Lease and Contract Agreement Guidelines
If you are planning a home exchange, home rental or the use of another member’s vehicle, it is very important to agree to the details in advance, in writing and to have this signed by both parties. But first, you need to discuss what you’re each looking for and check each other’s references.
Questions to Ask & How to Check References
Communication Guidelines & Video Calls
Before you can create a contract, you will need to learn more about the other member and what they are looking for in a home or tenant. The better your communication is upfront, the more accurate your contracts and agreements will be – and you will definitely enjoy a more worry-free and positive experience with the other member, significantly reducing the likelihood of misunderstandings.
We’ve provided questions to ask potential tenants and potential landlords. These can serve as starting points to being able to assess whether both members are a good fit for each other. We highly recommend doing a video call using WhatsApp, FaceTime or your preferred option. This can be a very easy and excellent way to ensure the “chemistry check” part of the arrangement is a good one. Once the arrangement seems like a good potential match, it is time to check references.
Checking each other’s references before agreeing to terms and finalizing a contract is a key step for SabbaticalHomes.com members. Here is our guide to this process: Checking References: The First Step to a Successful Stay.
Once you have done your due diligence by checking references, it’s time to finalize the exact terms of the rental, exchange, or vehicle use.
Home Rental, Exchange and Vehicle Use Agreement Examples
We’ve created free home exchange, home rental, and vehicle use sample agreement guidelines specifically to help you sort out pertinent information.
Contract and Lease Information to Consider and Discuss
You will need to research short-term rental regulations and lease recommendations specific to where your home is located (or where the other place is located if you are a tenant or home exchanger). The sample contracts include things like:
- SabbaticalHomes.com Member contact information (both parties)
- Security deposit, rental amount and dates of contract
- Home exchange terms and dates (if applicable)
- Home insurance and local fees
- Cancellation details and dates outlining when payments will or will not be returned
- Utilities (who will be financially responsible for payment)
- Condition of the home and any maintenance or repairs included in the agreement
- Subletting terms (if applicable)
- Use of additional facilities (i.e. community pool or recreation room)
- Security, locks and arrangement of keys
- Terms for mail, pets, smoking and any additional house sitting tasks
- Vehicle make, model, year, insurance information and other details agreed upon
Sample Agreement Guidelines to Download
You can download these documents, tailor them to your needs, and fill in all of the information for both parties to sign. Please note that you will need Acrobat (or an equivalent PDF reader) to use the following documents.
Home Rental Contract Guidelines & Template
Home Exchange Contract Guidelines & Template
Vehicle Use Contract Guidelines & Template
Landlord/Tenant Check In Guidelines & Taking Photos of the Home
Once you have taken all these steps, have a signed contract and travel arrangements are made, you are well on your way.
When the time comes to check in to the home, take pictures of the home. This important step can prevent miscommunication about any wear and tear on paint, furniture, appliances and the like when it’s time to move out. Either the landlord or tenant can take the pictures; even better, take photos together during a walkthrough prior to the tenant moving in.
During the stay, maintaining a respectful communication about any unexpected issues or timing that comes up ensures that both parties can resolve situations quickly and smoothly. Respect, above all, for each other’s homes and time, is one of the most important things to our community of Minds on the Move.
Other Agreement Guideline Resources
Lawpack is a self-help legal publisher serving the United Kingdom. It includes a section on property letting.
The U.S. Legal Forms website, a fee-based service, provides state-specific Lease, Lease Application, Reference Check Consent, Pre and Post Inventory Checklist, Lead Paint Disclosure, Welcome Letter etc.
Legal Zoom is another fee-based service that provides state-specific, customized lease agreements, throughout the United States.