When you and your tenant sign a rental agreement, it is the most important document you will ever sign. It’s there to keep you and your possessions safe, and it also serves as a resource for the tenant if they have any concerns or questions about the lease.
Ensure the lease you choose is legally binding and adheres to the laws of Atlanta and the surrounding area, including federal, state, and municipal regulations. Many landlords download a sample lease agreement from any website on the internet. Not a good idea, there! Property managers or real estate attorneys specializing in Atlanta’s landlord-tenant regulations can help you get a professional lease.
Leases are as unique as the properties they cover, as are the persons signing them. However, your lease agreement must contain a few essential provisions.
- Contact and Identification Details
For a lease agreement to go through, both parties must be identified. All the names and signatures should be listed, as well as matched, in the body of the lease. It’s also a good idea to have both tenants and landlords sign the lease paperwork.
Your address and a brief description of the property are also necessary. Say it’s a two-story single-family home or an apartment in a duplex with its own parking space. For those who aren’t old enough to sign, include their names and dates of birth. Make sure your tenants are aware of your pet policy and what their obligations and expectations are if there are pets on the premises.
- Conditions for Lease and Renewal
The start and termination dates of the lease must be included in the contract. While most leases are one year in length, there are exceptions. An essential aspect of any lease agreement should be a description of what each party needs to do when the lease is up. The tenant must notify the landlord of their plan to leave within 30 or 60 days, for example. If the landlord does not propose a lease renewal 30 to 60 days before the lease expires, the tenant has the right to terminate the lease. Alternatively, at the end of the period, the lease could become month-to-month.
- Payments for rent and a security deposit
The amount of the tenant’s security deposit should be noted, as well as the date it will be refunded. Within one month of the tenants’ departure, Georgia law mandates that the deposit be returned.
You must include and be explicit about your policy details for collecting rent. The amount of rent that is due each month, how it is to be paid, and when it is considered late should be included in the lease agreement. Make sure that your lease specifies any applicable grace period. If you’re charging late penalties for rent that isn’t paid on time, that information must be included in your lease agreement.
- Additional Requirements and Rules
Your rental agreement should include any additional information or instructions you want the tenant to know while staying with you. To prevent renters from smoking, many landlords require their properties to be smoke-free. Limits on the length of time guests can remain and the number of automobiles parked in the driveway could help you keep the property in order. Finally, remember that the tenant may insist on having their own renter’s insurance. Make sure you’re thorough and cover all the bases because this is where you and your tenants will go if there’s a problem.
It is our job to write and negotiate leases for our landlords daily. Please call Tameka Manns Realty Group if you have any inquiries. As your Atlanta property management company, we’d be more than pleased to help you.