When entering into any business venture, it's always safest for both parties to sign a contract in order to explicitly state all expectations. In terms of real estate, a lease agreement will protect you as a landlord so that you're not stuck with difficult tenants or unexpected costs at the end of the lease. Read the tips listed below to learn about how you can write a lease agreement.
- Familiarize yourself with your state's laws. Property management and real estate laws differ depending on what state -- and even city -- you live in. Research your region's laws by consulting a lawyer or contacting city hall [source: All Business].
- Write an explicit and easy-to-understand contract. Just because this is a legal document doesn't mean the language has to be fancy and confusing. Write a lease agreement that both parties will understand and abide by. This ensures that your terms are understood and abided by and that in the event of a dispute, your terms will hold up in court. There are free lease agreements available online. You can base your lease upon one of these agreements [source: Doc Stoc]
- Include all the stipulations that you require. The lease agreement can include a wide range of stipulations, including a pet policy, what installations can be made, who covers what repairs and penalties for late payments. The more specific you are, the less chance you have of facing disputes in the future [source: Latham].
- Include details regarding the deposit. One of the most common disputes between landlords and tenants is the return of the security deposit. Clearly explain what damages will prevent the tenant from receiving his/her security deposit back at the end of the lease [source: All Business].
- Consult with an attorney. Before entering into a lease with a tenant, consult with a real-estate lawyer to ensure that your lease agreement is legally binding and complies with your state's laws. Though the lawyer may charge a fee for reviewing the contract, it will save you any money you may have lost by signing a poorly written agreement [source: All Business].