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Lease Agreement Components

Main Parts of a Lease Agreement

The following is a summary of the major components that you will want to include in your lease. This is meant to be a guide to help you consider what terms are important to you. You should check with your state legislature on laws that pertain to rental housing so you do not include terms that are not legal. You should also consider having an attorney review your lease to make sure it is completly enforcable if court action is necessary.

Names of tenants
Include the first and last name of all tenants who will be residing in the premises. Only these persons will be considered tenants and held accountable for the terms of the lease. Make sure the names of all tenants are included on the lease before you allow entry to the property.

Lease Term
What is the length of time that the lease is valid? Generally in a college town, a time frame of 1 year is optimal. This allows you to lock tenants in for a full year including the summer months, but gives you an oportunity to make rent increases each year.State the specific dates the lease will begin and end.

Payment of Rent
Include the amount of rent due, when it is due, the form of payment who a check should be made out to, where the rent should be delivered, what happens if the rent is late or short.

Most states will allow you to hold a deposit of up to 1 1/2 months rent as a security for damages or unpaid bills. Include how much the deposit will be, where it will be held, when it will be returned, what items you will deduct from the deposit, who the deposit will be returned to. State what will happen to interest earned on the deposit.

Fees, Fines, Charges
What fees or charges will tenants be responsible for such as late rent, bounced check, city fines, court charges. Also, spell out what utilities tenants will be responsible for if they are not included in the rent.

Provide details for each responsibility of the tenants and the landlord. Include to whom and when repairs are to be reported, when repairs will be made, lawn maintenance requirements, snow removal duties, garbage/recycling disposal

Access to Premises
Indicate your expectations for access to the property for repairs, inspections, to show potential tenants or buyers. Include how much notice you will provide and what will happen if there is no response. Tenants should not be able to change locks to deny you access.

State that the intended use of the property is a residence for only those included in the lease, no illegal activities are permited, running a business from the residence should not be allowed, peaceful enjoyment of the other tenants and neighbors is required.

Other Rules
State all other rules or obligations that tenants are to abide by.

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