Getting it in Writing

Cradle Mountain, Tasmania
Creative Commons License photo credit: Foraggio

A lease or rental agreement is something that should never be forgotten or skipped by anyone, whether you’re the landlord or the tenant. Both lease and rental agreements are designed to iron out all the details of the arrangement so problems don’t crop up in the future. If you want to avoid future conflicts, include the following information in your paperwork.

Names. Get the names of each and every tenant. This is especially important in boyfriend/girlfriend situations or groups of young people (college students) living together. Watch any afternoon court television program and you’ll understand all the conflicts that can arise.

Limits. Keep a written record of all any limitations you put on the unit; like how many people can live there, how long the lease agreement is for, how many vehicles the tenant is allowed to keep on the property, the number of pets you’ll allow if any. If there is any sort of restriction or limit you’re placing on your tenants, get it in writing.

Terms. It’s obvious, but oft forgotten. List all the terms of the rental agreement in writing and have the contract signed by both parties. Make sure you note whether this is a month to month contract or a yearly lease. Include rent prices and the dates of any future planned increases. If there are to be additional fees paid, such as for parking or pets, include this information as well.