The more detailed your Oregon lease agreement is, the better it is for all parties of the lease. With a properly detailed Oregon lease or rental agreement, you can avoid an abundance of conflicts and misunderstandings throughout a tenancy.
One of the most common mistakes landlords make is failing to set clear tenancy rules. Having a detailed lease agreement will help set a clear expectation for your tenants which will minimize misunderstandings and issues.
As a landlord, the following are the key items you should include in your lease or rental agreement. Having these in your rental contract will help ensure the tenancy runs as smooth as possible.
Terms to Include in Your Oregon Rental or Lease Agreement
1. Term of the Lease
Are you offering your tenants a rental agreement or a lease agreement? Make sure it is known before they sign the lease.
A rental agreement is a short-term lease that usually lasts anywhere from a month to six months. Although this option doesn’t seem the greatest for reducing tenant turnover, it has other advantages. For example, if you invest in a hot rental market and know you can charge more for rent in the future, this type of agreement offers you flexibility. It is also the exact type of agreement you need for managing a vacation rental property.
A lease agreement, on the other hand, is a long-term lease. Lease agreements are in play for a fixed period of time, usually a year. This is a great option if you are looking for more stability.
2. Names of Tenants
Your Oregon agreement should include the names of all adult tenants living in your property. This includes the names of all couples regardless of their marital status.
When all occupants of the unit sign the lease agreement, you are able to hold them all responsible for the lease terms.
This gives you powers to terminate their lease should any one of them seriously violate the lease terms. It also gives you the right to ask any occupant of the unit for rent if one of them does not pay.
3. Limits of Occupancy
Your lease agreement should state that only those who have been approved and signed the lease are eligible to live in the rental property. This helps ensure that only qualified tenants live in your rental property. The last thing you want is to evict a tenant because they are letting a friend or family member stay in your property without your permissions.
In addition, your Oregon agreement should also say whether or not you allow subletting. If you do not allow subletting, make it clear. If you do allow it, then make sure to indicate that it’s only you that can authorize it.
4. Pet Policy
Americans are a nation of pet lovers. Over two-thirds of Americans own a pet, according to a survey conducted by the National Pet Owners Association. And Oregon is ranked #4 in states with the most pet owners per capita.
With such a huge population of people owning pets, it’s crucial that your lease or rental agreement includes a clause regarding pets.
If you allow pets, then make it known what breed, size and number of pets you’ll allow in your property. Make sure to include any details pertaining to the pet deposit as well. If, however, you don’t allow pets, then make sure it’s written in your Oregon lease agreement.
*As a side note, not allowing pets in your rental property can make it more challenging to find potential renters, as you’ll be locking out a significant number of applicants.
Secondly, you may not get to enjoy the long-term tenancies that your competitors with pet-friendly properties enjoy. Typically, pet owners rent for longer periods of time because it is harder for them to find another pet-friendly property.
Having a pet-friendly property can also give you the chance to earn a larger rental income. A study found that there is a significant rent differential between pet-friendly housing and rentals that ban pets.
However, whether you decide to allow pets or not, just make sure your lease is clear on the subject.
Remember to keep the Fair Housing Rules in mind. Specifically, understanding how to approach prospective tenants who have service pets.
5. Repairs and Maintenance
Did you know that your Oregon tenants have the right to withhold rent or exercise the right to “repair and deduct” if you don’t make important property repairs? Yes, that’s right! The renter can also decide to move out or call the state or local building or health inspectors if their property is not on par.
None of these scenarios would be in your best interest!
So, make sure your lease explains both renter and landlord responsibilities for repairs and maintenance. Bear in mind that as a landlord, you are required to keep your property in habitable conditions. That is, it adheres to all state and local building, safety and health codes.
Thankfully, not everything in regard to repairs and maintenance falls in your domain as a landlord. Keeping the unit clean and sanitary, for example, is the tenant’s responsibility in most cases. It is also their responsibility to alert you of any problems the unit may have.
6. Rent Rates & Security Deposits
This is, without a doubt, an area that attracts the most conflicts between landlords and tenants, in any state. The only way to prevent this is to lay out all rules that tenants must follow relating to rent.
In your Oregon lease or rental agreement, make sure you state things like:
- The amount of rent due
- When and where to pay rent
- What forms of payment are accepted, credit card, online payment, cash etc..
- The grace period, if applicable
- When late fees take effect, Oregon rental laws only allow landlords to charge a late fee if the rent is not paid before the 5th late day.
Also, make sure to specify the terms of the security deposit. Include in the agreement the amount of the security deposit, how it can be used, and how it will be returned. Oregon landlord-tenant laws do not limit how much a landlord can charge for rent, however, it is recommended to charge no more than 2 month’s rent.
7. Landlord Entry
Your Oregon tenants have a right to privacy, whether your lease mentions it or not. Once you rent out your property, you cease the right to enter as you like. You’ll need to notify your tenants of your intent to visit, always.
The reason and timing of your entry must also be within reason. The reason, for example, could be to inspect the property or to make needed maintenance repairs.
According to Oregon landlord-tenant laws, you must give your tenants a 24-hour notice before entering their unit, unless there is an emergency.
These are the 7 key items you should include in your Oregon rental agreement. If you find the drafting process daunting, please consider hiring expert help.
We here at Rogue Real Estate Sales & Property Management are ready to assist you.
Are you looking to invest in real estate? Here are a few reasons to invest in Oregon real estate!