The moment the tenant move into the rented premises or arrange to move into the premises in exchange for rent, there is already a verbal agreement in place. Although the verbal agreement is valid and binding, it is strongly advised that a written agreement be concluded. If you do not have any written agreement, you will probably end up with unwarranted troubles and damages that could have been avoided.
Here are some of the main points that should be dealt with in a rental/lease agreement( non-exhaustive list)-
- What is being rented to begin with and whether it is furnished or not( also make mention of whether it include or exclude any outbuildings);
- an undertaking by the tenant to pay the agreed rent and on the monthly/yearly date that has been agreed upon;
- Whether a deposit is payable before the tenant moves in;
- Whether the tenant will have the right to sublet;
- The duration of the lease;
- Who may live on the premises;
- The purpose for which the premises is rented (commercial purposes or residential purposes);
- Who has the duty to maintain the property/premises;
- Whether the lease will be open to renewal or not;
- The notice period for an inspection of the landlord and also the notice period for any termination of the lease before the date of termination;
- the responsibility of paying the bills (electricity, water);
- Whether the tenant will be allowed to make any improvements, what kind of improvements will be allowed or not;
- Whether there will be any increase in rent and the basis on which it is calculated.
***This list is only indicative and only seek to provide a brief overview. You should seek professional advice for any drafting.