While owning a home is still considered the American dream, at least one in three homes is rented rather than owned by the occupants. Whether those rental properties are part of large apartment complexes or single-family units, both landlords and tenants have rights and responsibilities. Leases should always outline the obligations of both parties, but local, state, and federal regulations generally trump lease agreements. While it’s always a good idea to consult a legal expert when questions arise, one can also keep reading for basic information or click here to find out more.
Grasping the Basics
Landlord/tenant laws in most jurisdictions contain a few basic regulations everyone should understand. As a rule, both parties involved in a rental agreement need to understand where, when, and to whom rental payments must be made. Landlords should clarify how those payments should be made. For example, if a check must be delivered to the landlord at a specific address, that address must be clear. If online payments are accepted, the tenant should be advised how to access the payment portal and understand what steps are required to complete payments. Since many rental agreements include property-specific clauses, everyone must be clear about the contents of the rental agreement. Organizations like AAOA work with landlords to minimize the potential for issues and to provide advice for resolving problems in the event they occur.
What’s Included in a Lease Agreement?
Virtually all agreements must include specific information to comply with relevant information standards. Unless all required information is included, according to realtimecampaign.com, courts are not likely to support a landlord should a dispute arise. Of course, renters may also find it difficult to resolve grievances if nothing related to an issue is spelled out in the lease and government regulations don’t clearly apply to the situation. Here are some of the items that should always be included in a rental agreement.
The names of all parties involved. The landlord must be clearly identified, and the names of all tenants should be included.
Rental amounts must be clear, and the agreement must specify when and where the payment is to be made. If late penalties are included, they must be clearly defined.
A description of the property being rented and its exact address are always required.
The amount of any security deposit must be included, and the agreement must specify how and when that deposit will be returned.
All agreements must include any special agreements, including whether pets are permitted, where tenants may park, and if additional storage space is included.
Most jurisdictions also have Renter’s Rights & Guidance sites or offices tenants and landlords can contact when questions come up. However, it’s always important parties involved in disputes related to rental properties contact organizations focusing on either lessees or lessors to ensure they receive appropriate advice.
Planning Eliminates Many Issues
In most instances, it’s far easier to prevent issues than it is to resolve them after a problem comes up. Landlords who work with legal experts and owners’ associations routinely find they experience fewer issues when everyone involved understands the relevant regulations affecting rental properties. Tenants also benefit by understanding all regulations, as they are better informed and able to understand their rights and duties.