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Rental Agreement - Discover Your Greatest Asset as a Landlord

May 26, 2008
There are countless services enabling landlords to create rental agreements online. Understanding the important elements of a rental lease is key. The binding nature and legal implications require that all facts are captured with clarity, to avoid misinterpretations by either of the parties involved. Moreover, the contents of a rental agreement must be formulated with property leasing laws that are applicable to your state. Leasing regulations can change from state to state and in some cases city to city. Many online landlord services provide the basics, however when building a rental agreement we suggest choosing a website featuring state specific laws and regulations.

One such web-site that offers the above mentioned services is ezLandlordForms. Amongst the many benefits this site has to offer is a one of a kind feature called "state-assist". This user friendly website creates the right form for your state, automatically fills in your information, then guides you all the way through with document-building wizards and localized help screens.

Many elements of a lease are regulated by law, please acknowledge the items stated below.
Rent - There are many jurisdictions containing strict regulations on what can be charged for rent. This is often referred as "rent control".
Security Deposit - Numerous states have limits placed on the maximum amount a landlord may charge for a security deposit. Some often require exact criteria to be included on a rental lease, like where a security deposit is held. There are other questions that need answering as well, such as "May I charge a pet deposit?"

Notice - Notice requirements differ from state to state and situation to situation. The amount of time to give notice can be regulated as well as the way a landlord renders notice. Some states allow regular mail while others may require personal delivery.
Please note these are only a few examples of regulations that differentiate by location. There are many, many others.

There are multitudes of online lease services very similar to the boilerplate pre-printed forms offered by stationary stores. Ultimately leaving user's very little room to personalize their agreement. One of the many important issues highlighted in a lease are guidelines for how you prefer your tenant to reside. While some rules may be applicable to some, others may need different rules. After all each rental situation is different. A good online lease will allow the user to select rules as well as add their own. Do you want a web-site selecting the rules that govern your housing?

Rental agreements should be visually pleasing and professional, encompassing a cover sheet, addendums, utility information, and even a table of contents.
A lease agreement must be able to stand up in court. It's important to selectively choose a rental agreement that adheres to the laws of your state. Judges will often rule in favor of a tenant if there are crucial pieces missing from a lease or if the wrong phrase or terminology is used.

Too many times, motivated by saving a few bucks, landlords turn to the so-called "free" lease. Be extremely careful when going this route. It's true what they say; "you get what you pay for". The last thing a landlord wants is to be in front of a judge and be ill-equipped.

Upon successfully creating your lease agreement online, print two copies. The tenant can keep one while you keep the other, after both parties have signed the duplicate documents. It is extremely important to ensure that the tenant pays the full amounts for security deposit and first month's rent prior to handing over the keys to the rental property.
About the Author
Read more articles from the author, Kevin Kiene, at www.ezLandlordForms.com. Looking for a Rental Agreement, Eviction Notice, or a Rental Application for your rental property? Look No Further, ezLandlordForms offers landlord rental forms that you can create online and print right from your home or office. More than just forms, we offer the only web-based document system for landlords.
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