Organizing Your Lease
Found a client to rent your home! Check that box.
Yikes. Now you need a lease.
Creating a lease and organizing your paperwork is not as hard as you might think. There are plenty of services out there that will let you customize your lease according to your state and needs. We use EZ Landlord Forms for our homes as they have an array of forms and state specific topics. We don't rely on their free forms, however. We find them too general and not state specific. When it comes to getting things in writing, you want to be sure that you are up to date and complete with your state requirements. Rather than becoming an expert in the ever changing regulations and laws, we have found it much more effective to allow them to stay up to date and us utilize their service.
When it comes to what pieces to include in the lease, it makes sense to review everything that is included by you and everything that you expect from the client. Some often overlooked things might include:
- Pet Requirements - deposits, fees
- Clean Out Expectations
- Homeowner Contact Hours
- HVAC Filter Replacement
- Emergency Contact Information
- Parking Instructions
- Key Responsibility
- Surface Care (ie, Granite, Tile, Grout, Wood Floors)
The more your outline expectations, the easier it is for you and your client. We like the simplicity of the online services. Most clients are in the middle of a move and have a transitional address. It wastes a lot of time sending a lease through the mail to your client. With online forms, you can use digital signatures that allow you to create, send, and receive the signed lease all within a few hours. Additionally, you then have a saved copy already to go on your computer.
Even though the services do help automate your lease creation, that does not relieve your your burden of being familiar with your state requirements. Things such as security deposits, late fees, termination notice, and more all vary by state. There are cues in place with automated forms to help you understand what you need to be familiar with. We will cover that in greater detail in another post.
Don't be nervous. This is a lot easier than you might think. In a matter of an hour, you can have a solid lease that is ready for your client. You just need to do it!