How do I know which paperwork to use for mid-term, furnished, rent by the room?
Do I always need to have a prospective tenant fill out an application to rent? Is that so I can weed out any prospective tenants there if something is a red flag? Then if all looks good though, I send them the residential lease agreement to finalize? Since we are doing mid-term, I wasn't sure how much that would differ in terms of paperwork from the traditional 1 year plus leases. Thanks in advance!
@Clareen Eberly great to hear you are thinking about the steps before hand. I'll try to give you a few insights and few suggestions:
Yes, you should always have a prospective tenant fill out an application which includes the basics, name, DOB, etc. income and employment information. Yes, this is so that you can 1) screen your applicants and make an informed decision and 2) so that you have a base of information to use should you need to take legal action later on during tenancy.
You need to be consistent in your criteria for approving and declining applications and once you find one that you approve, let the applicants know and send the approved applicants the lease agreement.
Weather the lease is month-to-month, mid-term (2-11 months) or long-term (12-12+ months) shouldn't matter so much as what lease you use HOWEVER, you do need to make sure you enter the correct term (length of tenancy) within the lease agreement and basics such as lease start and lease end dates.
For irregular items or situations such as if you are renting a room instead of the whole property, or you are including furniture or you have special restrictions, just make sure your lease has an open text box (or you add one) so that you can type in exactly what those special situations are; EX: Tenant has access to and rents from Landlord Rm #: XX ONLY; common area may be used by Tenant but per Landlord's sole discretion. --- Alternatively, you may also include an attachment/amendment rider to the lease for these items.
I hope this helps
ALL Adults of age should complete an application and be thoroughly screened. No exceptions. Determine your criteria and stick to it.
The Rental Agreement can be the same form regardless of term or furnishings. You fill in the blanks for the term accordingly. Renting rooms, identify each with a number/letter and have that on the door as well. Furnishings for each rented room should be listed on a separate sheet and have photos of each individual item. Also keep a separate record of what is provided in the common areas. If you are providing dishes, linens, etc. those should be photographed as sets or groups. You need to keep track of the condition of upholstered items etc. as well, at move in/out. You should have a separate "House Rules" that is posted in the unit AND attached to each Rental Agreement. This would cover common areas, cleaning responsibilities, prohibiting food/cooking in rooms, quiet hours, laundry usage, etc.
It's your business so you set it up however works best for you! Personally, I don't use an application for midterms, but many people do. I have an easy 3-step process that works for me.
1- background check. I use Keycheck to run a criminal, eviction and credit check. All adults who are going to be staying in the property need to go through the background check. If this all checks out, I proceed to step 2: Note: for traveling healthcare professionals I will accept a fully executed employment contract in lieu of the background check.
2 - draft lease agreement. I use Avail's state-specific lease feature and modify it to include specific terms that are relevant to my property. All adults who will be staying in the property must be on the lease agreement. I send it to them to review and have all parties e-sign.
3 - collect the deposit(s). Once I have the deposit, I consider it booked and change the calendar availability to reflect that. Because my property is only on FF I don't have any concern that someone will come along and auto-book it while I'm working with the prospective guest to finalize it.
I know others use applications and some require renter's insurance. I don't do either, but you should feel free to implement whatever strategies you feel most comfortable with.
@Clareen Eberly I don't do applications for a room but for a unit I would do something pared down from my LTR. That is what I did when we did MTR to students. They will move out soon enough in a room if the other roommate is difficult and I know how to make that happen.