A condominium, or ‘condo,’ is a residential dwelling located in an association that is governed by specific bylaws. Every association is unique in its rules and regulations, so it is highly recommended that one familiarize themselves with these governing procedures before purchasing or leasing a condo.
Unless explicitly written in the lease, the tenant is NOT responsible for the payment of any association fees or dues.
Utilities / Services
If the tenant is obligated to pay utilities or services, they must pay EVEN IF it’s a separate charge by the condominium association.
A condominium is considered a residence, and the landlord will be obligated to provide the required disclosures in accordance with state law.
- Lead-Based Paint – Federal law mandates that landlords must provide this disclosure if the structure was built prior to January 1, 1978.
Co-ops (“housing cooperatives”) and condos are two types of property that are often confused with one another. While both types of property exist within a larger building, they contain many notable differences.
The major difference between these two types of dwellings lies in the structure of ownership. When a person wants to live in a co-op, they have to purchase shares of the corporation that owns the building. The co-op will often dictate the minimum number of shares that must be purchased in order to live in a unit. The more shares that are purchased, the larger the unit that can be purchased. All shareholders split the cost of upkeep, repairs, taxes, and other expenses.
When a person purchases a condo, they physically own the interior of a certain unit within the entire building. The process is more comparable to purchasing a home (without worrying about the exterior of the property). When the purchase is finalized, the new owner will receive a deed to the unit.
Unlike condominiums, co-ops don’t let anyone purchase a unit. If a person wishes to buy shares in a co-op, they have to present themselves before the board members to complete a series of interviews. The interviews are used to determine whether or not the buyer would be a good fit for the community and if they would be able to afford their portion of the taxes, repairs, and maintenance on the building. Co-ops are very focused on building a community, meaning they want to ensure each buyer will follow the rules and be compatible with other shareholders.
Ease of renting
Because co-ops are so focused on the community, they often restrict residents from being able to rent out their units. In order to rent out a resident’s space, they’d need to gain approval from the board. Even if permitted, they’d most likely have to conform to stringent requirements. Although the condominium association can enforce rules regarding renting, it’s rarely as involved as co-ops, mainly because there is no board overseeing residents.
Co-ops are typically cheaper than condos by the square foot. However, if a person is looking to finance shares in a co-op, obtaining financing is typically far more difficult due to the board limiting who the shares can be sold to. As far as monthly fees go, they are typically cheaper in a condo.
This is a six (6) step guide on how to properly rent a condominium.
The landlord should prepare the property for lease by making sure it’s in excellent condition. This may require calling professionals and hiring a cleaning company to conduct a “deep-clean” of the premises. This involves moving the furniture and scrubbing each nook and cranny of the space (use Thumbtack to find local cleaners).
In addition, the following should be cleaned or checked:
- Air vents, heaters, or air conditioner filters
- Fire alarm batteries
- Carbon Monoxide batteries
- Fire escape plans
The landlord should gather all property information to provide as many details to the tenant as possible. At a minimum, this should include the following information:
- Square footage (SF)
- Number (#) of bedrooms
- Number (#) of bathrooms
- Furnishings provided
- Appliances provided
- Common areas accessible to the tenant
In addition to gathering the property information, the landlord should obtain a copy of the association’s bylaws for prospective tenants to read prior to moving in. For example, there could be association rules about pets being a certain weight limit that the tenant should be made aware of.
With the information collected in step 2, the owner should create a listing for their condominium online. There are several platforms to choose from, and owners can decide to list on however many as they see fit. It’s arguably more important for the landlord to complete one (1) high-quality, detail-rich ad than several low-quality ads. A few popular options include Zillow, Facebook, Craigslist, and Apartments.com.
Any renters that show serious interest in signing a lease for the condo should be required to complete a rental application. Once the tenant completes the form, the landlord will go through it and look for anything that would suggest the tenant could be problematic. They should also conduct a background check to look for previous evictions, criminal history, credit issues, and more. The average background check will cost around $20. Popular background check providers include Experian, SmartMove, and RentPrep. Calling the references the tenant listed in the application is also recommended. Landlords cannot deny a tenant for anything protected by the Federal Fair Housing Act, which includes anything relating to the applicant’s race, disability, color, national origin, religion, familial status, or sex.
Once a tenant has been approved, a condominium lease agreement can be downloaded (PDF, Word (.docx), or OpenDocument) and completed. Complete all required fields and edit any fields to ensure the agreement is in-line with the condo association’s rules. Go over the entire agreement with the tenant and any other important property or condo association documents. The agreement will then need to be signed (by hand or using eSign) by the landlord and tenant. Guests of the tenant do not need to sign the lease. The owner should then perform the following tasks:
- Collect the first (1st) month’s rent.
- Collect the security deposit.
- Provide the tenant with keys to the outside of the building, the unit, and any other accessible areas.
- Have the condo’s office create any parking and/or entry passes.
- Set a move-in date with the tenant.
The landlord will need to collect rent on a monthly basis until the lease terminates. Additionally, they should monitor all expenses related to the condo, as these can be deducted later on. The owner should be reachable in the event the tenant needs to ask for repairs or help with any another issue. Upon termination of the agreement, the owner should go through the entire unit with a checklist to look for damage. As long as the tenant paid their rent on time and in full and left the rental damage free (apart from standard wear and tear), the owner should return the full security deposit to the tenant.
CONDOMINIUM LEASE AGREEMENT
1. THE PARTIES. This Condominium Lease Agreement (the “Agreement”) entered on [MM/DD/YYYY], between [TENANT NAME(S)] with a mailing address of
[TENANT ADDRESS] (the “Tenant”) and [LANDLORD NAME] with a mailing address of [LANDLORD ADDRESS] (the “Landlord”), both hereby agree to the following:
2. PREMISES. The address of the condominium is as follows (including unit number): [CONDOMINIUM ADDRESS] (the “Premises”).
3. TERM. The start of this lease shall begin on [MM/DD/YYYY] and continue:
☐ – Until [MM/DD/YYYY].
☐ – As a month-to-month agreement in accordance with State laws.
4. RENT. The total rent due during the term of this Agreement shall be $[TOTAL RENT] payable in monthly increments in the amount of $[MONTHLY RENT] to the Landlord in the following manner: [RENT PAYMENT METHOD(S)].
Rent shall be paid in full on the [#] of every month. No amounts may be deducted from the monthly rent unless the Landlord consents to it in writing.
5. SECURITY DEPOSIT. The Landlord requires the Tenant to pay a security deposit due in the amount of $[SECURITY DEPOSIT]. The Landlord agrees to return the deposit within [#] days after the lease expires. The Tenant agrees to allow the Landlord to deduct any damages found on the property after move-out with a receipt for every repair.
6. PARKING. The Tenant shall have the right to [#] parking spaces located on the Premises. The tenant shall be charged a fee on a monthly basis of $[PARKING FEE] in addition to the rent payment for use of the space. Only vehicles registered with the Landlord and/or Condominium Association will be allowed to park in the areas designated unless consent is given.
7. OCCUPANTS. The following individuals shall be allowed to live in the Premises: [LIST ALL OCCUPANTS HERE].
8. UTILITIES. The Landlord shall be responsible for providing the following:
☐ – Water
☐ – Electricity
☐ – Sewer
☐ – Cable
☐ – Internet
☐ – Heat
☐ – Trash Removal
☐ – Other [OTHER UTILITIES].
In addition, the Landlord shall provide the following appliances: [LIST ALL APPLIANCES HERE].
The Landlord agrees to keep the Premises in good condition and to repair any services temporarily interrupted. Any damage caused by nature or any wear and tear shall not affect the payment of rent by the Tenant as long as the Landlord is pursuant to State laws.
9. PETS. The Landlord:
☐ – Allows pets on the property with an additional fee of $[PET FEE].
☐ – Shall allow only a certain pet described as [PET TYPE(S)] with an additional fee of $[PET FEE].
☐ – Prohibits any type of pet on the Premises except for those used for special needs in accordance with State or Federal law.
10. USE. The Tenant shall only be able to use the Premises for residential purposes.
11. POSSESSION. The Tenant shall obtain possession of the Premises on the start date stated in Section 3. If not, the Tenant may seek damages from the Landlord. In addition, the Tenant is required to take possession of the Premises within seven (7) days or be in default of this Agreement and forfeit their Security Deposit with the Landlord.
12. CONDITION. The Tenant understands that they will be accepting the Premises in its “as is” condition. The Tenant acknowledges that they have conducted a thorough inspection and found it to be in good repair and condition for use as a residence.
13. ALTERATIONS. The Tenant shall maintain and keep in good condition all appliances, furnishings (if any), and personal property until the end period. If the Tenant damages any part of the Premises due to negligence, the Landlord may fix the issue and charge the Tenant additional rent. The Tenant shall not paint the Premises or make any modifications without the written consent of the Landlord.
14. LIABILITY. The Landlord is not liable for any loss or damage to the Tenant’s or their guests’ personal property unless the loss is a direct result of the Landlord’s action. The Tenant is liable for the acts of anyone listed in this Agreement in addition to any guest that they should allow on the Premises.
15. ENTRY. Per State law, the Landlord has the right to enter the property by giving the Tenant proper notice for any repair, inspection, extermination, installation, or any entry deemed necessary. The Landlord will have the right to show the Premises to prospective Lessees at the end of the Agreement’s term, with adequate notice being given prior to every entry.
16. SUBLETTING. The Landlord does not authorize the Tenant to have the right to sublease the Premises unless written consent is given. The Landlord has the right to withhold consent so long the reason is valid.
17. ACCESS. Upon the authorization of this Agreement and all funds being made available, the Tenant shall receive access to the Premises on the start date. The Tenant shall not alter any locks or make duplicate keys without the Landlord’s prior knowledge and consent.
18. NOTICES. If any official notice shall be sent from one party to another, the addresses located in Section 1 shall be used. If there is to be any change of address, it is to be notified by sending a notice via certified mail with return receipt.
19. COMMON AREAS. If there are areas that are maintained by the Condominium Association and usable by all residents the Tenant shall have the right to use said areas under the same rights as the Landlord.
20. SALE OF PREMISES. If the Landlord sells the Premises, the Tenant is to be given [#] days’ written notice, permitting to vacate by written notice.
21. GOVERNING LAW. This Agreement shall be governed by the laws located in the State of [STATE NAME].
This Agreement has been entered into on [MM/DD/YYYY].
Landlord’s Signature: ________________________ Date: [MM/DD/YYYY]
Print Name: [LANDLORD NAME]
Tenant’s Signature: ________________________ Date: [MM/DD/YYYY]
Print Name: [TENANT NAME]
Tenant’s Signature: ________________________ Date: [MM/DD/YYYY]
Print Name: [TENANT NAME]
Step 1 – Party Names
Start by entering the full date on which the agreement will become effective. Then, enter the names and mailing addresses of the landlord and tenant.
Step 2 – Condo Info
The landlord will need to enter the street address, city, state, and unit number (#) of the condo. The condominium association’s name should be written in the last field.
Step 3 – Length of the Agreement
The “term” section is used for specifying how long the contract will be binding. Start by entering the beginning date of the lease. Then, check the first box if the lease will have a fixed-term, and enter the date in which the lease will terminate. If the landlord wishes to make the agreement a periodic lease (no end-date), the second box should be checked.
Step 4 – Rent Payments
Enter the total amount ($) of rent the tenant will be required to pay for the lease term. If the agreement is month-to-month, the field can be left blank. On the next line, enter the amount ($) of rent the tenant will pay per month followed by the method of payment. Finally, enter the day of the month on which the rent is due.
Step 5 – Security Deposit
It is recommended that the landlord ask the tenant to pay an upfront security deposit. The landlord will need to enter the amount ($) of the deposit followed by the number of days the landlord has to return the deposit after the termination of the contract. State landlord-tenant laws should be consulted for the maximum deposit that can be made and the timeframe landlords are required to abide by for returning deposits.
Step 6 – Parking
Enter the number of parking spaces the tenant can use during the lease. If the landlord intends to charge the tenant for the space(s), enter the fee in the second field. If no fee will be charged, the field can be left blank or “$0” can be entered.
Step 7 – Occupants
If there will be other occupants of the rental that aren’t included in the lease, the names of these people should be written in the spaces provided. Then, enter the maximum number of people that could potentially stay on any given night in the condo.
Step 8 – Utilities
In a condo, it’s standard for the landlord to pay for water, sewer, and heat and let the tenant pay for the remaining utilities. However, the landlord can decide to break up the utilities any way they wish. All utilities that will be paid for by the tenant should have a checkmark beside them. Any appliances included in the condo should also be listed (refrigerator, microwave, washer/dryer, etc.).
Step 9 – Pets
There are three (3) options the owner can select regarding tenant pets. If any and all pets are allowed in the rental for a certain fee, check the first box and enter the amount ($) of the additional monthly fee. If the landlord wants to restrict the tenant to a certain type of pet (such as a small dog), describe the type of pet and enter the amount of additional fee. Finally, if the tenant is prohibited from having a pet in the condominium, the third box should be checked.
Step 10 – Sale of Premises
Enter the number of days the tenant will be given in the event of a sale of the condominium. The common length of time is sixty (60) days, although state law should be referenced to ensure the tenant is given a fair amount of time to prepare to move out.
Step 11 – State Law
Enter the name of the state in which the condominium is located.
Step 12 – Signing
The form has to be signed by the landlord and the tenant(s). Both parties will need to:
- Enter their printed names;
- Inscribe their signatures (with eSign or by hand); and
- Date their signatures.
Once this step has been completed, a copy should be kept by both parties. Once the landlord receives the tenant’s security deposit, first months’ rent, and any other fees, the landlord can allow the tenant to move into the property.