5 Reasons Why One-Page Rental Agreements Just Don’t Work

There is a lot of information and work that goes into setting up a rental agreement between you and your tenants. At times, it can feel like you are spending more time than necessary working out the agreement when you just want to get someone moved onto the property.

During those moments, it can be tempting to search for a simple rental agreement pdf that you can fill out quickly with relevant info and be done with.

While rental agreements should be simple to understand, using a one-page rental agreement form puts you at risk for missing out on important information that needs to be covered when setting up a contract between you and your tenants. You could even end up losing money if you don’t make the right agreement form!

Here are the top 5 reasons that a simple one-page lease agreement might cause you more frustration in the long run!

A Table of Contents For Simple Rental Agreement One-Page Problems

#1 Security Deposit Mishaps

Security Deposit Mishaps

Using a security deposit as a type of collateral to protect your property and ensure that you get paid for rent is one of the most common practices in real estate, but security deposits can cause a lot of grief when there is a disagreement between landlords and tenants about them.

Generally speaking, there are strict laws that dictate how a landlord can and cannot use the security deposit. In most cases, it can only be used to cover damages made to the property that the tenant is responsible for.

In some cases, however, the tenant may argue that they never agreed to this condition and will expect the security deposit back.

If your simple one-page rental agreement does not include specific information about the security deposit collected as well as what it can be withheld for, you might have a hard time proving that you have the right to pay for damages out of the security deposit.

For that reason, you need to include security deposit information clearly on the rental agreement, and that could definitely cause your agreement to be more than a single-page document.

#2 Missing Pet Rules

When cutting the length of a rental agreement down to a simple one-page document, certain categories of information are commonly removed.

One category is pet rules.

Every property that you rent out should have specific rules about pets. Even if your rules are short and sweet (“no pets allowed”), including specific information about what will happen if the tenant were to break that rule can help to protect you from property damage or monetary loss in the future.

Additionally, having all of the details about your pet rules for each property in the rental agreement can make it easy to keep track of what was agreed to. This is especially important if you have different rules for different tenants or properties.

#3 Disappointing Damages

Disappointing Damages

When a tenant moves out of your property, it is normal for you to look for any damages that fall outside of the “normal wear-and-tear” category. If there are damages outside of this range, most landlords will cover the cost of repairs with the security deposit.

But what happens if damage happens to the property during tenant occupation, and it is not clear whether your or the tenant will be responsible for its repair?

In cases where the damage was caused by nature or outside forces, the landlord is typically responsible, but the terms of this responsibility may not be clear.

Perhaps the tenant made changes that you don’t love; do they need to pay for them?

Most experienced landlords find out that it is important to outline the ground rules for damage responsibility in the rental agreement. By making the rules clear from the beginning, it’s easier to determine who should be handling the problem.

If you are focused on using a simple rental application pdf that is one-page or less in length, you may end up cutting out this important information, which could protect you in the future.

#4 Preventing Illegalities

It’s a given fact that tenants are not allowed to commit illegal or illicit acts on your property. In fact, they cannot do these things anywhere!

While that fact is clear, it may not be clear what actions you have a right to take should a tenant be charged with or caught committing illegal activities.

Landlords that use full-length rental agreements, rather than a one-page rental agreement form, include thorough information about the right to evict that comes along with the illegal activity. In addition to informing the tenant of this policy, having this type of clause in your rental agreement will be helpful if you ever need to go to an eviction hearing.

It’s true that illegal activities are illegal whether they happen on your property or not, but outlining the rights that you have as the property owner or landlord should illegal actions occur is important for the stability of your business.

#5 More Than Just A Monthly Fee

The key point that we’re trying to emphasize to landlords trying to cut down their long rental agreements to a simple one-page lease agreement is that while simple is good, short is not always the right choice.

When you are renting a property out, your priorities should focus on more than just collecting a set fee for a set amount of time. With short one-page agreements, the tenant is agreeing to little more than a monthly payment.

Your property is an investment, and the rental agreement is a contract between yourself and your tenants that both parties will do their part to protect that property and those living inside of it.

It is completely OK to want to simplify your rental agreement to be more clear and streamlined, but remember that the more rules and categories that you remove, the more you could be putting yourself at risk for altercations, court cases, or even monetary loss.

Instead of making your goal to cut the rental agreement to a simple rental application pdf, focus on doing the following:

  • Remove unnecessary cluttered language
  • Keep sentences short and to the point
  • Do not remove any language that protects you or the property

By focusing on making your rental agreement more efficient rather than focusing on making it shorter, you will find that you can be happier with your working agreement than you would be with a simple one-page rental agreement!