Kansas City rental agreements are legally enforceable contracts that must adhere to Missouri state law. A judge can declare a lease null and void if it contains terms that contradict state or federal law. Regardless of your effort to ensure that your lease clearly defines your terms and follows the law, lease conditions can occasionally be vague and confusing for renters. As a result, many renters unwittingly violate their lease agreement conditions because they either forget or do not comprehend the restrictions.
Lease Agreement Terms for Your Kansas City Rental Properties
Here is a list of typical lease clauses that your renter may not wholly comprehend. In most cases, a lack of comprehension due to imprecise phrasing or in your lease agreement. However, some renters do not understand, so it is essential to spell out the lease conditions in layman’s terms.
No Smoking Permitted
If you’re like most landlords, no smoking in the house means no smoking at all, including tobacco, hemp flower, and cannabis. No smoking may also imply a prohibition on vaping tobacco, nicotine, cannabis, or CBD.
On the other hand, your tenants may not understand that “no smoking” implies smoking other than tobacco or vaping. For example, some renters understand “no smoking” to imply “no tobacco cigarettes allowed in the rental property.”
When writing a lease agreement, it is critical to include all relevant information. If your renter begins vaping in the house and your agreement does not clearly forbid vaping, you will have no legal recourse against your tenant. You cannot change a long-term contract until the renter becomes a month-to-month tenant. You are legally bound to give them a 30-day notice to discontinue vaping in the house.
Pets Not Allowed
No pets imply no pets. However, certain animals are not always considered pets by renters. For example, your renter may bring home a goldfish or a hamster without considering how it violates their lease agreement. Some renters consider pets as animals free to roam on the property, such as dogs or cats.
If you do not allow pets in your rental home, it’s a good idea to draft your lease to exclude all animals while specifying the types of animals you’ll accept, such as a dog or a cat. Allowing pets or declaring “no pets permitted” will not be sufficient for some tenants.
Write your pets provision to allow a certain number of dogs or cats, to prohibit all other animals, but to allow additional pets with your consent. Then, when their child wants to bring home a hamster from the pet store, maybe your renters will remember this rule.
Junk Vehicles and Vehicle Storage Not Allowed
Most Kansas City landlords include a language prohibiting all car storage on the property in their lease. In addition, some leases include two conditions that expressly ban trash automobiles and restrict any vehicle storage. The junk vehicle provision is crucial because some renters may gather junk automobiles to sell them for parts or repair them.
Although junk cars may not appear to be a huge concern, the city of Kansas City fines property owners for offenses.
A “junk motor vehicle” is defined in Kansas City as “any vehicle visible from a public area or public right-of-way, that is:
- Wrecked, stripped or abandoned
- Unusable and stays inoperable on private property for a continuous period of more than 30 days
- Has no license plates or expired license plates
Because tenants may not consider their automobiles “junk,” it is critical to restrict all types of vehicle storage. Allow your renter to park up to two functioning, registered automobiles on the property to avoid fines from the municipal.
Lawn and Landscape Maintenance Responsibilities
Make sure to clarify yard upkeep standards if your renter is liable for them. For example, if the tenant must maintain the yard weekly or monthly, define what and how they must perform that maintenance. Is it necessary for them to mow the lawn? How do you control weeds that grow through a fence? Should I prune the tree branches?
Do your renters need to regularly water and fertilize shrubs, flowers, and trees? Be particular because if you don’t, you can wind up with dead shrubbery, trees, and other landscaping. A yard full of unsightly, overgrown weeds.
It is also favorable to define how tall the grass may be to prevent a violation. Again, this is something that homeowners associations do, but as a landlord, you may follow their lead. You can, for example, state that the grass and weeds must be 8 inches or shorter to comply with the lease.
Setting a proper height allows your renter to undertake yard work as they see fit, as long as the grass and weeds stay below that height.
Home Appliance Upkeep
If you provide appliances to your tenants, you will be responsible for their upkeep and maintenance. However, you are not required to provide appliances to your tenants. To be sure, it’s rare for a landlord not to provide a refrigerator, washer, dryer, and stove. It is not, however, essential.
If you ask your tenants to provide their own appliances, they are responsible for all upkeep and repairs. Unfortunately, some renters may be unaware of this.
Make sure you define the appliances you provide for your tenants in your lease and that the tenant is solely responsible for maintaining and repairing whatever equipment they bring into the property.
Do you Need Someone to Manage your Lease?
There are several advantages to hiring a residential property management company. One advantage often considered significant to property owners is the benefit of working with an expert to help you draft a legally binding lease agreement. Creating a legally enforceable agreement is not as simple as it appears. For example, your lease may not be enforceable if you do not follow the proper structure or include specific provisions.
If managing your properties is stressing you out, contact Real Property Management Consultants. Our team of caring professionals has over thirty years of expertise in managing residential properties and drafting solid leases for Kansas City landlords.
We will personally meet with each renter to review the lease agreement and ensure they understand precisely what is required. We want to assist you in managing your residential properties and being the point of contact for your tenants. Our services will help you free up your time to focus on building your business and making profitable investments. Would you like more information on how we can help take the stress out of being a property owner? Contact us to schedule an appointment so we can help you reach your goals.
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