Lease Agreement for Renting a House
Nowadays, real estate is one of the most valued assets. A person, who has a roof over his head has the comfort of coming to a place, which he can call his own. In today’s economy, not everyone can afford his/her own house, as it is a huge real-estate investment. The next best option is to lease or rent a house. The person, who wants to rent the house (lessee) and the landlord (lessor) enter into an agreement called the lease agreement. However, prior to conforming to a lease agreement, the person is required to have a certain amount of knowledge about the premises and procedures of law.
In some countries, laws are so obnoxiously one-sided that if the parties are not cautious enough, while signing the rental lease agreement, and if a dispute arises, they can be made to run from pillar to post to get their rights. No one wants to get involved in lengthy legal procedures; hence, it is advised that for a lease agreement, the best option is to undertake the services of an attorney. Consider this agreement as an investment for preventing future disputes.
Although lease agreements differ from country to country, in accordance with the tenancy laws that are in place there, know that there are certain common features that are a part of every rent agreement.
To begin with, the lessee must ensure that the premises he intends to lease, belong to the person he/she is dealing with, or the person should have proper authorization to seal the deal on behalf of the actual landlord. For this, the title deeds — the agreements that prove the right of the person over the premises — have to be examined to ensure that the premises stand in the name of the owner, who the lessee is dealing with. The housing lease agreement, essentially should contain proper representation on the part of the landlord stipulating that he/she is the lawful and valid owner and is fully entitled to lease out the premises.
The terms of the lease agreement must stipulate the monthly rent and the last date of payment, thereof. Besides, it is best to decide and include the mode of payment, the late fee, etc. in the house rental agreement, as this will not leave any ambiguity in the conditions of the agreement and will save you from future disputes.
The period of the lease must be specifically mentioned in the housing lease agreement. Most lease deeds have a lock-in period and the lessee cannot exit the lease before it expires. If he does, he may find himself liable to pay some penalty for premature exit.
It is equally important to note that for any apartment rental, there are several outgoings, such as local taxes and monthly maintenance, which are payable, and it should be clearly specified, whether the landlord or lessee is liable for the same. Leaving it unsaid, certainly will lead to dispute.
Any lease agreement, essentially should contain explicit right and authority to the lessee, to use without interruption or hindrance, the lease premises during the term of the lease. The landlord, therein should bind himself to this aspect to ensure that the lessee has maximum enjoyment of the premises, which he has leased.
In many countries, agreements of lease are required to be registered with an appropriate authority and certain charges by way of stamp duty or levy are payable, thereof. If it is so, the lease agreement for rental property should stipulate this fact, and should also provide, whether this liability is to be borne by the landlord or lessee, or whether it is to be shared.
The Term of Tenancy
Rental documents, first and foremost state, whether the term depends on rental agreements or is it a term lease. In the former, the payment cycle continues on a monthly basis; however, it may be terminated, if the tenant is found defaulting any terms and conditions mentioned in the agreement. The latter lasts for a term, i.e. for a year. This is an arrangement built on mutual trust and flexibility with regard to the tenant adhering to timely payments and maintenance of the property used through the term in question.
The Issue of Deposit
The tenant is meant to deposit a sum with the landlord. This financial transaction must be recorded in the agreement of lease. It is important that the terms regarding the deposit are cleared in the beginning itself. The landlord may use the deposit to rectify any form of damage incurred by his property; however, the tenant may not use the same to pay the rental amount for a particular month. The deposit, thus, remains with the landlord as a form of security, lest any form of damage occurs.
The Terms of Entering the Property
In order to avoid disputes, know that recording the terms with regard to, when the landlord is eligible to enter the premise, in case of repairs or supervising the maintenance of the property, serves to be a helpful proposition. With the written word, the landlord covers himself of any undue allegations pertaining to infringement of privacy, or for that matter, the tenant’s claim of the concerned landlord ‘trespassing’ his own property.
Prohibiting Illegal Activities
It must be known that the tenants must respect the landlord’s property, and misusing it through any means may lead to termination of the lease contract. The clause of barring unethical or illegal activities ought to find a prominent mention in the lease agreement. Activities, for instance blaring music, germination of a feud with permanent residents of the society, or drug trafficking may accrue the probability of you being penalized, also leading to terminating the lease contract.
The Condition to Keep Pets
If you have an issue with pets inhabiting the surrounding you are to lease, make it clear, while the agreement terms are being formulated. If you are comfortable with the idea of the tenant owning a pet, you may specify other conditions, such as the number of pets the tenant is allowed to keep. Besides, recording the necessary matters of maintaining hygienic surroundings, so as to not invite complaints from fellow neighbors or residents, would prove helpful.
It is crucial to include all these points in any lease agreement. The lessee must, minutely examine the conditions of the proposed lease, like the renter’s insurance to make sure he/she is not binding himself or herself to any condition, which would increase his/her obligation or liability. Another important element to be examined by any lessee is the physical condition of the house. Often, after a lessee has moved into the premises, he/she finds that there is leakage or the place is infested with rodents and termites. Therefore, it is extremely important to consider all these factors and include them in the lease agreement, when renting a house. This will ensure that both parties are aware of their rights and liabilities, thus, resulting in a stress-free agreement.