If you are a property owner who is frequently host to a corporate tenant, you may be making assumptions that can lead to confusion or trouble. For example, you may simply assume that each corporate tenant makes themselves familiar with the “house rules” at the time they sign their rental agreement or begin to enjoy their stay. However, it is really up to you, the landlord, to ensure that there are 1) basic rules in place and 2) that you take time to familiarize each tenant with them.
Doing this ensures that your furnished apartment or other type of rental properties remain in the best condition, that all neighborhood or building policies are upheld, and that the rental goes off without any of those proverbial “hitches”.
That means you’ll begin by creating some basic rules for each corporate tenant or renter, and then ensuring you review them as part of the application and rental process. It is easier than it seems, and begins with the rules.
If you talk to experts, the most basic rules you need to supply and discuss with a corporate tenant or renter would include:
- The formal date that rent is due, and the date it is seen as late. In the written rules, be sure to itemize whether you will charge a late fee or penalty, and be sure your state allows for such fees.
- The terms around your “right of entry” as a landlord. Most states insist you give 24 hours notice before you enter, but it is still a good idea to itemize it in the basic rules.
- The items within the rental that remain upon the corporate tenant’s departure. For example, if you are renting them a furnished apartment, set down what was there upon arrival and itemize all that remains (even small things add up if tenants remove them, such as blinds or shades). So, make sure your rules are very specific about what remains.
- The specific rules and dates for recycling and garbage removal. One expert said that this is one of the “biggest problem areas for landlords” as it can allow garbage to pile up and become a neighborhood problem.
- A pet policy. Whether your furnished apartment rentals allow pets or not, it is important to have it written down in your basic rules for tenants. If allowed, be specific about numbers, sizes and even types. If certain breeds are not allowed in a building or neighborhood, be sure this is made clear in the rules. Also be clear about pet care policies including leashing, cleaning up after pets, and so on.
You also want to detail the length of notice needed if a tenant vacates early (and fees involved), maintenance rules to ensure they call if there are problems with appliances or household systems, and the condition the property must be in at time of vacating.
Why write it down and not verbalize it? Why not just put it in the lease rather than separately? It is best to convey your expectations and requirements in writing to allow you to take any legal actions later and to prevent any abuses from occurring. A simple document to be signed and witnessed is all it takes to set solid house rules.
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