What Terms Should Landlords Include in a Leasing Agreement?

What Terms Should Landlords Include in a Leasing Agreement?

Renting makes up a considerable portion of the US population. Approximately 44 million households are renters alone.

Critical to the renting process is the rental agreement. This dictates the duration of the tenancy, the rules, and so much more. It's an official legal document, though, one you can't change later.

What terms do you need to include when leasing? First-time landlords need not fear, for they are standing on the shoulders of giants. Read on as we discuss the most important things you must include in the lease agreement.

Names of the Occupants Under the Leasing

It's critical that you ensure only people you know are living under the rental's roof. You wouldn't want them to allow friends or family members to stay long-term without your knowledge. Nor would you want them to sublet a room to a stranger.

So make sure to include an occupancy clause. It names the official, legal tenants, and additional occupants. All of them are obligated to pay rent if the others fail to come through.

Terms of the Tenancy and Rent

The lease agreement spells out, in no uncertain terms, the length of the tenancy. Some have month-to-month lease dates, but the vast majority go for one year. Renters may get the option to renew at the close of the agreement.

Tell them how much the rent is, when it's due, and how you will collect it. Give your tenants a grace period before charging late fees.

Fees and Security Deposit

Make it abundantly clear what fees you expect. Include the dollar amount for pet fees, cleaning fees, and so on. Also, outline when you will return any refundable fees.

A security deposit is a must-have. Do not, however, make it higher than your state's legal limit. State clearly how you will use the security deposit to cover late rent or property damages.

Maintenance and Repair

Rental property management means responding to maintenance requests. Normal wear and tear is to be expected. That said, do include a clause determining who's responsible for repairing different types of damages.


Every rental needs to make its rules clear. Here are a few examples of common rules:

  • Quiet hours
  • Pet ownership
  • Smoking prohibition
  • Visiting hours

Your Right to Enter the Property

This is your property, after all. You have the right to enter, but you do need to give advance warning. Have tenants sign a reasonable agreement on how you'll schedule your visits.

Obviously, if your renters are on vacation you'll have to wait. Put a 24-hour minimum window on when you have to mention an upcoming visit. This way, they can't bar access to your entry.

Start Renting Today

Leasing agreements allow you to clearly state the stipulations of your property. Don't forget about any legal requirements when drawing up the document. If you neglect to include something, you'll have to wait until the next lease agreement for it.

Avalon Realty and Oaktree Management relieve landlords of the stress associated with renting. Check out our management services and become part of our rental family.

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