Home Leases: Dos and Don’ts

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Home Leases: Dos and Don’ts

We at Standards Online are often asked about advice for home leases. What should you do to make them valid? And what should you not do?

Since laws pertaining to the relationship between landlords and tenants are different from country to country, and from state to state in the US, the home leases will also be different. But there are some general guidelines to follow. 

We will use the example of a Norwegian company called Presis Utleie to outline some of these general guidelines. They have created a simple digital lease that makes it easy to create a positive landlord-tenant relationship, given the clear obligations that are spelled out for both sides. It’s also a juridically accepted contract, which made us curious. Therefore we reached out to ask if they could name a few of the dos and don’t of home leases.

They got back to us, introducing their list by saying that the Norwegian term “husleiekontrakt og leiekontrakt,” which are two different words for “lease,” is becoming increasingly important. This is because more landlords want to avoid any struggles and lawsuits in the case of misunderstandings between themselves and their tenants. 

Here is the list that they gave us, including some of the most important factors to consider. 

The Dos of Home Leases

  • The lease should generally be in writing, even if some states or countries don’t require it
  • Describe the property, for example in terms of the address or what kind of building it is
  • Add the beginning and end date, as well as how much the monthly rent is, and the way it is to be collected
  • Provide as many details as you can in the lease, therein security deposit, furnishing, pet-, noise-, and parking rules, etc.

The Don’ts of Home Leases

  • Some leases make attempts to remove tenants’ rights of reclaiming their security depository, or of suing the landlord for any reason. This is not a valid addition to the lease, and it can’t be seen through with legal justification
  • Leases shall not relieve the landlord from the responsibility to provide the correct safety and living conditions for the tenant

As you can see, the list is quite short, and this is a good thing. Too many leases are complicated and intricate, which often makes them difficult to understand. Now, there are more things to consider adding to the contract, but if you begin with these points, you’ll be well on your way to creating a valid lease. 

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