Like all contracts, leases are not all that useful until there are issues.
Here are 5 key lease clauses that you should ensure are clear and present in every lease:
Who owns what? Range, Refrigerator, Dishwasher, Clothes Washer, Clothes Dryer, Remotes, Keys, Trash Cans, Access Cards, etc. It is useful for the tenant to know these things up front and it is very useful for the landlord to know what should be left behind when the tenant leaves.
Who is responsible for what? Most state and local landlord-tenant laws dictate the basics of this question but there is many issues left open. Electric service, Gas Service, Water/Sewer Service, Grass Cutting, Landscaping care, Snow Removal, Trash Service Fees, Various specific maintenance issues, etc.
The order in which payments are applied? It should be stated that all other monies owed are covered by payments first, then the remainder is applied to the actual rent. Non-payment of rent is the lease violation reason for almost all of the eviction cases filed. Going to eviction court over anything else can be more tricky.
Fees? What fees can be charged, and how much are they. The obvious one is a late fee. There can be countless other fees for various issues such as bounced payment fee, 3-day posting fee, lease break fee, general lease violation fee, etc.
Pets? Your lease should be crystal clear about how many pets (if any) the tenant is allowed to have. We recommend not screening pets by weight or breed as this is hard to confirm and even harder to track. Your lease should spell out all the issues surrounding pets.
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RL Property Management Group, the only property management company in Columbus started and run by engineers. Our clients enjoy a premium property management experience without paying a premium price. RL Property Management is designed to provide our clients reliability and performance.