7 Clauses That Every Lease Needs to Have

7 Clauses That Every Lease Needs to Have

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7 Clauses That Every Lease Needs to Have


For today’s real estate investor (or those dreaming of investing in the future), rental agreements are considered a must-have before ever putting your property up for rent- and for good reason. Having a signed document in place to cover every aspect of a tenant’s lease is not only a necessity in legally protecting you (the landlord) should things go awry, but your tenant as well.

Needless to say, the agreement you currently have in place may be lacking a few key clauses; which, in the long run, could cause harm to your reputation as an investor or landlord and affect future business.

Whether you put the agreement together yourself (using personal knowledge or a template found on the internet) or had a legal professional conjure one up for you, you may want to go through this list and check to see just what (if anything) is missing.

7. Pets

Not allowing animals in or around your property is, indeed, your right as a landlord.

Of course, in doing so you may detract some prospective tenants from renting with you, but your reasoning would certainly be valid. Pets (while adorable) can bring about noise, foul smells and stains; all negatives that could last long after your tenant moves elsewhere and cause potential complaints from neighbors.

However, whatever your preference may be, it’s simply a MUST that you’re clear on the subject in your rental agreement. If you should decide to allow pets, it would be wise to require a pet deposit (separate from the tenant’s main deposit) to cover potential damages caused specifically by animals during the duration of your renter’s lease.

At the end of the day, allowing pets doesn’t need to mean “all animals are welcome”. You could (and should) choose to limit your tenant’s options to size, breed/species and/or quantity of pets they can have while renting with you.

6. Smoking

Smoking is no longer a widely accepted reality amongst the general population after being exposed to cause long-lasting health complications and awful odors. Not to mention, cigarettes have the potential to start fires that could either damage/burn down your property, or worse, cause harm or death to your tenant.

Couple this with the fact that litter from cigarette butts can detract future tenants, and you might find yourself keen on prohibiting smoking altogether.

Just be sure to cover your stance on smoking in your agreement, even if you plan to designate special outdoor areas for tenants to light up.

5. Noise/Complaints

Dealing with loud noises is an inevitable fact of renting- one any successful investor has run into. Though, seemingly harmless at first, noise could turn troublesome if it leads to police involvement or escalates to physical disputes between your tenant and another party.

This is why noise and complaints NEED to be highlighted in your agreement, ensuring that your tenants are aware they will be subject to eviction from your property after a certain number of disputes are reported.

4. Condition

Should you require your tenant to carry out specific responsibilities in order to stay on your property (including paying rent on time) then condition is of the utmost importance to cover in your agreement.

For example: say rent of $800 is due at the beginning of each month, no pets are allowed in the home or property and your tenant is responsible for lawn upkeep in the summer- these are your conditions. Should the tenant pay rent late, bring a new pitbull home and/or let the weeds grow to eye-sore levels then they’ll be in breach of their lease and subject to a termination notice.

3. Expenses

As we all know, there are many expenses attached to every residence. Make sure you clearly define what expenses will be covered by the tenant so that there will be no confusion when the water bill comes. You may feel that a verbal agreement is enough however it is imperative that you make the tenant aware of what expenses they will be covering in writing before they even move into the unit. An unpaid water or electric bill is something you as a landlord can easily avoid and most definitely do not want to deal with. Here is a list of expenses to think about adding to your lease:

  • Water

  • Electric

  • Gas

  • Snow Removal

  • Trash Removal

  • Lawn Maintenance

2. Insurance

Crimes (such as break-ins and robberies), fires and other natural disasters are real. No matter if your property happens to exist in the safest neighborhood on Earth or not, these possibilities will require your tenant to have renter’s insurance in order to cover damages or losses.

In your agreement, you should map out insurance plans that will need to be in place before a tenant can move-in. You could take it a step further and require a specific amount of coverage dependent on various factors including the properties’ surrounding area/state or size.

1. Security Deposit/Move-Out Condition

Probably the most well-known clause in any rental agreement, a security deposit should be the quintessential starting point for your lease, regardless of its length or duration.

Calculating this deposit can be tricky, but should always begin with the cost of rent itself. This gives you a baseline for how much money is needed up front from your tenant and is typically the first or last month’s rent.

Once you’ve figured out the amount for your security deposit it’s up to you to enforce it within the agreement while also giving stipulations for its return to your tenant after they’ve ended their lease. I.E. if a tenant chooses to terminate their lease early or is evicted for delinquent rent payments (or complaints) then, in this case, they typically wouldn’t receive any reimbursement for their initial deposit.

The return of a security deposit is also dependent on the property’s condition once your tenant has left and is used to cover things like repairs, damages and/or trash removal in order to restore your property to appeal to renters in the future.


At Roxbury Mill Properties, LLC  We specialize in purchasing distressed homes, renovating and reselling. In this way we not only help homeowners out of difficult situations but also improve the community by providing affordable housing that attracts new homeowners to these neighborhoods.

 Through our extensive knowledge of the business, our network of resources, and years of expertise, we are able to assist homeowners with a wide variety of real estate problems. We pride ourselves on working one-on-one with each customer to handle their individual situations.

With the ability to directly purchase homes and make cash offers, we can create an extremely fast, and hassle-free transaction.



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