As a landlord, do invest time in finding a quality lease agreement that details what is expected of a tenant, including the treatment of your property. And, once you have screened, vetted and zeroed in on a prospective tenant, for greater impact and for it to be more effective, read and explain the lease to him / her in person. This way you can clarify and clear any issues the tenant might have with any of the clauses. You will agree the lease agreement is a sort of instruction manual for tenants on the rules and regulations to be followed, as long as they are renting your property.
Before handing over the keys to an expensive piece of property, just on the basis of one or two months security deposit, ensure your prospective tenant understands and agrees to all the terms and conditions that are a part of the lease agreement. You will be surprised to find out how many people sign on the dotted line, without so much as bothering to read what they are committing themselves to. Reading the lease with prospective tenants allows you to get a fairly good psychological picture of what they will be like as tenants. While, the reading is going on, simply, study carefully how they respond to the terms of the lease.
- If your tenant prospect has a major problem with the late fee policy, you know you have got yourself someone who does not expect to pay rent on time.
- What if the tenant prospect argues about being responsible for minor repairs?
- Or the cleaning charges.
- Or, if he / she has a problem with penalty charges for unauthorised occupants?
- Or, he / she has a real problem with the default clause that outlines landlord eviction rights for non-payment of rent?
And, if you didn’t already know, you will find the lease agreement has a Daily Rental clause that allows landlords the same rights as that given to hotels. That is, in case of defaulting, you have the right to have the tenant removed and arrested for theft of services and/or trespassing?
As you can see, one can learn a lot about a tenant prospect at a lease signing. But, do bear in mind, the lease is not meant to be used as a weapon, it is simply a tool to help landlords protect and defend their property from unscrupulous tenants and difficult situations.
Invest in a quality lease agreement or get a lawyer to draft it for you!