Whether you’re renting out a home in Windsor, Healdsburg, Cloverdale, or anywhere in Sonoma County, your lease agreement is going to help protect you and your property. It also protects the rights of your residents. The lease is a rental contract full of terms, conditions, and responsibilities that you and your tenants agree to uphold. It lays out all the expectations and requirements of the tenancy.
The California Association of Realtors and the California Apartment Association have excellent lease templates for landlords and Healdsburg property management companies. We recommend you use a professional lease that you obtain from a reputable organization or a property manager. Don’t download any template you find online. Your lease needs to be specific to state and local laws, 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
A good Sonoma County lease agreement will start with identifying information. You need the names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses for all tenants who will live in the property. Any dependents who are living in the home but not listed as financially responsible parties on the lease must also be included. The name and address of the owner or the property management company should be included, and you’ll also want to describe the property that’s being rented. State whether it’s a single-family home or an apartment, and if it includes parking, utilities, or appliances.
Rent Collection Policy and Terms
The lease agreement also needs to reflect the lease terms. It should list your start date and end date, and it needs to spell out what will happen when the lease period ends. Perhaps you want the lease to renew automatically or maybe you want it to revert to a month-to-month agreement. Everything must be explicit so the tenant knows what to expect and how much notice to give if they intend to vacate.
Every lease agreement needs to include your rent collection policy. State the rental amount, when it’s due, and how it should be paid. Stipulate whether you accept cash, checks, credit cards, or prefer online payments. You’ll need to include information on grace periods and late fees as well as the amount of the security deposit that was collected.
Landlord and Tenant Responsibilities
A strong lease agreement will reflect who is responsible for which functions of the home. Typically, the landlord is responsible for things like lawn care, pest control, and pool maintenance. Tenants usually pay for utilities. However, your property may work differently. Decide on expectations and responsibilities, and make sure they’re in the lease agreement and communicated well to your residents.
It’s also a good idea to include maintenance protocols in your lease agreement. Let tenants know how repairs should be requested and what they need to do when maintenance is needed.
Healdsburg Property Management: Lease 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.
HOA properties will require extra clauses in the lease agreement. You’ll have to provide a copy of HOA rules and regulations as an addendum. You should indicate in your list that the tenant will be responsible for any fines or penalties incurred as a result of their behavior.
There are a number of addenda that need to be included in a California lease agreement, specifically information on AB1482, lead based paint, and mold disclosures. Your lease must advise tenants 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. With the new rent control laws, your lease also needs to reflect whether your property is included in the rent control laws or whether it is exempt.
Leasing a home can be complicated, and it helps to have a Healdsburg property management company helping you manage the details. If you need any guidance or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Healdsburg Property Management.