A lease agreement is considered a legally binding contract between a landlord and tenant that specifically states rules and regulations to follow during tenancy. It is important for landlords to be accurate and detailed about their requirements when renting their property to prospective tenants.
Most of the time, landlords find that adding an addendum clause to a lease helps further protect themselves as well as the tenant. An addendum is a section in the lease which outlines items that may be unclear, or not mentioned previously in the contract. For example, if a tenant owns a pet and the landlord doesn’t want it inside the home, an addendum may be added to the lease citing that request.
Additionally, it should be noted to your tenant that once they sign the lease they are agreeing to the addendums as well. It is up to both parties to fulfill their responsibilities throughout tenancy.
Here are additional addendum’s, recommended by Real Estate Connections, Los Gatos Property Management company, a landlord may add to a lease to further define any rules or conditions:
- Lead-Based Paint – Any landlord who owns a property on which a residential home was built prior to 1978, must notify their tenants of possible bodily harms connected to the paint by adding a lead-based addendum. This allows the landlord to disclose whether or not they have knowledge of any lead-based paint being used on the property before tenancy, which in turn will protect them legally.
- Mold – This addendum primarily states that the landlord has no awareness of any mold on the property. The addendum should also define what mold is, how it appears, and what physical harms it can cause the tenant. Furthermore, if the rental unit experienced mold in the past, the landlord is required to state what happened and what preventative measures have been taken since.
- Personal Property Insurance – As the owner of an income property, you want to show that you have insurance on your rental unit. More importantly, however, the addendum should clearly explain that although the owner is insured, the tenant’s personal belongings are not. As a result, the landlord must state in the lease agreement that the resident acknowledges being responsible for obtaining and maintaining renters insurance for future losses or damages.
- Carbon Monoxide Detectors – This addendum claims the tenant is aware that the residence is equipped with carbon monoxide detectors and that they are in proper working condition. It also notes that if there are problems or defects with the alarms the tenant is to contact the landlord immediately. By the end of next year, the state of California is going to require that every home be furnished with the carbon monoxide detectors, so it’s imperative to put an alarm in every unit to be safe.
- No-Smoking Policy – By enforcing a no-smoking policy, landlords reduce the risk of an accidental fire and subsequently decrease the cost of their fire insurance premiums. Secondhand smoke often increases maintenance, cleaning, and redecorating costs, but with the no-smoking policy landlords can minimize those expenses completely.
By adding an addendum section to the lease agreement, it helps protect the rights of both landlord and tenant. It’s a simple addition that in the end, benefits all persons involved.
After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry!