Basic house rental agreements should include a number of basic items for the protection of the landlord (the owner of the rental property) and the tenant (the person renting the home).
At a minimum, the lease should include the specific terms of the lease (monthly or yearly) and the amount of rent to be paid. In addition, the amount of any security deposits and who is responsible for paying what utilities should also be included.
Specific considerations should include what happens if rent is not paid, any restrictions on making property improvements, and who pays to repair appliances.
Homes that include pools or front and backyards may require more maintenance. Who is responsible for this maintenance should be delineated in the lease.
Always be sure to have your landlord or property manager’s phone number for emergencies. Make sure there is a reliable way to contact this person at all times in case a pipe explodes or there is a fire.
Always read a home rental lease in its entirety before signing. Do not be satisfied with merely a verbal explanation as many contingencies (such as painting rooms or installing shelves) may not be mentioned.
Christina Eichelkruat has a degree in mass communications, emphasis on print journalism. She has been a staff reporter for the "Pahrump Valley Times" for two years and a freelance writer for three. In addition to her published newspaper articles, she has ghostwritten two books and contributed to various governmental reports.