Three Crucial Items All Leases Should Include

November 23, 2020 by Paul Begich

This article is for anyone who either has 1) signed a lease or 2) has tenants of their own that’ve signed a lease. Between these two buckets this is probably darn near all of us! In my time at DRG I’ve worn a few different hats – namely, working in both the leasing side of the business and now the buy/sell side of the business.

While I worked on the leasing side I had over two hundred clients sign a lease over a two year period – so I know a thing or two about leases!

Here are three absolutely CRUCIAL items that should be included in all leases:

1) Lease Terms

This may seem like a no brainer but I can’t tell you how many leases I’ve read that lack the basics! All leases need to at a minimum include: full legal names of the tenants and owners, lease start and end dates, rent rates, security deposits, and proper notice periods. Without these basic items it’s extremely challenging to even have an enforceable lease! Be sure that when you’re both writing a lease or signing a lease these basic items are included.

2) Termination Policy

As a tenant signing a lease it’s EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that you read the fine print as it relates to the early termination policy of the lease. The way some leases are written you’ll need owner approval (in writing) to get out of a lease – otherwise, you may be legally responsible for the entirety of rent payment over the period of your lease. While others simply require appropriate notice (generally 60 days) and a termination fee (generally two months worth of rent). If you’re a renter, be sure to make yourself aware of these policies. If you’re an owner be sure to write these policies into a lease. Of the most important items to include in a lease (beyond the basic terms highlighted above) this is one of the most crucial.

3) Pet Policy

In my experience, generally about half of all renters have a pet. As an owner, will you be charging pet rent? What is the policy on pet excrement in common spaces? Will there be a charge for multiple infractions? As an owner, these are things to consider! And as a renter, you’ll want to be aware of these items if you have a pet.

Are there any items that you’ve noticed lacking in a lease you’ve signed? Maybe you’re an owner and have gotten bitten by not including a particular item in your lease? I’m curious what some of those items are – feel free to drop me a line anytime!

Paul Begich


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