Reviewing a Lease with Tenants
There are many important things that go into making up a lease, but will your tenants understand what it all means to them? Will they even read your lease? Who knows. To play it safe, take some time out and read the lease to all of your tenants before they move in. Let them answer any questions they have and carefully explain all of the rules for your property. Go over each and every term in the lease and highlight any important points that previous tenants may have not understood. If you are renting to students, suggest that parents attend the lease review so they are clear on their son or daughter's responsiblities. Often parents will be paying the rent and will want to know the details of where their money is going.
You may not be able to review the lease at the rental property if it is currently occupied by other tenants. You will want to find a mutually convienent place to go over the lease where everyone will be comfortable and you can openly discuss the agreement. Let everyone know approximately how long the process will take and make them feel open to ask questions. When you agree on a time and place to reveiw the lease, insist that everyone that will live in the rental be present at the review. This way you only have to review the lease one time, and everyone gets the benefit of the other questions asked during the review.
After you have completed the lease review, use this time to collect your security deposit and any other information you may need from your tenants. Ask them to fully inspect the property within 3 days of taking possession and let you know of anything that is wrong. If you get these issues out of the way early, you will avoid headaches all year long and hopefully your tenants will stick around for a long time.