Real Estate Gladiators is an industry leader in the property management industry serving Issaquah, Bellevue, Kirkland, the greater eastside and surrounding areas.
Your lease agreement is the go-do document for you and your tenants when you have a question or a conflict during the tenancy. It provides valuable information, explains expectations, and clearly lays out the requirements of both landlords and tenants. If you’re working with a professional Bellevue property management company, there’s a good chance that you have a strong and compliant lease in place already. But, if you’re managing on your own, you need to make sure you have the resources to put together a strong lease.
Make sure you use a lease that’s valid and enforceable in Washington State. It also needs to include all the necessary terms, disclosures, and clauses.
Bellevue Lease Basics: Contact and Identifying Information
For starters, your lease agreement needs to identify the parties entering into the rental contract. It should include the names and contact information for landlords, tenants, and property managers. All adults 18 years of age or older should be listed as residents bound by the lease, and you should also include information about any children or minors who are residing there.
It’s also a good idea to provide information about the property. Indicate whether it’s a single-family home or an apartment, and be sure to include the property’s address. List any of the appliances or equipment that are provided with the house, such as washing machines or refrigerators.
The lease term must be clearly stated as well. If it’s a one-year lease, make sure you indicate what happens at the end of the term. It might go to a month-to-month lease, or it might terminate completely if it’s not renewed.
Rent Collection Policies and Deposits
You also want your lease agreement to reflect your rental policies. Make sure it explicitly states how much rent is due, when it must be paid, and how it should be paid. Include information about any grace periods or late fees. List all the consequences to late rent, including eviction.
Include the amount of the security deposit that’s been collected and what the process will be for returning it at the end of the lease period. This is a good place to list any expectations you have about the condition of the property in order for tenants to receive their full deposit back.
Maintenance and Responsibilities
The lease agreement should also distinguish which parties are responsible for which parts of maintaining a home. Usually, the landlord is required to respond to structural maintenance issues and take care of anything that affects the tenant’s safety or the home’s habitability. If the tenant is going to be responsible for things like landscaping, changing air filters, or maintaining the alarm system, make sure the lease states this. The lease should state who is responsible for utilities and what the process is for reporting emergency and routine maintenance needs.
Provide Lists of Rules, Regulations, and Protocols
The lease is a great place to let the tenant know what is and is not permitted. If you don’t allow smoking of any type, make sure the lease reflects that. Perhaps you don’t want overnight guests for more than two weeks, or maybe pets are strictly prohibited. Be sure to include that. All leases should reference whether subletting and temporary renting is allowed. With the popularity of sites like Airbnb, you want to make sure your tenants aren’t unlawfully renting out your home to others.
These are just a few of the things that must be included in your lease, but this is a comprehensive document that requires a lot of detail. If you’d like some help writing a lease for your Bellevue rental property, please contact us at Real Estate Gladiators. We’d be happy to work with you.