17 Vital “Rules” Your Rental Lease Should Cover

2 min read
Kevin Perk

Kevin Perk is a full-time buy and hold and fix and flip real estate investor with over 15 years of experience. He and his wife Terron operate Kevron Properties, LLC, a boutique real estate investing company in Memphis, Tenn.

Kevin was a past president and is a current board member of the Memphis Investors Group. He’s also a blogger and writer who has authored hundreds of real estate investing articles on BiggerPockets and his own blog, SmarterLandlording.com, some of which have been featured on The Motley Fool and MONEY: Personal Finance News & Advice.

Kevin is also host of the SmarterLandlording podcast.

Originally from the Washington D.C. area, Kevin moved to Memphis to attend graduate school at The University of Memphis. After receiving his master’s degree in City and Regional Planning, Kevin climbed the planning career ladder to eventually become planning director of a county in the Memphis metro area. He “retired” from planning in 2003 to pursue real estate investing full-time.

Since “retiring,” Kevin’s main real estate investment strategy has been to buy and hold, otherwise known as landlording. Generally working in historic Midtown Memphis, Kevin is also known to fix and flip grand, historic homes when the right opportunity presents itself. He and his wife Terron (who is the principal broker at Perk Realty) have participated in dozens of real estate transactions in the Memphis metro area.

Kevin has the heart of a teacher and believes in helping others through education. An instructor of college-level geography for over 25 years, Kevin also regularly participates in seminars and panel discussions at such forums as the Memphis Investor’s Group and the Single-Family Rental Summit.

In addition, Kevin has been interviewed in publications such as the Memphis Commercial Appeal, the Memphis Daily News, and the Foreclosure News Report.

Kevin earned a master’s in City and Regional Planning from The University of Memphis.

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As a landlord, my lease is perhaps the most important document I use.  It is the legal agreement between me and my tenant.  An attachment to that lease, and therefore a part of that legal agreement is a set of house rules.  The house rules are just what you think they are.  Rules you will live by while you live in our house.

Basic House Rules

Some of the house rules are pretty basic.  Things you would expect to find.  Such as:

  • No illegal drugs
  • Keep your unit clean
  • Take the trash out regularly
  • The lockout procedure
  • Notifying us if you plan to be away for longer than two weeks.

Some Basic House Rules That You Need To Spell Out

With some of the house rules, I am amazed that there has to be a rule.  You would think this stuff would be common sense, but oh no, you need to spell it out for some.  Things like:

  • Every month you will pay your rent first, then utilities, then other bills.
  • Even if bad things happen to you or your roommates, your rent is still due on the first of every month.
  • You are responsible for getting your rent to me on time.
  • You must lock your doors to prevent crime.
  • We are not responsible for utility outage due to storms.

Rules We Added Over The Years

When we first started out in this business, we had developed what we thought was a pretty good set of house rules.  Boy, were we mistaken.  It seems like every year we have to add a new clause or rule because we have experienced something new and unexpected.  Who would have thought that we would have to add rules like:

  • Don’t put things down the drains – any drain!
  • No couch surfing  – look up couchsurfing.com
  • No candles inside.  No grills inside!
  • No inside furniture outside.
  • We do not negotiate between roommates.
  • If you get broken into, call the police FIRST!
  • No satellite dishes without our approval.  Otherwise there will be 47 of them on your front porch!

It’s funny, at lease signings when we are going over the house rules some tenants will ask “Did that really happen?”

I am sure as we continue in this business we will have to further add to our house rules as tenants can be quite “creative.”  So for now, we call our house rules a work in progress.

So what is in your house rules?  Do you have anything to add to the list?  Tell us about your experience with a comment.
Photo Credit: biphop