Accurate Credit Bureau Landlord Rules for Tenants

As a landlord, you can make your job much easier by setting specific rules for your tenants to follow. These rules, if set down within a rental agreement or lease, will give you legal recourse should your tenants fail to follow them.
To make sure all your bases are covered, your rules should address the following 10 specific areas.

1. When Rent Is Due and When It Is Considered Late
This rule will discourage tenants from trying to get by with late payments. Many landlords set a penalty fee if the rent is not received by a certain date. This penalty can be a percentage of the rent or a set dollar amount per day until the rent is paid in full.
Check state laws to see if there are guidelines regarding how much you can charge for late rental payments.

2. Your Right of Entry
In many states, the law requires you to give your tenants at least 24 hours’ notice before entering their rented dwelling. It’s a good idea to put this provision in your rental agreement to avoid any confusion.
Again, be sure to review the laws in your state to see how much notice you will need to give tenants, as well as how you must contact them.

3. What Stays and What Goes When the Tenant Vacates
If you are offering a furnished or partially furnished dwelling, clearly state what is considered part of the dwelling and may not be removed. This will give you legal recourse should any of your property be removed when the tenant vacates.
Even items as simple as window fixtures (blinds or curtain rods) can be costly hassle to replace should they disappear with departing tenants. Make sure your agreement is very specific about what property must remain in the unit.

4. Garbage Removal
One of the biggest problem areas for landlords is improper removal of garbage. In addition to being unsanitary, uncollected garbage makes your rental property look run-down. Your rules should clearly state how frequently garbage must be removed and where garbage should be placed for removal.
If there is recycling or composting in your building, make sure to provide new tenants with guidelines about what refuse goes where.

5. Cleanliness Guidelines
A dirty apartment or dwelling is a health hazard, not only for the tenant in question but also for surrounding tenants. Improperly stored garbage and food can attract cockroaches, rats, and other vermin and this problem can quickly spread throughout the entire building.
If you want to avoid putting up with a slovenly tenant, establish guidelines about cleanliness so you have the option of evicting anyone who disregards these rules.

6. Pets and Related Policies
If you plan to allow your tenants to keep pets, state what kind of pets you will allow. For example, if you do allow cats but not dogs, make this clear in your agreement. Or if you limit the size of dog your tenants may own, this should also be stated.
In addition, state how pets must be cared for on the property. For example, include instructions that dogs must be on leashes when in hallways or on the property’s common grounds.

7. Length of Notice
How much notice do you want your tenants to provide when they plan to vacate your rented dwelling? Most landlords prefer around 30 days, but this is not set in stone.
Whatever you decide, state it clearly in your rental agreement. If a unit sits empty for a long period of time because you do not have sufficient lead time to find a new tenant, that’s money out of your pocket.

8. Proper Use of Fixtures
Instead of repeatedly repairing fixtures because a tenant is not using them properly, you can state what constitutes proper and improper use. This will give you the option to not pay for repairs of a fixture that has been improperly used

9. End-of-Term Restoration
When tenants move out, they should restore the dwelling to the condition it was in when they began renting from you. State this clearly to avoid misunderstandings at the end of the rental or lease term.
This includes repainting walls that may have been painted another color, or are chipped and in bad shape. Also, if rugs are soiled or wooden floors scratched or marred, the tenant may be responsible for having them professionally restored.

10. Deposit Information
If you require a security deposit, state what will happen if your tenants damage the dwelling unit. For example, if someone puts a hole in a wall and it costs you $100 to fix, state that the amount will be deducted from their deposit.

Setting down these rules can help ensure that the renting experience will be pleasant for both you and your tenants. You can get landlord tenant rental leases and tenant rental applications here. For more information on tenant screening and landlord services see Accurate Credit Bureau.

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