What’s in Your Rental Agreement?
If you rent, you should have signed a rental agreement. This is to protect both you and the person that you rent from. It could be one page or ten, hand-written or typed, with informal or very formal language. This document is to protect both you and your landlord. For clarity, but it should contain the items discussed here but may include much more. If you do not understand a part of the agreement, ask for an explanation before you sign.
Names and addresses of the landlord, tenants, and anyone authorized to manage the property.
Address and details.
The address of the rental unit and description of any extras such as designated parking space, etc, should be noted.
Length of rental.
The document should state the beginning date and whether it is rented month by month or is a lease, in which case the ending date needs to be specified.
The amount of the rent due each month and when it is due should be included, along with how and where to pay, and whether there is a late fee as well as then that late fee applies.
Deposits and fees.
There is usually a security deposit and this amount should be stated.
The agreement should spell out whether the landlord or tenant should pay for electricity, gas, garbage pickup and other services.
Tenant’s repair and maintenance responsibilities.
The agreement will likely include maintenance you will be responsible for and which the landlord will perform
Limits on your behavior.
This is usually concerning excessive noise or illegal behavior and such.
Restrictions on use of the property.
The agreement may state that the premises may not be used for a business or rented out by you to someone else, etc.
The landlord should specify whether you may have animals and whether there is a deposit to cover any damage caused by the animal. By law, he cannot prohibit service animals like seeing-eye dogs.
It may be included that a guest may only stay for a certain length of time, to prevent someone from living there without being on the rental agreement.
Grounds for termination of tenancy.
Most rental agreements will state that any violation is grounds to terminate the agreement according to state and local laws.