05-05-14 - rental contractOr what your best vacation rental contract should include so you stay out of trouble and sleep well at night.

Vacation rental contracts are essentially short-term leases drawn up between a property owner and a renter who wishes to use the property for a short period of time, namely the length of their vacation.  According to Bailey Richert,  an eHow Contributor, Rachel states thatyour rental contract serves as a legal agreement between the two parties and therefore must be carefully worded to protect the rights of all individuals involved.
In the fourteen years of owning rentals, I agree with Bailey, that having a proper contract isvery important.  Having the best contract available has been my saving grace and  I didn’t havetoo many sleepless nights worrying if all parties were on the same page.
Here are 7  Must have’s  to include when you’re pulling your contract together:
1.  Download a sample vacation rental agreement to use as a template or reference guide when crafting your own to give you an idea about how to word the agreement properly.  Check your finished agreement against a sample to look for missing sections.
2.  Include the names of every tenant who is going to stay in the property during the rental period. When the agreement is finished, have every tenant who is listed sign the agreement acknowledging he has read and understands the lease. If the property is damaged and the main tenant is unable to be reached, others can be held responsible for costs owed.
3.  Specify the time period of the rental using dates, not a general time frame. Note which day the tenants are permitted to move in and which day they are required to vacate the premises.
4.  Write exactly how much rent is due and by what date. Specify how the rent is to be paid to the property owner, and in what form the rent is due. This may include check, cashier’s check, money order or cash. Specify the financial penalties in the case of late rent, which could include a cost per day or week.
5.  Explain clearly the tenant’s responsibilities for maintaining the property during the duration of her stay. These may include lawn care, garbage pick-up or minor house repairs.
6.  Include a clause stating the purpose of the home as a vacation rental property. Specify that it is not meant to be used as a business property, location of illegal activity or housing for other than the specified tenants.
7.  Ask your attorney to review the lease agreement before you present it to the renter. A lawyer will be able to tell you if a key element of the agreement is missing or if rewording to protect your rights is needed.
Key parts  of the contract should include explanation of fees, time the property will berented and a clear definition of the rates to be paid.  This way by making sure that the rentalcontract has the  above 7 Must have’s you’ll come up with the best vacation rental  agreement thus ensuring that you’ll have the best vacation with no surprizes.

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