I was browsing through Zillow questions recently and I found a question from a home owner as to where they can get lease forms to rent out their home.
A prior response to the question said that they could buy forms at a local office supply Store! NOOOOOOOOO!!!!
PLEASE, for your own sake, do NOT use lease forms purchased at an office supply store as the basis for your contract between you and the resident that will be living in your rental home.
Think of the lease agreement as a contract that is a document to protect your legal rights as well as your property. Remember, "we're all friends until something goes wrong." That lease document is your first stop in determing "who is responsible for what" and then enforcing your rights.
*Tenant laws change frequently
*Laws vary from area to area
*Pre-printed packages at an office supply store likely won't be up-to-date
*Pre-printed packages at an office supply store may not be specific to your area and thus not contain the correct language
Please, consult a property management professional. A property manager will have addenda and exhibits attached to the lease to address any and all pertinent issues and will keep these documents up-to-date with changes in law.
Some property managers, such as ourselves, also offer a "placement only" service in which we qualify the potential residents and them walk them through the lease documents and ensure that the entire package is properly signed before turning over to you so that you can self-manage. At least this way you are self-managing with a proper lease agreement!
You'll be glad that you did.
Mark Delgado, DRE#01880416
Benicia and Vallejo, Solano County rental homes and rental listings