No landlord wants to think about the worst case scenario when they hand keys over to a tenant, but it’s important to be prepared for what can and will go wrong. One of the best ways you can protect yourself and your property is by having a strong lease in place. A good lease agreement will ensure that every possible problem has a solution.
A strong lease will prevent a tenant’s problems from becoming your problems. When a tenant loses a job or has his hours cut at work, it might be hard for him to scrape together rent by the first of the month. However, a strong lease will keep you protected by outlining what the late fees are for late rent and what the process will be if rent isn’t paid. Everyone is on the same page and everyone understands the procedures that are followed.
Liability is a big problem or landlords and if you don’t have a strong lease in place, you could be putting yourself in legal danger. Your lease needs to spell out exactly what you are responsible for and what your tenants are responsible for, and it has to be compliant with all local, state and federal laws. The laws change regularly, and that’s why it’s not a good idea to use any random lease template that you find on the Internet or at Office Depot. You need a Florida lease that will protect you against tenant claims in a Florida court. If your lease isn’t enforceable in Florida, you will have a lot of liability and risk associated with your rental property.
Security deposits can often be problematic for landlords, especially if your lease isn’t clear about what is expected at the time of move out. In your lease, you can stipulate what you expect the tenant to do and how you expect the property to look in order for the entire security deposit to be returned. When your lease is clear about damage and the requirement that the property be returned in the same condition that it was handed over to the tenant, you will have far fewer security deposit disputes.
Why You Need a Strong Lease for Your Stuart, Florida Rental HomeA strong lease will leave no doubt about what is allowed and what is prohibited. It’s where you can explain whether pets are allowed, how long guests can stay, what a tenant needs to do if maintenance is needed and who to contact in case of an emergency. All of the expectations are clear and a tenant will know exactly what happens in the event of a lease violation.
If you have any questions about why you need a strong lease or you need help putting together a legally compliant rental agreement, please contact us at South Florida Realty Management, and we’d be happy to help you.