Clearly enunciating the following clauses in a lease will save landlords lots of headaches as it will leave little room for interpretation:

1. Specify clearly what is included in the rental price.

2. Make sure everyone understands exactly what happens when the lease expires. Even if it is clearly laid out in the lease, it is vital your tenant understands what is expected once the lease concludes.

3. Agree on who is responsible for repairs, maintenance and replacements in the premises. Outline how you will resolve these issues for each high value item as well as those that may be overlooked.

4. Always have a copy of your tenants’ current insurance.

5. Landlords typically ask for a deposit to protect themselves if there is rent owing and if the tenant causes damage to the premises. Also, if the tenant doesn’t remove his leasehold improvements, the landlord might pay a contractor to do so and deduct that cost from the tenant’s deposit as well.

6. Make sure you have a renewal clause in your lease. If not, start negotiating your renewal at least 6 months before the lease. Short of respecting the delays in the lease, a landlord and tenant should have enough time to figure out if they want to continue their relationship or mitigate and have enough time to find that other tenant or location.

7. Fully understand your rights if a tenant stops paying rent. Have your lawyer fully explain to you your rights and your tenant rights.

8. Know your rights if tenant stops respecting their non-pecuniary obligations. Falling short of successfully negotiating with the tenant themselves, an opportunity for a more fervent and serious tone is needed with a letter from the client’s legal counsel. At our firm, we can explain the strategies we have in place to successfully defend their rights.

9. While the landlord’s interests are to be satisfied with a more secure payment option, we encourage them to ensure they always have a record of each and every transaction. Gathering the proper proof and having the proper accounting support is important when tracking a tenant’s payment history or lack thereof.

10. Make sure your tenant pays their share of operating expenses and utilities by having the clearest conditions in your lease which outline their proportionate share and how and to whom these expenses are to be paid.

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