Hi this is Paul Kankowski with House Match Property Management. I’m in the Temecula – San Diego area in Southern California. Today I’m going to be talking about the CAR (California Association of Realtors) Lease and what you want to have in your lease. First off if you’re using the California Association of Realtors lease you must be working with a licensed real estate agent in the state of California. You cannot use the CAR Lease if you’re not a licensed real estate agent. I would suggest that all of you who are renting a property use the CAR lease or something that is going to be equivalent to it. CAR Lease is reviewed by attorneys and it’s a good lease.
At House Match we do not use the CAR (California Association of Realtors) Lease we have our own lease. Our Lease is 22 pages so our lease is a little more comprehensive because we’ve been doing this for a long time and we have very specific things that we want to discuss in our lease. So I’m going to go over some of the things that I would suggest if you do create your own lease that you make sure that these items are in there. The CAR lease will have all the basic things you need but will not have some specific things.
The first thing is the lease needs to say the length of the term when the dates are. If you’re having a multi-year lease that it has different dates that the price goes up or down. I’ve seen a lot of really bad leases created where the dates are very confusing. It says year one it goes up to $50, year two it goes up a $100 and they don’t put dates. They put year one year two. That is not good when you’re dealing with going to court. You want to have a January 1st, 2021 this is the price, on January 1st, 2022 this is the price. Make your lease clear, very distinct, and easy to read so that you do not confuse the tenant. You do not want to confuse yourself and you do not want to confuse the judge if you ever get in front of one and have to defend your lease.
Make sure your rent price is very clear if you have any additional costs then you need to have those in the lease and make sure the tenants know about them before the lease starts. I give the prorated rent and we have it in our lease very clearly, so when they sign their lease they know. It’s $2,000 for the first month and the prorated rent is $400. Be clear so there’s no confusion when the next month comes. We always have a full month due the first month and second-month rent is always pro-rented.
You always want to tell people how to pay. You want to tell them what the security deposit is, move-in, move-outs. How they’re gonna receive their keys if there’s a delay of possession about their application all those things. Another section is utilities and renter’s insurance. We require renters insurance. It’s not a requirement by all people, we do require all of our tenants have renter’s insurance. We also want to sell them mail entry, landscaping maintenance, mold, and pests.
Who is responsible for landscaping? Clearly state it, maintenance and alterations, what
can they do? For pest control in ours, the owners are responsible for pest control for the first 60 days, after that it is the tenant’s responsibility. Unless it is something bigger than a rat.
How should they put their satellites up? What are your rules on that? You want to make sure they don’t just put nails in the side of your stucco and ruin part of your house. Make sure you are clear about everything, like alarm security systems, parking, guest policies. What is the guest’s policy? can they have a guest that lives there for a year straight? What are your policies on criminal activity and smoking? We do not allow smoking of any substance in the property. We have a section for pets and assistance animals. We give a very clear understanding of what our policies are for pets. You also need a section for liability, early termination, military services, late charges, abandoned property, etc. It is important you include information about breaking a lease early in the agreement, and that you understand the reasons tenants can break a lease early without penalty. If you are going to create your own lease make sure you are protected.
This blog post is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice.