How to Create a Rock Solid Lease in One Evening

How to Create a Rock Solid Lease in One Evening

Author’s Note: This is not legal adviceThis post contains affiliate links.

The key to treating rentals as a business is having a fantastic lease. The key to having a fantastic lease is having a tight one that is very specific and leaves nothing to doubt. This allows a landlord the best possible recourse for going after their tenant should the need arise.

For many, creating a great lease is an arduous endeavor. Many just don’t know what to put in their lease or they may feel that no matter how much research is done something is still missing.

Here is a step-by-step guide for you: The self-managing landlord who wants a guide to putting the perfect lease together. We want to teach you all the tricks and share all the secrets, BEFORE you learn the hard way.

The point of this is not for you to copy or follow this exactly because the truth is every area and market is different. You can’t copy another landlord exactly and be successful. The goal is to share wisdom and then for you to pick and choose what works for you. While being a landlord has had its many moments, it also can be a HUGE financial blessing! Our goal is for others to also experience the same success in real estate too!

Create a Rock Solid Lease:

Step 1 – Know Your State Rental Laws

The first step is to read up on what your state requires. We put together this awesome handy guide to look up what your state rules are regarding security deposits and rents.  You need to know the laws for your specific state. For example, California has the California NOLO Real Estate book. You may read through it once and then kept it for reference.

Step 2 – Buy a State Specific Lease

As you noticed in Step One, each state is very state specific regarding their laws. Find a state lease and download the basic lease. Many have great experiences with Legal Zoom and use Legal Zoom’s lease because it gives the state-specific language.

Step 3 – Add Addendums

Although it’s great, the Legal Zoom lease isn’t specific enough. You will want to add many of the following addendums to your lease. Being this specific has prevented debate over maintenance questions, and eliminated expenses (landscaping) while preserving the property in the best repair and expectations.

37 Addendums to add to your lease

  1. Appliances included with the Rental
  2. Month to Month 
  3. Direct Deposit
  4. Late Fees
  5. Pet Fees
  6. Utilities
  7. Assignment and Subletting
  8. No Smoking
  9. Maintenance
  10. Entry By Landlord
  11. Extended Absence By Tenant
  12. Termination on Sale of Premises
  13. Lease Termination Provision for Military Personnel
  14. Tenant Assumes Responsibility for Maintenance
  15. Battery Operated Device(s)
  16. Filters
  17. Steam Cleaning Carpets
  18. Professional Cleaning
  19. Landscaping
  20. HOA
  21. Keys, Garages/Gates
  22. Damages
  23. Renter’s Insurance
  24. Break Lease Option (Buy Out)
  25. Alterations
  26. Pest Control
  27. Home Businesses
  28. Attic Storage
  29. Renting Site Unseen
  30. Appliance Maintenance
  31. Fees/Violations
  32. Duct Cleaning
  33. Plumbing
  34. Changing Locks
  35. Play Structures, Trampoline, Pools and Other Large Outdoor Equipment
  36. Roommate
  37. As-Is Appliances

Step 4 – Leasing Tips

Now that you have your lease all completed here are nine tips that have been learned the hard way when it comes to leasing:

  1. I Do Not Hold
  2. I Typically Do Not Do Multiple Year Leases
  3. Base the Lease Length on Moving Season
  4. Treat Landlording as a Business
  5. Put Everything in Writing
  6. Rent By Direct Deposit
  7. I only Negotiate before a Lease is Signed not After.
  8. Keep Your Lease Handy
  9. Think Twice If a Landlord is not Returning Your Call for a Tenant Reference

Do you love this post? Do you wish you could have all the wording for your addendum without searching? Do you wish you could peek, or better yet, just cheat and copy an experienced landlord’s lease? Do you wish you could truly finish your lease in one hour; let alone one evening?

Then you will love this new book.

The Everything Lease Addendum: How-to For Landlords

Not only includes all of the wording used but also gives a detailed explanation to why you should include these addendums. The goal is to share everything learned over the years to save you some of the ulcer-inducing moments that have been learned and experienced the hard way.

Are we missing anything? What do you put in your lease?

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