As a landlord, you might find yourself working your way through a pile of documents just to find a lease agreement or inspection report. But despite your feelings towards them, paperwork is critical to the longevity of your rental property business in Idaho.
Rental documents are essential for your rental property. You are only able address any violations or property issues when you have a binding document to rely on. To prove your case, you always want to have the upper hand. And your rental documents will give you exactly that.
In today’s article, the property specialists from Five Star Property Management outline the importance of these documents, which rental documents you need, and the organization of your paperwork.
The Importance of Rental Documents
Rental documents serve many important purposes. Here are our top reasons:
Accountability and Consistency
The number one reason for rental documents is accountability. To ensure that you receive the rent on time and that the property is maintained well, you will need clear and explicit rules and procedures. The lack of ambiguity ensures that you are on the same page with the tenant from the onset.
With proper documents in place, you will have set some consistency in your property business. Your business will be organized and on the path of growth since you know when you can expect payments from your tenants.
Potential for Litigation
You should be aware of the possibility of litigation as a landlord. Property is one of the most regulated sectors of the economy. These laws touch on almost every element of the landlord-tenant relationship; from the marketing of the property to the security deposit to eviction of the tenant.
For you to lease the property, you must be also compliant with local ordinances, state, and federal laws. Rental documents will show that you (and hopefully the tenant) are cognizant of these laws.
A signed lease agreement shows every party is aware of the terms and conditions of leasing the premises. When before a court of law, rental documents could make it or break it for you.
For your property to be viable, you need to keep a good track of the numbers. How much are your tenants paying for rent? When is the next rent review? How much are you paying for utilities and the maintenance of the property? You will need proper and accurate rental documents to guide you every step of the way.
Below are the four main rental documents you need for your premises:
The Lease Agreement
For every tenant on your rental premises, you will need a signed lease agreement. This is arguably the most important document as it outlines the rights and responsibilities of both the landlord and the tenant.
Every time an issue arises, you can easily refer to the lease document to guide you on how to proceed.
Suppose the local authority passes on a new law that must be complied with by the tenant. How do you go about it since it wasn’t in the lease agreement? You don’t have to sign a new lease agreement. Just create an appendix section where the amendments will be added.
And just to calm the worry in you, any amendments to the original lease agreement are considered part of the original.
While your property is being occupied by the tenant, you will still want it to be maintained in a reasonable condition (bar the effect of normal wear and tear). Before, during, and after the tenancy, we recommend that you carry out an inspection of the premises.
The result of those property inspections should be written down in an inspection report. This will serve to protect your property in the long-run. If poorly maintained and with a need for repairs, you can use the security deposit to pay for the repairs.
Suppose your tenant fails to pay the rent on time or misuses the property. You might serve them with a notice to show your displeasure and remind them of the terms of the lease agreement. Additionally, if the lease is coming to an end, a move-out letter can be given to your renters as a reminder. Remember to keep these notices on file.
Often, the case may escalate and you find yourself in a court of law. These notices will serve to show the type of tenant you were dealing with over the years.
You can choose to order your documents according to the year and purpose for which they were set. Name the files accordingly to easily find documents for different properties. Don’t forget to scan the signed pages and upload them to the cloud for safekeeping. Accidents can happen, and you don’t want to lose your records.
In addition, create a template for all the myriad reasons you might need a rental document. This will help with the hassle in the long-term.
To give yourself an upper hand, we recommend that you have a proper filing system in place. This allows you easy access and reference when an issue arises. In addition, you should consider backing up the files on the cloud storage. Most email account platforms offer extra storage space that you can purchase at an affordable price.
Do you feel overwhelmed with the burden of property management? We understand the feeling. After all, management requires that you take a hands-on approach. Should you not have the experience or expertise, you can find yourself and your property suffering.
For the management of your rental property in Pocatello, Idaho, the specialists to rely on is Five Star Property Management. We are experts in the property industry offering quality and comprehensive management solutions to owners of townhouses, condos, single-family units, and HOAs.
Get in touch with us today and receive a quote for our professional property management services.