Create your real estate lease

Chapter 10: Step 9

Create your lease.

Time: 3 Hours, Day 3

Either go buy one, or modify the free one that you got from signing up with the newsletters.

Set it up with your Management Companies Address, name and details.

The key sections you should have in your lease are:

  1. Forms of payment.  How tenants are to pay you.

  2. Late payments and fees.  What happens when they are late

  3. Security deposits.  What are they and how long they have to wait to get it back after they move out.

  4. Quiet enjoyment and respect to neighbors.  Let them know that they need to be respectful of other tenants and even neighbors.

  5. Use of premises.  What is and is not permitted on the property.

  6. Number of occupants on the property

  7. Condition of the premises.  If they got it in perfect/good condition, state it and have them initial. Make note of any problems found on the move in inspection.

  8. Keys.  How many keys they have and how much it will cost if they lose them.

  9. Locks.  Can they change the locks without your permission.

  10. Lockout.  What it will cost them if they lock themselves out and you need to come rescue them (or even if you will).

  11. Parking.  What are the rules around parking.  Can they park on the grass?

  12. Assignment and subletting.  Can they re-rent out the property or let someone take over the lease without your permission.

  13. Damage to premises and dangerous materials.

  14. Utilities. Who is responsible for what utilities and what happens if a utility is turned off.

  15. Inspections.  How and when inspections can be done.  Does an adult have to be present for them and how much notice is required.

  16. Maintenance and repair.  Who is responsible to keep the property in good condition and fix issues that come up.

  17. Painting.  Can they repaint your house?

  18. Insurance.  Do they have to carry their own renters insurance.

  19. Pets.  What are your rules, and their costs if you allow it.

  20. Snow, grass, ice and garbage removal.  Who does what?

  21. Insects, Rodents and pests.  If the property was inspected and free from said, and who is responsible if they ‘happen’ to show up.

  22. Right of Inspection.  The landlords right of inspection and how much notice must be given.

  23. Display of signs.  Can they? Can you?

  24. Rules and regulations.  It’s your property, you get to make the rules (for the most part).

  25. Abandonment and Default.  What happens if they abandon a property or default on payments?

  26. Maintenance emergencies.  What to do and who to call if there is one.

  27. Disclosures: Radon, lead paint, crime and public safety.  If you know about it, disclose it.  If you know there is a dangerous dog in the area, you have to let them know.

  28. Disclosure of ownership.  Who really owns the house.

  29. Contact and maintenance contact information.  How they can contact you, your maintenance guy, and what to do in an emergency.

Also, I like to add an addendum that they sign.  It’s an extra one page that is in very common and simple language that states something like the following:

“I _____________ (the tenant/lessee) acknowledge and understand the follow conditions are required for permissible use of property violating these or any conditions in the lease are grounds for eviction.

Location: ________________________________________ (Address)

___________ (Initial) Insects, pests, & rodents: The property was inspected and there are no insects, pests or rodents in the premises.  The tenant/Lessee is responsible to keep the property free of said pests and bear the costs of remedy.

___________(Initial) Lessee has been given a home free of any ROACHES and BEDBUGS. Lessor WILL NOT be responsible for ROACHES and/or BEDBUGS. THIS WILL BE THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF LESSEE(TENANT).

___________ (Initial) Cleanliness: The property was received in good and clean condition.  The tenant/Lessee is responsible for trash removal and maintenance of grounds as agreed in the lease.

___________ (Initial) Grass/Snow removal: The tenant/Lessee  “is” / “is not”  (circle one) responsible for grass and snow removal.  A fee of $_________ will be assessed if Lessor/Landlord has to remove grass or snow.  If the tenant/Lessee “is” responsible for grass/snow removal and the county/city/municipality levies fines or fees for lack of tenant/lessee’s actions to do so then the tenant/lessee will be responsible for said fines/fees.  These fees can and often run up to $500 or more.

______________________________________ (Name spelled out)

______________________________________ ( Signature & Date)”

Here there are three important parts to the addendum.

1) That there are no bugs there and they will be responsible if they bring in bugs. This is important, if you had bugs before or know there were bugs there from a prior landlord, then get it professionally inspected and keep the report on file.  Make sure it’s clean before the tenant moves in any personal possessions or you could be buying them new stuff (even if the stuff they got came out of the trash bin).

2) They have to keep the property clean and if we have to clean up after them, they will get charged and or evicted

3) If they are responsible for grass, and the city comes and cuts it for them, they can be charged over $500 by some cities.

Once you have written this up, have your eviction attorney review it for you in each county that you are doing business in.  Every state has different rules and expectations, and sometimes even different counties and once in a while even different Judges will have different expectations and enforce rules in strange ways.  It’s best to be armed before you get to that point.

Hint: Go to a local apartment complex and do the application process.  See how they do it, get a copy of their lease for review “before you decide to move in”, and before you give a deposit or let them run your credit.

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1 Comment

  1. Even three years ago, people knew about the danrges of a meth lab and what it could do to the ability of the property to be lived in. There are different kinds of meth labs based on the process and chemicals used, so not all meth labs are considered as bad as others. However, someone should have tested and certified that the house was acceptable for living in after the clean-up. I understand that you are very concerned right now and I would be to. But, it is possible that the house was treated correctly and is safe. However, I would not rest easy until I saw some specific information that indicated exactly the level of contamination and some type of certification or document that indicates the property is safe.If the work was done properly, the rental company probably did not have to disclose this fact. However, if it wasn’t done and there remains a problem in the unit, I would hold them accountable for not informing me of that fact, assuming that you can prove that they knew. Some states have a database of houses that have been used as meth labs and track them that way. See if you can find any information from the state or local police first and work your way back to the rental company. In the meantime, I would consider finding an alternate place for the kids to stay until you get some good information.Good Luck

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