Call 678-825-0500 or 877-381-3800

Excalibur Home Management Blog

Helpful Lease Clauses - Atlanta Property Management

Matt Nelson - Monday, May 08, 2017

The lease form that you use needs to comply with your State’s landlord/tenant law.  Some states, such as Georgia and Texas, have form leases prepared by the State Realtor Associations which comply with the law and are widely used within the State.  One of the benefits of using a lease form that is widely used is that your local judge is more likely to be familiar with that form and less likely to dispute specific clauses.  They will apply their judgments more toward how the blanks were filled in and the merits of the individual case.  If you use a specific lease form that is very landlord friendly, then you are at risk for a judge that determines the lease itself doesn’t comply with the law so now the issues will be resolved as if there is no lease and the tenant is a tenant at will.  It might also influence the judge to think that this rich landlord (you) is trying to take advantage of this poor tenant.  You will not enjoy how the rest of that hearing goes.

With whatever lease form you use there are several lease clauses that can make your arrangement with the tenant easier to administer and enforce.  Remember that the lease is a civil contract and enforced in a civil court.  If your lease permits the landlord to show the property to prospective tenants and buyers during the last ___ days of the lease, but the current tenant refuses to grant you access to the property for showings, then your current tenant is in violation of the lease.  This doesn’t give the landlord the right to come to the property with the lease in hand and force their way in to show the property.   This is called “criminal trespass” and the landlord is likely to find themselves in handcuffs.  When the tenant failed to comply with the lease, the landlord now has the right to terminate the lease and evict the tenant.  But the tenant is already moving in a few weeks.  So there is not a practical way to solve the problem - unless you make sure that you add a clause like the “Failure to Grant Access” clause which would read something like “ Tenant agrees to pay $________________ for each incident where Tenant denies Landlord access to the Premises (“Denial of Access Fee”) as described elsewhere herein.”   In order to make this enforceable our lease form includes a general clause to cover that certain lease violations financially harm the landlord and so there are “damages” to which the landlord is entitled.

“Liquidated Damages. It is acknowledged by Landlord and Tenant with respect to any reference in the Lease to liquidated damages, that the actual damages of the party being paid such damages are hard to calculate and that the liquidated damages referenced in the Lease are a reasonable pre-estimate of the party’s actual damages and not a penalty.”

Other helpful clauses include “Early Termination by Tenant” and "Early Termination by Landlord”.  In the case of a tenant terminating early, it is going to happen.  People get job transfers and divorces.  If you have a good credit tenant, and they want to maintain their credit and comply with the lease, your clause could compel them to 1) Give ___ days notice 2) Pay penalties of $_____ (to landlord) and $____ (to property manager if applicable) to cover the costs of re-renting the property and 3) otherwise comply with all of the requirements in the lease for a departing tenant.  If your tenant moves before the lease has expired, then they have “skipped” and you would process their charges and deposit accordingly.   The “Early Termination by Owner” clause will provide the landlord with an option to force a tenant to move with ___ days notice and a payment of $___  in the event you want to sell the house.

Other helpful clauses includes:

Notice Not to Renew – make clear that even on month to month agreements the tenant must provide at least ___ days notice to vacate.

Re-Key fee – if the tenant does not return all the keys, garage remotes, HOA pool access cards, etc. when they vacate.

Smoking – no smoking within the premises or a $___ fee will be charged to remove the odor.

Holdover Rate – the daily rate you will charge if a tenant is not out by the required date.  Make sure this amount is higher than it would cost the tenant for a motel room and truck rental.  Otherwise if your tenant’s next home delivery is delayed, such as a delayed closing for a purchase or the next rental house is not ready yet, they may stay in the property knowing it will take you many weeks to evict them and it is cheaper to stay than move to a motel.  This could ruin your sale or next lease.  So make sure that the motel option is cheaper to your departing tenant.

Unauthorized Pet Charge.

Lease Renewal Clause – if you are a “buy and hold”  investor, consider a lease renewal clause that calls for an automatic one year lease renewal if notice to vacate has not been provided.  A common problem that many landlords experience is the non-responsive tenant.  Make sure your lease is set up to automatically do certain things even when the tenant does not respond.  And a great way to keep your turnkey expenses down is to renew the lease in annual increments automatically.

We use several other clauses and addendums to make the management more effective for us and more profitable for our clients.  As you identify your “pain points” you can modify your lease form to address and minimize those problems.  Just make sure your clauses comply with your State law.

Excalibur Homes is not just another property management company. We are an investment real estate firm that specializes in helping investors with buying, renovating,, leasing, managing, and selling single-family rental homes throughout Metro Atlanta.  

Click here to view our leasing & management services. Looking for pricing? Click here for a custom quote.

Trackback Link
Post has no trackbacks.

Subscribe to Blog

Enter your email address:

Recent Posts




R-22 REMAX Greater Atlanta fair housing law 1099 forms Georgia Property Management Company 2012 rental statistics owner termite season 2014 Atlanta rental statistics rental home law atl holidays NARPM metro atlanta rents preventative maintenance property management rental statistics Fulton County Rental Statistics Excalibur Home Management common landlord question Gwinnett County landlord tenant law investor lease a home community management portal security deposit drainage field R-22 freon Cobb County Rental Statistics swarm season eviction real estate tips loan modification homeowner's insurance maintenance care and maintenance residential homeowner investing in your home rental rates in Atlanta qualify tenant Georgia credit report an Atlanta property management company wear and tear rental Homeowner Tip Rental home statistics new ordinance landlord atlanta property manager real estate investment EPA Cumming Property Management company delinquency rates rental property taxes landlord insurance policy cash reserve HVAC repair Property Maintenance ordinance advertising service animal lawn maintenance move in inspection rental housing foreclosure August 2011 tax deductions Georgia investor real estate hot topics Recipe foreclosure atlanta investor market Georgia Law Requires Disclosure of Landlord rental household statistics 2012 atlanta rental home termite treatment metro atlanta rental statistics home maintenance home investment rental house HAMP fair housing investment investment property 2013 Atlanta rental statistics curb appeal septic tank marketing tenant application process Cherokee County Rental Statistics lead based paint HOA management rental house statistics association management sanitation law winter metro atlanta rental stats rent Fair Housing Act of 1968 bed bugs landlord statistics leasing Fair Credit Reporting Act R-410A rental homes an Atlanta property management company, prime real estate, investors market, foreclosure properties, auction properties 2013 rental statistics atlanta rental statistics tenant Atlanta rental market rental household statistics investor statistics maintenance tips termite inspection Vacancy Rates in Atlanta Gwinnett County Rental Statistics rent a home loan verify rent Tenant Tip disability

Excalibur Homes
2855 Marconi Dr, Suite 310
Alpharetta GA 30005
Toll Free:(877) 381-3800
Telephone:(678) 825-0500
Fax:(678) 825-1401