Learn common clauses that landlords include in residential leases, as well as tips for writing a fair and compliant agreement.
Lease agreements are crucial documents that codify the roles and responsibilities of tenants and landlords in a rental property relationship. It’s the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that their lease agreements comply with their local real estate laws around security deposit returns, late fees, rent increases, and renters insurance requirements. The lease is also an opportunity for the landlord to clearly state their expectations on issues such as subletting, pets, landscaping responsibilities, smoking, and more.
In this article, we’ll share common clauses to include in residential leases, as well as tips for writing a fair and compliant agreement.
While landlords should tailor their leases to their unique rental property needs, lease agreements generally contain the following clauses. Be sure to check your local tenant and rental property laws for all of these items, but particularly security deposits and landlord access, which have varying regulations across states.
Rental property owners need to educate themselves to ensure their lease agreement is compliant with the real estate laws in their area. Most states and even local jurisdictions have regulations around key issues like rent increases, security deposits, required disclosures, evictions, tenant privacy, and more. Property owners who fail to understand and follow these regulations can find themselves facing lawsuits, monetary fines, or other legal challenges. If possible, it’s a good idea to have a real estate lawyer review your lease agreement before it gets signed.
To make sure you include all the necessary components in your lease agreement, start with an existing template. Landlords can find a variety of lease resources online, then tailor the lease agreement to their unique rental property situation. For example, for landlords who own rental properties in Southern California, the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles (AAGLA) offers a library of hundreds of forms for everything from lease agreements to rental applications to addendums to rent reminders and more.
At the start of every new tenancy or lease term, re-read your lease agreement and make any necessary updates. Perhaps your last tenant painted the bedroom walls purple without asking, so you need to add a clause on acceptable property alterations. Or maybe you no longer want to allow tenants to have pets. Whatever the changes, take the opportunity to carefully review your lease agreement and make sure it aligns with your current standards and preferences.
Landlords can save time and stay organized by creating, sending, and storing their rental property lease agreements online. Rather than printed leases, using an online platform makes it easier to edit leases and share with tenants for e-signing. A digital lease is also more accessible if you need to double check something, instead of wondering where you placed the paper document.
Azibo allows landlords to create and store online lease agreements for multiple tenants and rental properties in one place. Our compliant, customizable lease templates cover all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Azibo’s integrated platform makes it easy to populate your lease documents with core information and terms from tenant screening and applications, helping you save time and avoid errors. Once you create your lease agreement, you can conveniently share it with tenants for e-signature, then get notified once signing is complete.
Ready to streamline lease creation? Learn more about Azibo today.