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4 Tips for
JASON COHEN PITTSBURGH
A well-written lease is
worth its weight in gold.
Real estate investors can make a profit off of rental properties - but
if they aren't detail-oriented, they may end up paying out more in
expenses than they make in rent collection. Mind your p's and q's
when you write a lease! The document can help you protect yourself
against tenant-caused upkeep costs.
Include a Guest
The largest cause of property damage
is people. The more people you have
occupying a unit, the greater the wear
and tear on the apartment. For this
reason, it’s important to have a clause
that designates just how many people
can live in the unit. You can and
should also add a clause limiting the
number of guests that can stay
overnight in the unit. As a part of that
guest clause, include a note that states
that the tenant is responsible for any
damage or other liabilities caused by
guests of that tenant.
Put a Cap on
If you’re paying for the utilities, be
sure to include a clause in the lease
about the tenant’s privileges. The best
way to handle this situation is to
designate a number, such as $50 for
gas, and state that the tenant is
responsible for paying overages. If the
tenant knows he’s responsible for
paying the difference, he’ll be much
more concerned with conserving
While most leases do have a “right to
entry” clause, you might want to
consider specifying routine
inspections. This is the best way to
protect yourself as the property
owner. By making a routine inspection
occasionally, you can ensure there are
no serious damages to the property,
unregistered tenants, or unapproved
pets. This is your property and you
have the right to ensure it’s being
cared for in a proper way.
This means going into detail in the
lease on how the property is to be
used. If you don’t want tenants using
the fireplace, state that in the lease.
Also point out that using utilities in a
way other than intended is prohibited.
This way, if their son throws a toy
down the toilet and that creates a
costly plumbing repair bill, the tenant
will be held responsible for paying it.
This is added protection against
damages caused by the tenant.
If there’s anything that concerns you in renting
out your property, you should make a point to
mention that in the lease. This is your
opportunity to let your tenants know what is
and isn’t acceptable. By providing detailed
clauses in your lease, you can ensure your
property will be well tended and you’ll be
spared the costs of paying for damages.
J A S O N C O H E N P I T T S B U R G H . N E T