Q:

What should go into a basic rental contract?

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Quick Answer

A basic property rental contract should include the names and addresses of both parties, the address and details of the property, the length of the rental and information on rent, according to Nolo. A basic contract should also contain information on deposits, fees and various restrictions.

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Full Answer

Rent information in a contract needs to spell out how much rent is due per month, how and where it needs to be paid, and what late fees apply, explains Nolo. Information on deposits and fees should explain how much the security deposit is, if a cleaning deposit applies, and if the last month's rent needs to be paid in advance. A basic agreement needs to specify who pays for which utilities. The contract should stipulate that the property is fit for living in and that a tenant is to inform the landlord if a dangerous situation arises.

A basic rental contract should also explain any provisions for pets and any repair and maintenance duties a tenant may have, explains Nolo. A more advanced contract might identify which areas, such as unclogging drains and fixing windows, that the tenant has responsibility for repairing. A basic contract can also explain what a tenant can and can't do without landlord permission; one example could be needing to ask permission before painting walls.

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