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What should be included in a lease agreement?

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2024 | Landlord-tenant Law

If you’re a Missouri landlord, you should understand that a lease is a legally binding contract between you and a tenant. The lease lays out the rights and responsibilities you both have in regard to the rental property. To protect yourself and ensure everything runs smoothly, there’s some information that you should include in every lease.

Information regarding any adult who lives on the property

Landlords need to know who is living on their property. You might want to perform background checks or lay some other ground rules. It’s common for a lease to list one renter; however, the primary renter might have a significant other or roommate living with them. It’s best if the lease includes the name of any adult living on the property, even if they aren’t the primary renter.

Listing all adults on the lease is a matter of liability. For example, any adult living in the apartment is responsible for making sure the rent is paid. If one roommate leaves, that doesn’t excuse the remaining roommate from having to pay the rent.

The length of the lease

The renter should know how long the lease is active. According to RentRedi, a one-year lease is the most common. Most landlords prefer this because it can secure a tenant for the year.

As a landlord in Missouri, you can offer an oral lease agreement from month to month or year to year. However, you have to get any lease that’s longer than one year written and signed.

The rent amount

The lease should always include the amount of rent and when it’s due. Including payment options and instructions is also recommended. For example, the lease should state whether or not the tenant can pay with a check. If there are penalties or fees for late payments or returned checks, the lease should outline that as well.

Being a landlord can potentially expose you to legal issues between you and the tenant. A lease protects you and the tenant should certain situations arise.