What to Include In a Virginia Beach Lease Agreement

Osprey Property Management   |   date September 2021

What should landlords include in a lease agreement? If you're in the habit of downloading a free lease agreement template without adding any customization, your properties and income could be at risk.

Our Virginia Beach, VA property management team has put together some critical tips to make sure your lease agreement includes everything it needs to protect your investments! Keep reading to learn seven critical elements you should include in every rental contract.

What Do Rental Property Owners Need to Include in the Lease?

A rental agreement is a document that acts as a contract between you and your tenant, defining the terms of the tenancy. It’s one of the most important documents to protect your investments. Property owners need to create detailed clauses in these agreements to help enforce legal matters like receiving the rent on time and ensuring the property is not damaged.

Cube with question mark on wooden background

When creating your lease, make sure it includes these elements. 

1. Identify All Parties Involved in the Lease Agreement

An airtight lease includes your name as the property owner or your property management company if they handle all leasing and property details. In addition, make sure the document contains the names and contact information of every tenant over the age of eighteen. 

2. Include Clauses for Owner Access and Maintenance

Property maintenance can become a tricky situation without the details spelled out in the lease. Include a clause that states that both parties are required to keep the property maintained and clean. Identify your renter’s responsibilities vs. your responsibilities to provide maintenance and repair services. 

If there's any disagreement when you highlight a home upkeep issue with residents, you can always refer back to this document to resolve it.

Also, be sure this section mentions the amount of notice you’ll give tenants before entering the property and how they’ll receive this notice. Providing renters at least 24-hours of advance warning that you’ll be on property is a best practice and helps property owners avoid landlord entry violations

3. Document the Monthly Rent Amount and When It's Due

Be sure to include the amount of rent and when it's due. If you allow a grace period for past due rent, make a note of that as well. This part of the agreement should also specify your late fee rules, including how much and when they go into effect for late rental payments. Your tenants should be able to find these details easily and be aware of what can happen if they miss their rental payments on time.

This section is also ideal for details about the security deposit amount, when it’s due, and how you’ll process it at the end of the lease term. This is a standard clause that should be included in every rental lease agreement to avoid confusion or disputes if a renter damages the property and doesn’t receive their security deposit after moving out

4. Include Policies for Emotional Support Animals and Pets

It's essential to include pet and emotional support animal (ESA) clauses in your lease agreement. This not only protects your tenant’s rights but also helps you follow the law when responding to a request for an emotional support animal. We highly recommend you consult with an attorney or other real estate management professional to navigate wording about ESAs in your rental agreement. 

Businesswoman working on laptop computer sitting at home with a dog pet and managing her business

Make sure the lease also clearly states if you allow pets and how renters must follow the rules to have a pet in the rental. 

5. Specify Lease and Renewal Terms

The length of the lease is another critical detail to include in rental documents. Make sure your lease includes the start and end dates so that there is no confusion for renters about when they can move in and when they must move out. 

Also, include information about how to renew the lease before it ends. When a lease expires, it's important everyone knows whether or not a renewal will be discussed at that time or if all parties need to sign another lease agreement with new terms. Note a timeline of when renters should expect renewal information from you and when they’ll need to let you know if they plan to sign a new lease or move out. 

6. Identify House Rules

From quiet hours to rules about caring for pets and penalties for conducting illegal activities in the property, identify all renter house rules, expectations, and penalties for violations while living in the home. While too many rules can make it difficult for even the best residents to feel at home, it’s critical to help renters understand your expectations for what can (and can’t) take place in the residential property. 

7. Signatures Are Essential

Who needs to sign the document? Make sure all parties involved in the leasing process sign the agreement—including you or your property managers. A basic lease agreement needs all signatures to become a legally binding document that protects your investments!

Include Critical Lease Details With Virginia Beach Property Management

With clearly outlined rules, deadlines, rent amounts, and more, rental owners have the documentation they need to enforce lease agreements. However, if you’re not sure you have all of the necessary details in your rental agreement, the right Virginia Beach property managers can help! Reach out to Osprey Property Management to review your lease and make sure it serves you well.

Learn more about what to include in a rental agreement with the insights in our free resource, the “How To Create a Custom Lease Agreement Checklist.”

Subscribe Our Newsletter

Sign up here to get the latest news, updates and special offers delivered directly to your inbox.