Is Your Utah Lease Agreement Strong Enough?
If you are currently managing your own Utah rental property, how did you generate your lease agreement? Unfortunately, if you are like most owners, the process you used is something like this: Google “Lease Agreement”, find a downloadable copy that looks good, and have it signed by your tenant. Sound familiar? Let me be clear, the lease agreement is the most important part of successful property management and it’s typically the root of all major problems. Having a rock solid lease agreement that outlines expectations, acceptable behavior and consequences is essential to your success as a rental property owner.
Many lease agreements available on the Internet are not state specific, and contain generic clauses that may or may not protect your best interests. The goal of a lease agreement should always be that in the event the owner and tenant find themselves in a dispute and end up in court, it clearly outlines what the owner and tenant agreed to do.
A perfect example of this would be smoking in the property. Is the tenant not allowed to smoke in the property? If the tenant does smoke in the property, is he/she liable for any damage caused by this? If this is not outlined and agreed to in the lease agreement, it will be difficult to prove in court and you run the risk of not being compensated for damages.
Other examples of essential elements that should be included and outlined in the lease agreement include:
- Late Fees – how much are they and when will they be charged to the tenant?
- Animals – can the tenant have animals on the property and what are the consequences of having an animal without your permission?
- Pests – who is responsible for resolving an infestation and can the tenant hold the owner responsible for any damages?
- Right of Entry – does the owner have to give notice to enter the property or can he/she enter at any time?
- Utilities – which utilities will the tenant be responsible and which utilities will the owner be responsible for?
Don’t open yourself up to problems by not having a quality lease agreement; spend the time and money to have one created that looks out for your best interests and thoroughly covers you in the event of a dispute. It’s one area you can’t afford to overlook.
If you have any questions on how to create the best lease agreement possible or if you are considering hiring a property management company, please contact us. Learn more about how our lease protects you by downloading our owner information packet today.