Re: New Landlord
by John N on Monday, December 17, 2001 @09:33
Jim Lavender on 12/13/101 11:07 PM said:
>>I am about to purchase a duplex in NJ as an owner occupant and plan to retain the current tenants in the larger 2 bedroom unit on the first floor. I have a couple questions regarding my situation.
>>1. How long of a lease should I sign them up for? I am afraid to sign them for a year in case they prove to be deadbeats. A friend advised me to have them sign 6mos at first and if they prove worthy sign them up for a year after that. And, as she puts it, the months Jun, July, and August are the best months to find renters should they prove poor tenants.
>>>>2. The home has oil radiator heat with one boiler. The current owner has been paying the heating bill. Is there any logical way I can get the tenants to pay their portion of heat?
>>3. Are there any "must haves" I should put in my lease agreement aside from the basics?
First, I recommend reading and using the LPA lease or something like it. Also, it would be a good idea to pick up the book "Landlording" by Leigh Robinson.
Second, make sure your tenants meet certain criteria before signing them up again, such as credit, etc. For that I recommend using the LPA Rental application. We should never rent to anyone who has not been fully screened & qualified. You can read about screening on the e-mail attachment I'm sending you. If these current tenants don't check out so well, don't give them anymore than a month to month, but get protected with a month to month LPA Lease or rental agreement.
2. Require the tenants pay a utility charge above the rent. It can be a flat charge that you feel is fair, or split the bill.
3. Must haves? Late charges, Daily late fees, Attorney fee clause, added rent, maintenance, default clause, security deposit, lease viloation, renters ins, appliances, utilities, etc. The LPA lease will help with all that plus more.
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