Tenants in California have a lot of rights, and as a landlord, you might worry that your own interests won’t be protected. What if there’s a dispute over the security deposit or a need to evict the tenant who has not paid rent for two months?
A strong lease agreement will protect you and your rental property.
If you’re not sure what you should expect from a rental lease agreement, these are some of the most common clauses and terms.
Tenant Names and Identifying Information
Most lease agreements begin with the basics; who are the parties agreeing to the terms and requirements of the lease agreement? You’ll want to list your own name and contact information as well as the name and information of your property manager, if you’re working with one.
You’ll also need the names of all tenants who are bound to the lease agreement. These are screened tenants over the age of 18 who are financially responsible for your property and its rental payments. List the address of the home in the lease.
Start and End Dates of your Tenancy
The rental lease agreement must reflect the exact term of the residency. When does the lease go into effect and when is it over? A good lease agreement will include the process for renewing the lease agreement. It must also stipulate how much notice a tenant must give before moving out.
You can expect your lease to indicate what happens when the lease term comes to an end. Does it renew automatically? Does it convert to a month-by-month agreement? Expect to find this information in the language.
Rent and Security Deposit Information
Document the amount of the security deposit that was collected. You can also expect your lease agreement to include the rental amount. A full rent collection policy should be part of the lease, which would include:
- Rental amount
- Rental due dates (include information on grace periods if applicable)
- How rent should be paid
- When rent is considered late, and whether there are late fees and other penalties
Establishing a consistent rent collection policy will ensure tenants aren’t surprised when a late fee is charged or a Pay or Quit Notice is served when they fall behind.
Rules and Regulations for the Property
You should expect a lease agreement that lists all the rules and regulations for your property. If your rental home is in an HOA, you’ll want to be sure your tenants get a copy of those rules and regulations as well. Some of the rules you’ll want your lease to include are:
- Pets and pet policies
- Rules on guests
- Parking rules
- Smoking rules
Rules for the landlord should be in the lease, too. For example, a landlord’s right of entry should be stipulated. You should expect a lease to establish who is responsible for things like landscaping and utilities.
There’s a lot more that goes into a lease agreement. You’ll want your lease to establish whether your property is subject to or exempt from rent control. You’ll need all the disclosures mandated by state and federal law.
Look for a lease agreement that was written by an attorney or a property management professional in California. You don’t want to download any template you find online.
If you need help preparing a lease agreement for your rental property in Danville or the surrounding areas, please contact us at Stowers Real Estate. We’d be happy to provide all the resources you need.