A strong lease is necessary when renting out your property. The housing bubble brought more attention to the management of single family homes than any other previous time. Because of that, tenants have become more educated on renting property. Advocacy groups offer free help to tenants and there is more knowledge out there about the rental of single family homes than ever before. There are REITs and other funds gobbling up single family homes for rental. It’s becoming a big business and that’s why you need a strong lease: tenants are more prepared.
Not having a lease that includes certain required lease clauses could jeopardize your whole operation. Don’t rely on boilerplate leases. For example, consideration for any work done on the property is required in Minnesota. If you’re requiring a tenant in your home to mow the lawn or shovel the sidewalk, you need to provide consideration. The terminology has to be right, and that’s why you don’t want to use a boilerplate lease. You need a good, strong lease specific to the laws of Minnesota.
Taking care of risk management wisely also requires you to have a strong lease. You need to use specific terms that address when a landlord can enter the property, how the move out process is conducted and what will be done with the disposition of the security deposit, including interest. It needs to include drug language and you might want clauses that prevent vacating during winter months. All of this language is important in reducing your risk and liability.
A strong lease protects you against potential litigation and it provides teeth. If you do need to go to court, you don’t want your tenant to get away with some technicality because your lease didn’t include required language. But a strong lease that’s well written can go a long way and help you defend against any potential cases.