A rental agreement is a binding contract that you sign with your residents, agreeing to the terms and conditions of the tenancy. It’s designed to protect you, your resident, and your property in case there are disputes or questions about responsibilities and requirements.
Lease agreements are all different and typically reflect the property that’s being rented and the unique rules and expectations that the owner has for the residents and the tenancy. What’s important is that you’re using a strong rental agreement that’s legally compliant in California. Don’t pick a random template that you find on the internet because it may not cover all of the disclosures and addenda that California requires.
Your lease should be detailed and specific. We’re sharing some of the most basic and pertinent pieces of information that must always be included.
Contact and Identifying Information
The lease agreement should start with identifying information. You need the names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses for all residents, owners, and if applicable – Sacramento property managers. Any dependents who are living in the home but not listed as financially responsible parties on the lease should also be included. You should also describe the property that’s being rented out. List whether it’s a single-family home or an apartment, if it’s furnished, and which appliances are included.
Rent Collection Policy and Lease Term
The lease agreement also needs to reflect the term of the lease. It needs a start date and an end date, and then it needs to reflect what happens at the end of the lease period. Your lease should state whether it automatically renews, or if it moves to a month-to-month lease.
Make sure to include your rent collection policy. This ought to reflect how much rent is due, when it should be paid, and how it should be paid. You’ll need to include information on grace periods and late fees as well as the amount of the security deposit that was collected. You now need to indicate whether your property falls under the statewide rent control act or whether it’s exempt.
Establish Landlord and Resident Responsibilities
Make sure your lease reflects who is responsible for what. Address the utilities and lawn care and pool care and who pays for those services. You’ll want residents to reference how maintenance should be reported if there’s a repair issue. A good lease tells residents what they’re responsible for during the lease period.
Rules and Requirements
The lease needs to identify what is allowed and what isn’t allowed in your property. If you don’t want any smoking, make sure the lease prohibits it. If you don’t want more than one car per resident parked outside, the lease should say that. If you want guests to stay no longer than three days, make sure that language is in the lease.
When you’re renting out a property in an HOA, you’ll also need to provide the resident with a complete copy of HOA rules and regulations. You should indicate in your list that the resident will be responsible for any fines or penalties incurred as a result of their behavior.
Amendments and Addenda in Rental Agreements
There are a number of addenda that need to be included in a California lease agreement, specifically information on lead based paint and mold disclosures. Your lease must advise residents about the registered sexual offender database in case they want to look at data for the neighborhood and it must also address chemicals and pesticides used in any pest control measures that are taken against things such as bed bugs and termites.
Extra Considerations with Your Sacramento Lease Agreement
Make sure your lease is clear and concise. Use a font that’s large enough for a reasonable person to read. In fact, when it comes to referencing rent control, there are specifics about the font that needs to be used. The verbiage must be in 12-point font. Make sure you pay attention to this; you don’t want your lease thrown out in court because the font you chose was too small.
We spend a lot of time writing rental agreements and we work closely with legal experts. If you need help with your rental agreement or anything pertaining to our leasing and management services, please contact us at Sacramento Delta Property Management.
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