Tips for Preparing a Lease Agreement

By chrisrath • April 22nd, 2011

As a rental property management firm and landlord, having a properly prepared and signed lease from every tenant is paramount. Failure to do so may leave you in a huge bind when it comes time to evict a tenant who has become a nuisance or who isn’t paying on time. Here are some things to keep in mind as you look to prepare your lease agreement.

Finding a Form


There are dozens of lease forms to choose from but you’ll want to make sure the form you use covers all of the legal guidelines set forth by your state of residence. While you can easily find a lease template online or in an office supply store, you are better off consulting a lawyer to have a formal lease drafted for your continuous use.

application form

List all the Details


Make sure the lease form you use is filled in properly before it is signed. Don’t leave anything blank. Be sure to include the name of the tenant, the length of the lease (with exact start and end dates), the amount owed (in total and per month) for the year, and what penalties will be assigned for late payment. The lease should also outline the names of all adults living in the household.

Utilities and Maintenance


Some rental property owners include some utilities (like gas) while requiring their tenants to pay for others (like electric). Some include all utilities and some include none. It’s up to you to determine what you’ll include with the rent and it is your responsibility to clearly state, in the lease, which utilities your tenant is responsible for paying. Don’t forget to include things like water, sewer, and trash pick-up if those things apply in your area.

Make sure you note any additional amendments or agreements in writing at the time the lease is signed. If in doubt, consult your lawyer to make sure any amendments you make to your standard form are done legally!

About the author

chrisrath I enjoy helping people find that right home whenever faced with a relocation situation due to their job or even a major life event. Since I have access to a large inventory of homes for sale and also manage many properties in the northern Delaware region, it is easy for us to help anyone make a smooth transition into this area. I am a licensed Real Estate Agent and also manage my own company Rath Management where we locate, screen, secure, counsel, and communicate with the tenant and the investor throughout the entire leasing process to keep homes filled. Our company also manages maintenance issues, collects and forwards rent monies, and even helps with the dreaded eviction process in the event a tenant does not keep up with the terms. Chris Rath

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