May 19 2018

The Anatomy Of A Rental Lease

Being a real estate landlord or professional property manager has it’s challenges. One of which is the leasing of a rental property. In this article, I will highlight the overall process then when it gets to the lease, I will go into some of the key elements you should have in any lease.

First is the high level overview.

View Available Rental Properties–Most renters will want to walk the property before deciding to lease or not. In some cases, someone may not have that option (such as job move). Viewing the property is an important step to make sure that the property will meet their needs and tastes.

Online Rental Application–next step is to complete an application. If the landlord is using a property management software, the application can usually be completed online by the applicant. An online application will save the landlord time and make this step a bit easier.

Background Screening – Assuming the application is acceptable, the next step should be running a background check on the applicant. Background checks are very important for protecting your investment, limit owner liability, keep existing tenants happy and many other benefits. Background checks should include Credit, Eviction and Criminal searches.

Rental Agreement – a rental agreement is used for short term rentals, typically less the a month or two.

Rental Lease– Leases are contracts for longer term agreements. Once the applicant passes the background screening, you are ready to generate a lease. A lease generally consists of:

  • names of the landlord and tenant(s)
  • the starting date and duration or end date of the agreement
  • the address of the leased property
  • options for lease renewal, if any
  • rent payments, including amounts and due dates
  • security deposits
  • late charges and terms
  • utilities
  • list of occupants
  • pets – allowed or not
  • the right of entry and inspection
  • parking
  • noise and any “quiet” hours
  • property maintenance
  • lease termination clause
  • renters insurance

Collecting Rent – Nowadays, there are many options for collecting payments electronically. Selecting a property management software that has this functionality built in will reduce the workload off of the landlord or property manager. Once the e-payment system is setup, you should be able to receive payments from tenants through a mobile app, pay vendors for repairs, pay the property owner their net profits (if you are a property manager) and receive transfers from property owners to add funds to their operating account. All these various ways for transferring money from and to different parties,  streamlines the process for everyone as well as reducing errors.

About PropertyZar

PropertyZar is a real estate technology company specifically in the web-based property management software for owners and professional property managers. PropertyZar property management software offers a comprehensive solution for leasing, application management, resident screening, and electronic payments. Learn more


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