Writing a lease is tricky, but if you get it right that lease can save you a lot of time and money. Unforeseen incidents can force you into never-ending back-and-forth negotiations with tenants, a ton of money in the legal drama, and more. The best idea is to consult a lawyer while you are writing a lease to make sure that you cover all of your bases, but if you need a good starting point, here are some clauses that you can’t miss when you are writing a lease for your Berkeley property.
This is an interesting clause. If you accidentally include something illegal in your lease, a judge could declare that lease void, rendering it useless and potentially costing you big bucks. This clause simply states that if there is an illegality somewhere in the lease, the rest of the lease will still be legally binding. In other words, this is a just-in-case kind of clause to make any other mistake you might make in the lease unimportant.
This clause specifies the length of the grace period and the amount of the late fee. Unless a late fee is explained in the lease, you cannot charge one later. Make sure that you include this clause so that you can hold your tenants responsible if they fail to make a payment on time. This will encourage your tenants to pay rent on time and if they don’t, it is not a total loss for you, there is the fee to compensate for the money that you have lost.
Make sure that you forbid tenants to sublet your property. If this isn’t in the lease, then you cannot do anything about it if it becomes a problem. Subleasing complicates the rent collection process because not only do you have to collect rent from your tenant, they have to collect money from theirs before they can give it to you. If you choose to allow subleasing, include the specifics of what is and is not allowed in this clause.
This clause should specify that you, the landlord, have the right to terminate the lease if the tenant does not comply with the rules and regulations specified in the lease, monetary and otherwise. This clause also says that if you, the tenant, fail to uphold the lease that the tenant has the right to terminate the lease agreement.
Surrender of Premises
This clause specifies exactly what you expect from tenants at the time of move-out. It details what condition the rental property should be in if the tenant would like their security deposit returned to them. If you expect tenants to have the carpets professionally cleaned, that should be written in your lease.
Too Complicated? Get Help!
If all of that sounds like too much pressure for you to handle, Keyrenter East Bay can help. We offer leasing services, so you can easily start renting out your property to your first tenants without worrying that your lease does not cover everything that it needs to. Give us a call today, and we’ll talk about what we can do for you.