If you actually own a house and you want to lease it, or maybe you have constructed houses specifically for leasing, you should ensure that there is a contract which is binding on the tenant. The contract should clearly spell out what is expected of you as the landlord, and what the tenant should be doing. If possible, work with a lawyer who is well informed in property law to help you come up with a contract.
What Your Contract Must Have
- Identity of tenant and landlord: It is the responsibility of the tenant and landlord to know who they are dealing with. If you are leasing out the house, you should insist on knowing the identity of the person staying in your building, and whether they will be alone or will have other people living with them.
- Cost of the house: You should clearly state how much you expect in rent and after how long. If you want them to pay a lump sum amount, put it in writing. If it is a monthly or weekly payment, you should also spell it out, including the method of payment.
- Condition of the house: Is the house new? What are some of the amenities you have put in? What do you expect when the tenant is leaving? For instance, do you expect them to do repairs, or will you do the repairs yourself and deduct it from the deposit?
- How long they are staying: Ideally, the contract should be renewable after a specified duration. You should agree with the tenant on how long they can stay, and if they should give notice before vacating the house.
- Terms and conditions for refunding the deposit: The bone of contention for lease agreements always comes during the termination of the contract, when the tenant wants their deposit back. You should spell out the conditions and make them sign an agreement.