A rental agreement sets out the terms on which a property is allowed to be used by the tenant in consideration of payment of specified rent for a designated period of time. It is customary that the owner/landlord prepares the rental agreement and the tenant signs the agreement in acceptance. Landlords who are about to draft a rental agreement would benefit immensely by looking at a sample rental agreement available from the internet and using that as a basis for making their own rental agreement.
The rental agreement is a legally tenable document when it is drawn out in accordance with the legal guidelines in force from the respective governments. In the unfortunate event of the tenant refusing to vacate, the landlord may be forced to seek legal remedies and if the agreement is legally flawed, it could potentially compromise the interests of the landlord. By using the sample rental agreement as a guiding tool, it is easier to draft a legally perfect rental agreement.
It is essential that users understand the sample rental agreement both in letter and spirit. Though the legal jargons are not important, the manner in which each clause protects the interests of the landlord should be understood. Importantly, there should be clauses protecting the right to modify or correct the agreement at a later date even after it is duly executed. Similarly, the landlord/lessor should include a declaration that he/she is the absolute owner of the property being let out and the lessee shall not enjoy any right/title or interest to the property except the specific privileges granted through the agreement for peaceful occupation and enjoyment during the currency of the agreement.
Using the sample rental agreement, a detailed description of the property being let out should be set out. Any furniture/fixture being included as part of the property should also be listed or provided in an annexure. This is followed by the terms and conditions on which the property is let out to the tenant. This part usually deals with the tenure of the lease, the monthly rental to be paid, the date on which payment of rent is due, refundable deposit to be paid at the commencement of the agreement, penalties for late payment, maintenance charges to be paid if any, payment of utility bills, and other specific terms affecting the tenancy.
In some instances, the tenant’s ability to make regular payments is compromised resulting in arrears of rental payment. It would be ideal to set out the consequences of such an eventuality and explain the procedures for eviction should such a situation arise. By examining the sample rental agreement, you can comfortably word this part of the agreement too. The lessor should at all times maintain the property in a tenantable condition and you can elaborate on this by adding that the tenant is prohibited from making any type of material alteration/addition/deletion to the property, except with the written consent of the owner/landlord.