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What Should Landlords Include in Their Rental Agreements?

Posted on: December 8, 2016

A rental or lease agreement lays out all of the guidelines and rules that both the tenant and the landlord must abide by, and it is a legally binding contract. Neglecting to include important terms in it can result in the lack of a remedy for the landlord if a dispute or problem arises in the future.

Hiring a South Florida real estate lawyer to help draft or review your rental agreement is always a good decision. Landlords must ensure that their standard rental agreement covers critical details in order to protect their interests, including the following and more:

Occupancy Limits

The rental agreement should have clear terminology that limits the occupants only to the tenants who are named on the lease and their minor children. This allows the landlord to control who lives at the property as well as the number of occupants. Only those who have been screened by the landlord should be allowed to live there. Terminology can be included that allows grounds for eviction if someone else who is not named on the lease moves in.


It is crucial to include the specific amount of rent in the agreement, the day it is due, and the preferred method of payment. Details should be listed including the full range of acceptable payment methods, charges that occur if there is a bounced check, late fees if the rent is not paid on time, grace periods and more.

Maintenance and Repairs

Be sure to include terms about each party’s responsibility when it comes to repairs and maintenance. Generally, the tenant should be responsible to keep the property clean and pay for any damages that result from neglect. The tenant should also be required to alert the landlord regarding any dangerous conditions on the property. Also outline the protocol for dealing with repair requests.


The pet policy should be clearly outlined in the agreement. If pets are not allowed there should be specific details that prohibit them, if they are allowed with restrictions then those details should also be described. Often pets will be limited by type, number, weight, and the requirement to keep the property clear of waste should be outlined.

Deposits and Fees

Security deposits and their use are often a source of conflict between landlords and tenants. A clear security deposit policy should be described in the rental agreement to avoid disputes and confusion in the future.

These are just a few of the many important terms that should be included in any rental agreement. It is highly advisable to meet with a real estate attorney in South Florida to review your specific situation and draft a customized agreement that will protect your interests, or to update your current agreement.

Contact Schecter Law today at (954)-779-7009 for more information or a consultation.