How can I create a solid rental agreement?

The first element to a successful landlord/tenant relationship is the rental agreement. In order for your tenants in Santa Cruz to explicitly understand their responsibilities they must be clearly stated within the lease, whether they pertain to rent amounts or conduct within a home. offers the following tips on creating a solid and legally binding lease agreement for your tenants.

Make sure all your bases are covered

You want to provide tenants as much information as possible to make sure they’re fully aware of what’s required of them. State whether pets are permitted and if there are any security fees assessed in this case. If there is private parking on the property, explain how spaces are allotted and whether the tenant must pay extra to secure one. Other possible topics include information on criminal activity in the home, how long guests are permitted to stay, and terms related to eviction.

Talk about rent

Of course, payment information should include the exact amount of rent and when it’s due. It also helps to provide information about refunds on the security deposit, which are collected in the event of damage to the home after the tenant vacates. You also want to explain late fees and when they will be charged (after the fifth day of the month, for instance). When it comes to utilities, all those that are the responsibility of the tenant should be laid out in the lease.

Consider property conditions

Wear and tear are normal when living in a home for an extended period. That’s why landlords should define what is considered normal, so they can make a determination on what is considered excessive. It also helps to include language about any damage that occurs in the home and that tenants must provide information on the necessary repairs immediately. In terms of alterations, include instructions on what changes can be made and what must be discussed with you. It’s likely that you’ll need to enter the premises on occasion, so explain how much notice must be given for you to do so.

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