What should be included in a lease?

At Coakley Realty, our property management services include lease and rental agreement writing so that our clients don’t have to worry about omitting important information and requirements from their agreements.

One of the first things we consider for our clients is whether to offer a lease or a rental agreement. Generally, a lease agreement specifies a set time frame for which a tenant agrees to rent the property, such as six months or one year. A rental agreement doesn’t include a set time frame for residency and generally serves as a month-to-month agreement. Whether or not you choose to offer tenants a lease or rental agreement will depend on your budget and your area. Offering short-term rental agreements is more attractive to certain types of tenants, while requiring a longer-term lease ensures you have money coming in for a longer period of time.

Regardless of whether you offer a lease or a rental agreement, you should include at least the following lease terms:

  • Names of all the tenants, the landlord and the address of the property – Every adult occupying the property needs to be included on the agreement.
  • Time frame of the agreement – Is this a rental agreement or a lease? When does the tenant have to specify renewal or nonrenewal?
  • Rent details – Include the amount, when it’s due, how it should be paid, late fees/charges for bounced checks
  • Security deposit details – Include the amount of the security deposit and its return conditions.
  • Restrictions – These can include restrictions on pets or illegal activity, and you can also mention rules for subletting.
  • Who is responsible for repairs – Specify what maintenance tasks the tenant is responsible for (such as shoveling the sidewalks in the winter) and what the landlord is responsible for.
  • When can the landlord access the rental – This should include in what situations the landlord can access the rental and how much notice he/she should provide the tenant.
  • Termination terms – This could include what happens if the tenant fails to pay rent or violates any of terms of the lease or agreement.

Writing a lease or a rental agreement can be overwhelming. Hiring a property management company allows you to eliminate the stress of lease drafting. Find out if you should hire a property management company.