As the summer season heats up, so will the vacation rental market. To make sure landlords and tenants of summer rental properties are on the same page (and not suing each other in court), we’ve shared some tips from attorney and Huffington Post contributor Andrew Lieb.
Before either party signs on the dotted line, we recommend reviewing and having a discussion about the topics below:
House Rules: Establish a set of house rules in advance regarding parties, music, noise, overnight guests, vehicle storage, parking, etc. before agreeing to rent a property.
Animals: Service and therapy animals cannot be precluded from a rental not can the landlord charge a deposit for these animals which are not considered “pets” by law. The landlord can, however, exclude actual pets or charge a fee for their presence.
Holdover Tenants: Landlords should have a clear written date of when the lease term is up and how the keys are to be returned. Include additional monies owed if the tenant stays past that date in the lease as well as attorney fees and court cost if an eviction becomes necessary.
Notice and Methods of Communication: How the parties are to communicate – e-mail, certified mail, etc. – should be spelled-out in the lease. Paper trails for all communications are essential.
Additional Charges: Any additions charges – cleaning fees, landscaping, garbage removal, utilities, etc. – should be agreed upon upfront and included in the lease.
Brokers and who they work for: Who the landlord words for – either the landlord or the tenant –should also be in writing.
Security Deposit: Determine the amount of the deposit and when it will be returned in advance. Establish a protocol for resolving damage issues, a baseline property condition, and permitted damage limitations.
Care of the Premises and Grounds: Determine who is responsible for the care of the premises – landlord, tenant, or third party – and when access to the grounds are permitted.
Assignment or Sublet: Are the tenant’s rights under the lease transferable if they wish to leave and if so, are they responsible for paying the rent?
Rental Permit: In some places, landlords and tenants are required to have a rental permit for a rental to be legal. Be sure to do your due diligence before renting.
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