If you have listed your Columbus property in the rental market and have found a suitable tenant, your next step would be drafting a lease agreement. This is the most critical document when it comes to rented homes and should be created with utmost diligence.
A lease agreement states all the rules, terms & conditions, and the consequences of non-compliance. If your tenant fails to abide by the Contract, you can take action against them. Here are some basic, but crucial points that your lease contract must cover.
This is the primary element that forms the basis of your lease agreement. The lease must specify the due amount of rent, the date on which the tenant is supposed to make the payment, and the mode of such transaction (card, check, bank transfer).
Depending on the span of the lease contract, the percentage increase in the amount of rent that is applicable should also be mentioned. You must know the maximum limit to which the rent can be hiked, as the value differs from state to state.
It is highly advisable to accept the rent in a recorded form such as a check or an electronic transfer. This acts as an official proof of transaction, helping you to avoid any false claims of payment by the tenant. Alongside rent, the deposit amount should also be specified in the document.
The lease must include the charges that you, as a landlord, would impose on the occupant. Following are the potential grounds for claiming an additional charge (s):
- Late payments
- Eviction notices that you send them by post
- Bounced checks
- Processing fee for any utilities that are not in their name after possession
- Repairing charges for any damage caused due to the occupant's negligence/ misuse
- Violation of any other rule(s) as specified in the lease contract
Permissibility of Pets
As a landlord, you have the right to determine whether or not to allow pets on your property (unless they are support animals). The lease must specify all the terms and conditions, about such permission or prohibition of pets. In the case of levying pet charges, the amount must be mentioned in the document.
Even though your renter may not have a pet while entering into the agreement, it is a good idea to include a clause regarding pets. This is because they may have a pet later or maybe their guests might bring one along.
Division of Responsibilities
Both, the landlord as well as the tenant, are responsible for maintaining the property. The duties and responsibilities must be clearly stated to avoid any room for misinterpretations.
Responsibilities of the Landlord may include:
- Regular maintenance (daily/weekly/fortnightly/monthly as deemed fit by the Contractor)
- Repairs related to the HVAC system, plumbing, structure, etc
- Ensuring optimum functioning of machines/devices
Responsibilities of the Tenant may include-
- Sanitation/ cleanliness
- Adhering to pet rules
- Not using the property for illegal activities
- Not disturbing the neighbors
- Minor fixes (like replacing light bulbs)
A well-drafted lease can keep you out of any potential legal trouble. If you face any challenges while drafting the lease agreement, you can always consult a property manager in Columbus. These are professional property management companies with years of expertise in creating such legal documents.
Solutions for Real Estate (S4RE), Ohio, is a one-stop solution for all your real estate and property management concerns. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, we have shown continual excellence in delivering the services. Connect with us to discuss your real estate investment needs.