Guide to Making a Solid Lease Agreement For Your Rental Property

Are you a landlord looking to establish a rock-solid foundation for your rental property? A well-crafted lease agreement is a solid foundation for a smooth and successful landlord-tenant relationship. It is a legally binding contract that outlines the expectations of both parties involved in a rental arrangement.

If you're new to being a landlord or want some tips on strengthening your current agreement before signing with a tenant—you've come to the right place! In this post, we'll provide all the information you need to create an effective lease that will give you peace of mind when renting your property.

Importance of Lease Agreement

A lease agreement is the cornerstone of any landlord-tenant relationship and should not be taken lightly. Here are some key reasons why a lease agreement is essential even after screening a tenant.

Clarity and Communication

A lease agreement clearly explains the rights and responsibilities of involved parties in a rental arrangement. This provides necessary clarity and ensures that both parties are on the same page regarding expectations.

Legal Protection

As signatories, both landlord and tenant have a legal obligation to follow the terms of the agreement. It is important to note that the terms in your lease agreement will supersede any verbal agreement.

Dispute Resolution

In the unfortunate case of a dispute, having an effective lease agreement will help both parties to resolve the issues quickly and amicably. It can also provide legal protection against any potential tenant claims or lawsuits.

shaking hands

How to Create a Solid Lease Agreement?

When creating a lease agreement, you have a few options. While you can certainly do it yourself, alternative approaches can make the process smoother and more efficient. Hiring a property management company is one such option worth considering.

You can also use templates available online today to create your lease agreement without starting from scratch.

Crafting a lease agreement on your own may require significant time and effort, especially if you're a first-time landlord. You'll need to familiarize yourself with Virginia laws and local policies to ensure your lease adheres to all relevant regulations.

Many templates are available online and can serve as a helpful starting point for creating your lease agreement. However, remember that you'll still need to customize the template to fit your specific situation and comply with local laws and regulations.

On the other hand, hiring a property management company can help expedite the process and take some of the stress off your shoulders.

Key Components of a Solid Lease Agreement

Regardless of the approach you choose, there are certain components that every effective lease agreement should have. Here is an overview of some key elements to consider including in your lease:

Personal and Property Information

The personal information, including the names of involved parties, must be in the form. The property's address should be prominent with the name of the rental property and do not forget to include the gate number if it's the apartment complex.

person writing lease agreement

Rental Duration

Clearly state the length of the initial lease term—for example, 1 February 2023 to 31 August 2023.

Rent Payment Specifics

The lease agreement should include the rent amount (in numbers and words), due date, late payment fees, accepted payment methods, and payment instructions. Additionally, try to list additional fees like cleaning or pet fees separately.


This is an important part of any lease agreement, so make sure that all parties involved sign and date the document. The signature is a sign that both parties have agreed to the terms and conditions of the lease.

Important Clauses and Policies to Include in Your Lease Agreement

Your lease agreement should also include the following clauses and policies

Security Deposit Policy

The security deposit policy should be well explained in the form. This is to protect the landlord from tenant damage or nonpayment of rent. But it is essential to inform your tenant about where you will keep the security deposit and when you will return it at the end of the tenancy.

Subletting Policy

The lease should include information on whether or not tenants are allowed to sublet their units. Subtitling is when the tenant rents out part of their unit to someone else. If subletting is allowed, include all the necessary rules and regulations in the lease.

person carrying moving boxes

Pet Policy

If you allow pets on your property, include a clear pet policy in your lease agreement. This should include information on what types of animals are allowed, any additional deposit or fees for having a pet, and any restrictions on the pet's size, breed, or number.

Tenant's Responsibilities

The lease should also include a list of tenant responsibilities, such as maintaining the property in good condition and using it only for legal activities. This protects you from any potential disputes or misunderstandings surrounding using the property during the tenancy.

Breaking of Lease

Your lease agreement should also include a clause regarding the situations where the tenant can break the lease. For example, will you allow them to end the tenancy if they move out of state or want to live with a family member?

Important Disclosures to Include in Your Agreement

The lease agreement should also include a list of important disclosures to protect both parties. Ensuring tenants are well informed of the potential hazards associated with the property is essential. This includes information about flood zones, bed bugs, radon gas, and lead-based paint.

Bottom Line

Lease agreements are an essential part of any rental arrangement. It is important to ensure that your lease agreement is comprehensive and adheres to all relevant laws and regulations.

By understanding the components of a solid lease agreement, you can protect both landlord and tenant's rights. With the right approach, creating a lease agreement for your rental property can be a relatively straightforward, stress-free process.

If you need help crafting a lease agreement or managing your rental property, Redsail Property Management can assist you. We handle everything, including property marketing, tenant screening, financial reporting and much more. Contact us today to get started!