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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...

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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