Owning investment properties requires you to put a lot of trust in other people. By extending a lease agreement to a tenant, you are relinquishing some control of what happens in your property and entrusting strangers to take good care of it. It can certainly be a nerve-wracking experience for newbie property owners.

To ease some of this anxiety and protect both you and your tenant, it’s important to draft a strong lease agreement. Here are some important things to keep in mind when preparing your Columbus lease agreements.

Important Lease Terms to Include in Your Contracts

Standard lease templates are going to include most of the basic rental agreement terms by default. It’s the not-so-basic terms you have to pay attention to.

Two big ones that often get missed are the order in which payments are applied and property ownership – specifically, ownership of appliances. These are generally not included by default and can cause real problems if not addressed in writing.

As long as you comply with compliance rules and regulations, there are really no limitations to what you include (or restrict) in your lease agreement. The thing you really need to consider is what you are going to do if and when a tenant actually engages in these behaviors. Unless you are willing to evict the resident over these behaviors, you may have to tolerate some of them to a certain extent.

One strategy to counter negative behaviors without going so far as to evict a tenant is to apply fees. For example, if you assign fees such as a $500 fee if the tenant has a large gathering – and you specifically call that fee out in your lease – you can enforce your restrictions without jumping all the way to eviction.

Deciding What to Include in Your Lease Agreements

Before defining restrictions in your lease, take the time to decide for yourself what behavior you deem completely unacceptable and what behavior is maybe tolerable once in a while – and then how you are going to approach this in terms of fees and next steps. A policy without a plan will not be helpful.

Our team at RL Property Management can help you think through these considerations. We manage hundreds of properties throughout Franklin County and can help you develop a policy and lease agreement that is relevant to your property and investment goals. Contact us today to learn more.