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Tip #127: Up to Standards?

checklistWhile preprinted rental lease forms can be a good start towards a solid lease agreement, if you want to be protected, you’ll need to finish the job:

Make sure to fill in all the blanks of the lease form based on your specific situation. For instance, if you want to charge interest on overdue rent, list the highest figure allowed by your local laws. Don’t leave it blank. A judge cannot fill it in for you later.

Read the whole thing through to make certain there’s nothing in there that violates your local landlord tenant laws. If you’re not sure about the local laws, have an attorney review it.

Arm the lease with the weapons you need to get a bad tenant out when you need to and spell out all of your rules.

Don’t inadvertently add in concessions that you don’t need. If your state allows 60 days to return a deposit, don’t offer to return it in 45 just because that’s what your standard lease says.

See last weeks Landlord Quick Tip.

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  • Abby

    My lease states that tenants pay all utilities, except for garbage. Tenants moved in on the first of October. I told them they needed to make sure the utilities were put in their names by the 1st. Gave them a sheet of all utility companies, their contact numbers, the transfer fees, and days & times they could pay. Thought I had it covered. As they are very busy working and one of them is going to school and gone all week, I had a nagging feeling I’d better check to see if the utilities had been transferred to their names. It is 10-11 today and only one utility has been transferred and that was on 10-6 with no mention that they took possession on 10-1 and that the bill needed to be backdated to then. I’m wondering what others do regarding utilities.
    Are tenants verbally told, or is it inserted in the lease, that the utilities will be disconnected if they haven’t transferred them by the move in date?

  • Dr. Science

    I live in a state up north where one just cannot turn off utilities for fear of frozen pipes. The tenants don’t get keys until the utilities are switched. Quite simple.

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