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Making The Most of Your Online Lease

December 5, 2022

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How Can You Make The Most Of Your Online Lease?

Online leases revolutionized the rental business. 

Now, you no longer need to keep track of tons of paper copies, work through copious revisions, and waste lots of paper. You simply need to upload your lease online.  

Online leases save valuable time because of access to templates, custom fields, easy tracking, and digital signatures. 

But before we get into these great benefits of online leases and how to make the most of them, let’s look at the key ingredients. 

The Basic Components of an Online Lease 

Almost every lease agreement will include certain information. Let’s go over the main components before diving into what makes online leases special. 

Names 

Be sure to specify the names of all the tenants and consigners involved in the agreement. Add fields for their signatures to ensure the lease is legally binding.  

Occupancy limit 

Make sure you have a set occupant limit for the property to help protect you from damage and potential liability. This is also critical for establishing sublease and subletting terms. 

Lease terms 

Specify the length of the lease. Detail what will happen when the agreement expires. These terms are critical because they protect everyone involved. 

Rent and fees 

Specify the agreed-upon monthly rent, the security deposit amount, and other fees the tenant must pay. The grace period for rent payment and late fees should also be mentioned in this section. 

Maintenance and repairs 

Highlight what you will cover under maintenance and repairs. Then clarify the maintenance and repairs your tenant will be responsible for. It’s key to talk about normal wear and tear and divulge paint conditions here. 

Notes on illegal activity 

Emphasize that you will not tolerate any violation of federal laws, state laws, or local laws. It’s also helpful to make note of acceptable activity in common areas.  

Pets 

Include rules about what pets are allowed/not allowed and any related rules or fees.  

Terms of entry 

Outline the terms by which you may enter a tenant’s living space. This is especially crucial in the event of an emergency. 

Maximizing Your Online Lease 

Now that we’ve covered some basics, let’s talk about the special things online leases allow you to do and some advantages they provide.  

Templates 

Most of the time, an online lease follows this pattern to completion: 1) Template 2) Draft 3) Live lease. Not every lease will be the same, but most have a similar format. This is the reason an online lease template is so useful: it allows you to quickly and easily create new leases without needing to start from scratch.  

Many property management software platforms let you save as many templates as you want, which helps you quickly grab the right document. Rental amounts, lease dates, and pet addendums can all be set up to automatically add and integrate into the relevant rental agreement template. 

You can have templates based on different states (to account for nuanced laws) and requirements based on what kind of lease you need in a given situation. Setting up templates based on your needs is a key advantage of online leases. Be sure to upload every kind of lease you can think of that may benefit your operation.  

As with many things related to online leases, a lot of the time you put into online leases is on the front end. After your document is uploaded, the fields are set, and you have everything in place, you can reuse it until it no longer has value. 

Custom Fields 

Another special feature of online leases is that they allow for custom fields. This helps you and your tenants input specific information as needed. Variable information is easy to “plug and play” when you’re working with a digital lease. Dates and items that need constant adjustments from lease to lease are simple to change. Fields like the lease term should be in place and only need the amount filled in. 

Templates and custom fields support each other because they both make it easy for changes to occur while working from an existing structure. Custom fields allow users to put things like auto-fill fields and recurring fields in place, so that you can efficiently input new information in relevant boxes.  

You’ll need to identify text boxes, checkboxes, and date fields in your lease. After you have these fields placed on your lease (just drag and drop where appropriate), you and your tenants can fill them in electronically. Always ensure you save your work during the whole process. 

In certain cases, you may want to include data validation in your lease fields. This verifies that the correct criteria for that specific text box is met. For instance, if you choose an ‘email’ validation, the information in that text box will only be valid if it’s in an email format. This is a good way to double-check that custom fields are filled with the right information. 

Tracking 

One of the major advantages of online leases is how easy they make tracking. Instead of filing cabinets and drawers, your leases are now in the cloud or a shared folder. That means it is nearly impossible to lose them or misplace them. It also prevents them from being accidentally thrown away.  

And it’s not just tracking the actual leases that’s advantageous; online leases make it extremely simple to track signatures, as well. The moment your tenant signs the lease, you’ll know, and it will be stored in the document. These signatures are legally binding and legitimate, just like they would be if signed in person. 

Digital Signatures 

Speaking of signatures, getting tenants to sign leases digitally is a great way to make the most of online leases. It’s one of the best advantages at your fingertips. Instead of trying to set up times to meet in person, you can simply send the tenant the lease through email, and they can read through it and sign it without needing to coordinate schedules.  

Digital signatures also provide great security and are easy to store because they’re in the digital document. It’s truly a win-win for everyone.  

Conclusion 

Online leases provide a number of unique benefits that printed copies don’t, making the leasing process so much easier. You don’t have to set up times to meet, discuss terms, and get tenants’ signatures in person. You can work from established templates.  

And you can set a time limit on when you expect it back. Your tenant has no excuse not to return it in a reasonable amount of time. They can look at it on their phone through a mobile app if they need to.  

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