Landlord Leases: How to Protect Your Property and Finances
Being a landlord includes many challenges. While facing those challenges, it is critical to protect your property and your finances. Bad tenants can result in damages to your property which will incur costs, sometimes in the thousands. However, you can protect your property and finances from bad tenants by writing a good lease.
First, remember to have your basics in the lease.
- Who is the Lessee?
- What time period is the lease for?
- How much are you to be paid?
- When will you be paid?
- Who is responsible for the utilities?
Those are only a few of the basic questions you must ask yourself when preparing a lease. After the basics are laid out, it is time to go into detail.
Always Be Specific.
Beyond the basics, it is important to be specific in the lease just like any other contract. For example, if you do not want pets on your property at all, then make sure that is explicitly stated in the lease. In order to deter tenants from doing what you do not want them to do, make sure the consequences are clearly outlined. For example, if you say that no pets are allowed on your property, then stipulate that there will be a fine for breaking this rule if that is the consequence you choose.
Attorney’s Costs and Fees
The biggest deterrent, and a clause that should always be present in a lease, is that the tenant will be responsible for attorneys’ costs and fees if you must use the legal route to recover money or compensation for damages done by the tenant. Without this clause, you could end up paying for the legal fees out of pocket. The tenant will not be obligated to pay this unless it was stated in the lease. This clause in the lease protects you financially and should always be included in the lease.
Like any other contract, it is in your best interest to have the lease in writing and signed by all parties living on the property. While many landlords choose to write their own leases, it is never a bad option to have a lawyer write up a lease for your protection.
If you are interested in having an attorney draft a release for your rental property or properties, local attorney Andrew Szocka provides thorough lease writing in the Chicagoland area. To schedule a free initial consultation, visit the Law Office of Andrew Szocka, P.C. online or call the office at (815) 455-8430.