Important Guidelines for Landlords Drafting Rental Agreements

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Important Guidelines for Landlords Drafting Rental Agreements

Are you thinking about renting your property?  Many trusting landlords rent property without a written rental agreement.  Don’t make that mistake!  Above all, the key to a successful landlord/tenant relationship is a well-written rental agreement. At Kind & Dashoff, LLC, we always advise our clients to draft a comprehensive rental agreement. We developed some guidelines for landlords drafting rental agreements.

A rental agreement describes the terms and conditions for both you and the tenant.  In addition, it protects your interests and the interests of your tenant. Most importantly, it protects you if future litigation is needed.  

Rental Agreement Contents

A basic rental agreement contains information about the rental. Such an agreement typically includes:

  • The names of the names of the landlord and tenant, 
  • The address of the property,
  • The beginning and ending dates of the rental,
  • The amount of the rent and when it is due,
  • Specifics regarding the security deposit,
  • Any restrictions on the use of the property,
  • The responsibilities of both parties, and 
  • Information on how the agreement will be terminated.

However, based on personal experience, the information in a basic rental agreement is not enough to protect landlords, if there is property damage or the tenant refuses to pay rent.   I recommend the following steps:

  1.  The tenants enter information about where they work.  
  2. The tenants provide sufficient information so you can perform a background check. We always recommend that the background investigation include a credit check.
  3. The agreement specifies what happens if either party does not fulfill their responsibilities. For example, the agreement will specify how to resolve a dispute.
  4. The agreement contains a provision for interest or attorney’s fees.
  5. Always include provisions required by your local municipality.

We hope that your tenants pay their rent on time and gently use your property.  However, these simple guidelines for landlords drafting rental agreements will protect you if this is not the case and future litigation is needed. Also, it might be a good idea to hire a debt collection attorney to review your rental agreement.

Kind and Dashoff, LLC is a law firm and a licensed and bonded collection agency. The attorneys at Kind and Dashoff, LLC are experts at landlord/tenant collection in Maryland and Washington, DC. They are available to help you collect your unpaid rent or get reimbursed for damages to your property.  They work hard to collect the money that is owed to you.