8 Important Policies That Landlords Must Include in Their Rental Agreement

By 14th January 2015Blog

Rental agreements need to be developed with great care by the landlords since every landlord wants to avoid the situation in which a tenant can find a loophole and take any undue advantage of the landlord and his property. Landlords are vulnerable to great risks if the rental agreement is created carelessly, missing out several important terms and clauses. So they need to cover all essential policies and clauses to protect themselves from major liabilities when running a property management business.

Here are some important guidelines to help landlords include all important policies in the rental agreements.

Tenant screening
Landlords must run a background check on every prospective tenant. By learning your prospective tenant’s credit report, you can make an informed decision about the tenant’s ability to pay your rent every month. Tenants’ eviction history, criminal history, and other tenant verifications help you rent out your property to the right person, who can maintain your property and keep it clean and safe while residing in it.

Online payments
Online payment of rent is quite convenient for both tenants as well landlords. So make an effort to set up a way for your tenants to pay monthly rent online, whether it’s through bank or using reliable online portal like PayPal. Having easy payment options to pay rent make tenants more likely to pay their rent on time.

Security deposit
Set the security deposit a higher amount than the tenant’s monthly rent in a tenant’s rental agreement so your tenant won’t attempt to move out early with a reason that he or she has already paid you for the remaining time span.

Move-in and move-out conditions
Clearly define all financial ramifications of a new tenant with respect to inability to move in on the agreed date. Also, make clear all specific instructions in the tenant’s rental agreement on the move-out process.

Move-in checklist
Always provide your new tenants a full checklist of household items and their current condition. Make sure your tenants agree with your assessment. Note all aspects, such as presence of doorsteps in each bedroom of your unit, absence of punctures or holes in any of the drywall, and absence of stains and marks on any of the floors or carpets. Landlords also need to re-visit and examine the property when the lease ends or the tenant decides to vacate.

Building maintenance
Be clear with all specific terms regarding your tenant’s responsibility to keep the premises clean and safe.  List all duties and items that need to be attended and the frequency of cleaning or servicing various aspects of your property. Also include a clause that states that if the tenant is unable or unwilling to continue the mentioned duties, you can charge specified fee that will be added onto the monthly rent.

Right to inspect
It is better to visit and examine your properties once every couple of months. However, if you cannot personally pay a visit, find someone who can do it on your behalf. This will help you ensure that the property is well-maintained and safe and you won’t have any surprises at the end of the lease when you are trying to find new tenants.

Decoration rules and regulations
Be clear with your specific instructions for what you will and will not tolerate in terms of interior decorations in your property. Various major projects, such as hanging flat screen televisions or excessive large images, should be discussed before they are executed.

By following a tenant screening process and including all these essential policies in the rental lease agreement, you avoid getting involved in simple misunderstanding with your current and future tenants. This helps you develop rewarding relationships with your tenants. By creating quite clear and understandable rental guidelines, you can avoid a lot of headaches while being diligent when managing your property management business.