Property Leases and Rental Agreements contain key information about the property, the amount of rent as well as important legal rules that the tenant and landlord must follow. The tenant has to know exactly what they are getting into and many of these rules may not be captured in the lease agreement.
Many different states including the federal government have laws that compel landlords to make less obvious disclosures such as any known lead-based paint hazards in the rental premises or recent flooding in the rental unit. The contents of the lease agreements and the disclosures are meant to protect the tenant/renter from various dangers/hazards that may be in or near the property being leased.
Notice and disclosure requirements vary significantly from state to state so as a Landlord after you prepare your lease you need the help of a platform such as RentalGrid to help you prepare a lease that contains all the necessary notices and disclosures for a very reasonable cost.
State Required Landlord Disclosures
It is mandatory for Landlords to make at least a few disclosures in many states. Below is a list of some of the most common disclosures that Landlords are required to make to tenants typically prior to the tenant moving in and as part of the lease agreement:
- Details on security deposits, such as the Landlord’s use of the security deposit, where the deposit will be held and how much interest it will earn (if any), as well as any nonrefundable fees (if allowed by law)
- The identity of the landlord and the person authorized to receive legal papers and manage the property, such as a property manager
- If there is any shared utility arrangements (where a tenant pays a portion of others’ utilities, such as electricity)
- Specific tenant rights as to the condition of the property at move-in and/or at move-out (such as a tenant’s right to be present at a move-out inspection)
- Details on installation and availability of safety features, such as smoke detectors, in the property
- Presence of environmental health hazards, such as mold, radon, lead based paint hazards, as required under federal law as well as bed bugs.
- Recent prior flooding in the rental property
- Smoking policy
- Rights of domestic violence victims
- Presence of a meth lab in the rental in a previous tenancy, and
- Details on any outstanding housing code violations.
If in doubt consult your lawyer as rules vary state by state.
It is very important for landlords to make these disclosures as failure to do so may have consequences. These consequences may vary from monetary penalties to various other penalties that can also include imprisonment.