A rental agreement is a legally binding document that lays the groundwork or what’s expected of a tenant while they live in a landlord’s rental property.
In today’s rental market every landlord must have a well-written rental agreement because it’s what protects the landlord’s best interests and also protects the rental property since the rental agreement lays down the rules for what the tenant can and can’t do while living at the rental property.
What Should A Rental Agreement Include?
If you’re planning on renting out your home, or investing in a rental property in Los Angeles, your rental agreement should include the following baseline information:
- Start Date – Should include when the rental agreement officially starts, when the tenant can move into the property, and when the agreement ends.
- Monthly Rent – This part of the agreement should also include when the rent is due and how it’s to be paid.
- Late Charge – Every lease agreement should include late charges that the tenant has to pay if and when they are late paying their rent.
- Security Deposit – If you plan on charging a security deposit, this section of the lease agreement should also include when it’s to be paid and if the lease agreement is refundable.
- Tenant Name(s) – The landlord should know at all times who is living in the rental property, who is responsible for paying rent, and if a pet will be living in the rental.
- Utilities – This section must include f the landlord will be paying utilities or not just so there’s no question from the start of the tenancy if the landlord is responsible for the utilities or if it’s the tenant’s responsibility.
However, a great lease will also include many local and national disclosures to protect the owner. In Los Angeles, for example, we recommend you include a form to prevent jury trials and limit attorney fees to $500. This is critical in the highly litigious LA market, where ambulance chasing attorneys troll tenants for business. This and other forms are available for free on the MW favored law firm for managing tenant evictions, Dennis Block & Associates. Click here to download. MW provides many more such forms to complete your ironclad tenant lease agreements.
Don’t Forget to Document the Walkthrough
One of the most important pages that every lease should include is a page that gives tenants the ability to document the condition the rental property was in at the time of move in including things like: holes in walls, broken windows or other problems in the rental property that should be addressed.
Landlords should always take pictures of their properties before a tenant moves in and after the tenant moves out.
Doing this will prove the condition the property was really in at the time the tenant moved in / out and eliminate any finger pointing between both parties when it comes time for the security deposit return.
Contact MW Real Estate Group
To learn more about the importance of having a great lease agreement, or to speak with us about our property management services, contact MW Real Estate Group.
We are your best resource in Los Angeles for investment sourcing, a brokerage for acquisitions, and of course full-service property management.
Contact us today by calling us at (213) 927-2117 or click here to connect with us online.