How do you prevent tenants from breaking the terms of your lease?
Leases protect both property managers and property tenants during the term of a property rental. But because leases are notoriously long and wordy—and people’s attention spans are shorter than ever—lease disputes are a common headache for independent rental owners.
It’s critical to help your tenants understand their lease when they first move in, so there are no surprises later.
Keep reading to discover three techniques you can use to reduce or eliminate lease disputes at your properties. Learn how to create a quick reference guide, share a digital copy of your lease that your tenants can’t lose and set realistic expectations from the get-go.
1. Make it easy to digest
create a one-page quick reference doc. How many times have you seen a tenant just sign and date the lease instead of actually reading it? Probably more times than you can count. The legal language in a lease is there for the benefit of both the landlord and the tenant, but it’s not exactly a breeze to read.
To make the important terms of your lease easier to understand, create a one-page quick reference guide that you give to tenants when they sign. You might also make it part of your move-in packet.
Include bold headers highlighting the most important policies, like lease terms, renewal dates, early termination requirements, landlord access and pet policies. You can copy and paste from the lease or summarize in plain English. Just be sure to keep it to a single page so it’s easy to digest.
2. Make it easy to access
scan and upload a copy to a secure tenant portal Do these excuses sound familiar? “You never told me that.” “That wasn’t in the lease I signed.” “I lost my copy.” Make sure you never hear those again by creating a digital copy of your tenant’s lease that is easy for them to access and review.
As soon as new tenants sign on the dotted line, scan and upload a copy of their lease to a secure online portal that they can log into at any time. Tenant portals are included with Yardi Breeze property management software and make it possible for tenants to review their lease, pay their rent and submit maintenance requests.
3. Make sure there are no surprises
highlight important policies on your website.
Since today’s renters begin their new home journey online, set reasonable expectations from the beginning by including important lease details on your property management website.
Are parking spaces included? Do you require renters insurance? What about short-term rentals? How does rent collection work? Do you charge late fees past a certain date?
Address all frequently asked leasing questions on your website. Remember: when in doubt, spell it out!
You can never be too clear when it comes to your lease. Include lease details in your move-in packet, in tenant portals and on your website now to avoid unnecessary conflicts later.