact date can be agreed upon by both parties, either the 1st of the month of whatever is convenient for both, depending usually on when the renter moves in or signs the lease.
Security Deposit – there is nearly always some type of deposit that is required, which protects the owner or landlord from damages that the tenant may cause. This can vary in amount but typically is equal to about 1-2 months’ rent. It should be stated that upon inspection and satisfactory condition at the end of the lease agreement, the deposit will be returned.
Late Charges – in certain cases it may be a good idea to charge a late fee in cases where rent is paid late habitually by the tenant.
Utilities Charges – utilities such as water and electric are normally the tenants responsibility, but not always. It should be spelled out in the lease agreement who is responsible for these.
Pets– pets are a particular concern to owners and landlords because of the amount and type of damage they can cause. It is up to the owner whether to allow pets, and what kind (cats, dogs, fish, birds, etc.)
Overnight Guests – how many guests that can stay and for how long is usually also a part of the lease agreement. If guests stay for longer than a precise amount of time (2 weeks as an example) they may be required to leave or pay extra money to stay longer.
Parking – usually on a limited amount of parking spots are available to each tenant, so this must be written into the lease as well. Any specific parking spot should be identified for the tenant, so as no confusion amongst other tenants arises.
Alterations to premises – whether to allow any alterations such as nails in walls, painting of rooms, wallpapering of rooms, or other changes of any kind to the structure should be spelled out.
Insurance provisions – in most cases the owner does not provide any type of insurance for the renters possessions, so this must be stated in the lease agreement.
Condition of property and premises – any damages to the walls, carpet, fixtures (plumbing, lights, doors, etc.) are the responsibility of the tenant to have fixed. Otherwise the damages come out of the initial deposit for damages. Normal wear and tear must be considered, but the cleanliness of the premises should be kept to a reasonable level at all times by the tenant to ensure return of their deposit.
Understand the Contract Terms Clearly
Renters should evaluate their rental agreement cautiously before signing this document. The rental agreement is a legally binding document which ought to be given proper consideration before entering into. This is important because understanding these terms will be essential if the need to break the lease becomes necessary.
Rental agreements typically do not allow the renter to break the lease without some form of penalty. This penalty usually comes in the form of requiring the renter to give a specified amount of notice before the contract is up and also requires the renter to pay a sum of money to break the rental agreement.
A notice of 30 days and a lease break amount equal to one month’s rent are common penalties associated with breaking a lease, however, individual leasing agents may impose penalties which are either harsher or less severe.
Consider the Costs of Breaking the Lease
As previously mentioned there is typically some fee associated with breaking a lease. This fee is often set equal to one month’s rent, but can be anything within the legal bounds of the state where the agreement was made.
While paying this fee may seem excessive there are some instances in which it is an economically good decision to break the contract even though there is a financial penalty imposed.
Consider the example of a homeowner who is the process or relocating due to a job change. The homeowner may opt to rent an apartment in the new state while the house is put up for sale in the previous state.
If the renter enters into a 12 month contract under the supposition that it will take this long to sell the old house and purchase a new house, he may be surprised if his other house sells quickly and he finds a home in his new state rather quickly. This may all occur within a matter of 2-3 months.
The renter has the option to stay in the apartment until the rental agreement nears expiration and then start looking for a home. However, this option runs the risk that the home he previously found will not likely be available.
The renters other option is to place a bid on the new house and plan on breaking the lease if he is able to close on the new house. In this case, the renter would be saddled with both a rent and a mortgage for 9-10 months. This will likely be significantly more expensive than the price the renter would pay to break the lease.