What unique clause in your lease do you feel most proud of?

9 Replies

Maybe proud isn't the right word, but I read a ton of advice in these forums every day, and I pick up a new clause here and there on a pretty regular basis. 

Of course, proper screening makes these clauses less necessary, but what is your favorite clause in your lease, or what unique - but legal - clause is in your lease that you are most excited about?

Mindy Jensen, Real Estate Agent in CO (#FA100049656)

Sorry--this one isn't exciting BUT it helps cover my time and gas. I have a clause stating that additional rent of $75 is due if I have to post any legal notices. This could include notices for late rent, defaults of other provisions, etc. My goal is to get payments on time but if they continue to fail, it will cost them. 

John Thedford, Real Estate Agent in FL (#BK3098153)
239-200-5600

I plan to put a clause in saying they need to buy me PIZZA every other Friday - just to see if they even read the damn lease before they sign off on it - because some of them do act clueless when I bring up certain clauses in due course of our tenant-landlord relationship.. LOL. 

I don't know about proud, but had incidents with these issues.

-# of pets LIMIT

-number of guests and LIMITED stay

-60 day notice to vacate

Where I operate we have rent control. Some of my properties have a cap on how much I can raise the rent even between tenants. As a result many long term tenants are far below market and there has never been a way to fix this even with a turn over. As a result the unique market I am in is slowly dying.  This year I have, I believe, found a loop hole in the legislation that allows me to raise the rent between tenants to market.  

It has not been tested yet as I have not had a tenant turnover since implementing the change, and with luck it may never be challenged, but if it works it is a major step forward for my market. 

Specifics are not really necessary and not possible on a open forum but I am very excited to see how it plays out.  

Tenant is responsible to replace light bulbs.

If I want $1200/month in rent, the lease actually states that the rent is $1250/month with a $50 discount for payment on or before the first of the month.  Of course, a late fee of $50 is added on the 6th, bringing the rent for that month to $1300.  I find that tenants like the discount and usually pay on time.  I usually don't bother trying to collect the extra $50 if they fail to make the discount date because that isn't the purpose of the clause.  I've had tenants give it when it's on the 2nd, etc.  I can always enforce it on the back end as unpaid late fees, though in some areas of the country I think if a late fee isn't collected within a certain amount of time, I think you give up your rights to them(since you didn't evict).  Not 100% sure on that last thing, but I think I read it on here somewhere.

I also include a deductible of $25 for basic repairs that the tenant would normally be expected to fix themselves, like light bulbs.  It's waived for real issues that would be normally on me.

Brian

@Brian Pleshek , I read your $25 deductible and was going to argue, but that's actually brilliant. For things that normally would be expected to fix themselves.

Do you provide them a list of what is and is not your responsibility? I think that would go a long way to reducing those calls even further.

Mindy Jensen, Real Estate Agent in CO (#FA100049656)

I have a list and it seems to grow with each new tenant.  But they're basically things like, light bulbs(usually it's the exterior ones they call about), flipped breakers, unplugged appliances, leaky toilet(if it's just the float and you can just change the angle slightly), furnace filter.  Stuff like that.  

Things like the A/C doesn't work, water heater isn't providing cold water, etc.  That stuff is all on me and there isn't a charge.  I do ask them over the phone to do a little trouble shooting.

I'm only into SFHs as rentals, so I don't have community areas to worry about.

Brian

@Mindy Jensen I'm most proud of the part that says pay in full and on time :).  Fortunately, the property manager is great and helping make that happen.

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