When you finally have found an apartment or tenant, all you need to do is to write a rental agreement. But this can be complicated, time consuming – and filled with risks. Here are our best suggestions for you to avoid the worst pitfalls.
Don’t write the contract on your own
The last thing you as a tenant or landlord wants is to find out that the contract you wrote is invalid if a conflict were to arise. Therefore, you should always seek out the help of a lawyer or an agent like our service.
Apply for a rental permit as soon as you get a tenant
You always need a permit from your landlord or condominium association to rent out or sublet your apartment. If you rent out your apartment in secret/off the books you can be reported and forced to sell your apartment, if you sublet your apartment in secret you can lose your first-hand contract. This means that if you are renting an apartment as the second-hand tenant, you can lose your home with very short notice, so always make sure that the subletter has a rental permit. By writing a rental agreement with us you will always get a temporary rental permit. That way you can sign your contract while you can comfortably wait for the permit from your landlord or condominium association. This can make things easier as it can take many days or weeks to get a permit issued, and often times does neither the landlord nor tenant want to wait that long. You can read more about how rental permits work here.
Specify what is included in the second-hand rental
The contract should state what is included in the rental. This includes what fees that can be applied in addition to the rent (power, Wi-Fi, association fees, etc.). One can’t forget to specify what is included in the residence such as garage or wash rooms. One also needs to designate if the residence is furnished or not. We suggest that you as a landlord write an inventory when the tenant moves in.
Rental period, tenure when voiding a contract, post-contract tenure
The rental period is how long the rental is and can either be “until further notice” or within decided dates. Tenure when voiding a contract is how much time must be given before voiding a contract prior to the contract expiring. Tenure sizes are determined by law and cannot be nullified in a contract. Tenure specifications must be written in the contract so both the landlord and tenant are conscious of what applies. A contract can be voided directly if both the tenant and landlord want to void the contract prior to its expiration. However, neither part can demand something that isn’t written in the contract. Post-contract tenure does not have to be defined in the contract. Post-contract tenure is partially determined by law, and can be nullified in a contract. There is no post-contract tenure for rental of any type of residence shorter than two years. If the duration of the rental exceeds two years then the landlord and tenant can decide upon if they want a post-contract tenure or not. Check out our guides for renting out property you own and subletting a property you are subleasing to see how tenures work for your specific rental.
Don’t forget second-hand insurance
Remember that “rented property” by rule isn’t covered by normal home insurance. Therefore, it is imperative that the tenant that lives in the residence has a valid insurance to avoid having to pay for damages when an accident occurs (which can be everything from a broken TV screen or a leak that causes thousands in damages). The most important thing is that both parts are agreed upon the insurance situation prior to signing a contract, and that it is clearly written in the contract who should sign up for the insurance.
Rent and deposits
How high is the rent? How big is the deposit? How should the rent be payed? When should rent be payed? When should the deposit be payed? Who takes care of the deposit? It is important to describe how all payments should be carried out in the contract. Partially to avoid conflict and misunderstandings, but mostly so that no one can be tricked or exploited. Here it can be advantageous to use an intermediary, such as we offer through our platform. Then all payments will go through us and we will handle the deposit until the rental period’s end. That way both the landlord and tenant are comfortable throughout the entire rental period.
How should the residence be used?
As a home, office, or just for overnighting? It may seem excessive, but for what the tenant shall use the residence should be included in the contract. The contract should also dictate whether the tenant can smoke or have pets indoors.
Reparations and renovations
During second-hand rentals it is only natural that a few minor reparations need be carried out such as changing locks or servicing a dishwasher. Who should pay these costs? It is also important to agree upon if the tenant can fix or change anything in the residence without the landlord’s permission. For example, this could include painting walls or installing new lights that are hard to remove.
Avoid complications and mistakes with our contract tool
Now you know all that you need to decide upon before writing a second-hand contract. However, you still need to make sure it is done well, with judicial language and formalities that that should always be in a rental contract – such as stipulations saying that a tenant should follow rules, be responsible for damages, not disturb neighbors, etc. It is easy to make mistakes or forget something. Therefore, it is important to seek out help from someone who knows what he or she is doing. We want to make second-hand renting a quick and safe process for all parties involved. Therefore, we have developed a smart Contract Tool that does the work for you. With the help of this tool both the landlord and tenant can craft their rental contract without having to worry about making mistakes. The Contract Tool makes second-hand renting easy and understandable for those that have no judicial knowledge – just the way it should be.