TIP OF THE MONTH - September 2013

Source: Property Management for Dummies
             By Robert Griswold

Tenants and property owners alike are usually aware of all the legal paperwork involved in renting a home.  And although sifting through all that legalese isn’t fun for anyone, it is important.  Rental property owners and tenants each have specific legal rights and responsibilities that are outlined in these documents, and being aware of what you’re agreeing to-and being sure that your tenants know what they’re agreeing to is crucial.

Be sure that your tenant understands that, when he/she signs your lease or rental agreement, he/she is entering into a business contract that has significant rights and responsibilities for both parties.  Before your tenant signs the document, carefully and methodically review each clause of the rental agreement or lease.

Certain clauses in the lease or rental agreement are so important that you should have the tenant specifically initial them to indicate that he/she has read these points and understands his/her rights and responsibilities in relation to them.  Fore example-the clause concerning the need for the tenant to obtain his/her own renter’s insurance policy to protect his/her property and cover him/her for liability claims should be initialed by the tenant.

Also have the new tenant initial that he/she has received the keys for the rental property and acknowledge that you had the locks rekeyed or changed since the last tenant vacated.

Be sure to have the tenant review and sign any other addenda before taking possession of the rental unit.

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This web page was updated on 09/01/2013.