Every do-it-yourself landlord should have a toolbox of landlord forms available to them for communication with their renters. On the flip side, renters should also have forms available to communicate complaints, maintenance requests, and notices to vacate.
VerticalRent has engineered a growing library of free landlord forms. Our list of forms is growing, evolving, and improving by the year - so we encourage all of our end users to check back often for updates. Every landlord uses forms to:
- Establish a lease or rental agreement
- End a lease or rental agreement
- Confirm changes to an existing agreement
- Confirm Federal laws are being followed
- Record details about their tenants
- Communicate with their tenants
- Perform background checks on potential tenants
- Record financial transactions with tenants
This collection of free landlord forms is, we believe, the most comprehensive list collected together to make it as easy as possible for a landlord to know they have things under control.
Many other lists of free landlord forms are templates that landlords can download. The problem is that they are just that - templates. Every state and many counties, towns, and cities within each state have different laws, standards, and minor regulations that must be followed. The problem with a standard template is that it can be difficult to make those changes. What VerticalRent has engineered is an ever-improving landlord forms engine to provide landlords with state-specific resources.
Landlord Forms Engine
At VerticalRent we provide a "landlord forms engine" to walk you through creating forms so you can include the parts your municipality or state requires. This enables you to create the form you and your tenant need based on a standard layout. As an added benefit, VerticalRent's forms engine lets you eSign the form and mail it, certified if you choose to. The net result is that you follow the rules, create forms, and deliver them to your tenants, property agent, or contractors in a streamlined and efficient way.
Let's take a look at 50 of the most common used free landlord forms, starting with Lease Agreement Forms.
Lease Agreement Forms
1. Lease Agreement
This covers all the basics; your business contact details, the property address and description, your tenant details, the type of lease, start and stop dates, rental amounts, date rent is due, security deposit, number of occupants, city by-laws that may impact a tenant, etc.
Some states establish grace periods for late payment of rent and some do not. You may choose to include specific information such as the rent will be deemed late if not paid within 3 days, 7 days, etc. of the agreed due date. You may also want to make it clear in the lease agreement what will happen if the rent is late. Some states require landlords to send a violation notice, and some states enable a landlord to move straight to an eviction process if rent is late or if a particular violation is incurred. It is fair to the tenant that they know in advance, and it protects the landlord from being accused of treating a tenant unfairly.
Because each state is different, it pays to use a landlord forms engine to create the exact form you need instead of simply downloading a template.
2. Rental Agreement
A tenant-at-will is not a leaseholder. It is unwise to have a verbal agreement with a short-stay or temporary tenant. A rental agreement will protect both parties and avoid any misunderstanding about rental payments, security deposits, rules and regulations, etc. that tenants must follow.
3. Recreation or Vacation Agreement
Vacationers, especially from overseas or form out-of-state, may be unfamiliar with state laws or, even, that the property is in a homeowners association, and are more interested in enjoying themselves than in understanding how they should act as a tenant. A specific short-term agreement covers the details.
4. Pet Agreement
A tenant may decide to take in a pet. A pet agreement not only states how many pets and what kind, but will cover pet owner responsibilities for damage, interfering with neighbors, etc. Some cities and condo or home owner associations have by-laws which forbid certain pets and which require pet owners to behave in a certain way. The tenant must know and agree to the rules and regulations.
5. Homeowner Association Agreement
Condos, multi-family and single family homes may be in established associations governed by state law. Property owners are responsible for occupant actions, so it pays to have the tenant agree to the rules and regulations so the association attorney will know you, the landlord, have performed your duties and that the tenant has signed to agree to abide by the association's rules.
6. Inspection Checklist
Tenants are required to look after the property. A checklist saying what the condition is at move-in shows tenants they are dealing with a professional, detail-oriented landlord.
7. Property Condition Statement
The checklist should be attached to a signed condition statement for proof of mutual agreement about the property's condition. This minimizes disputes at move-out time.
8. Security Deposit Checklist
Some states require escrow monies to be deposited with the escrow agent or approved (non-comingled) account. Having a checklist with each action initialed makes sense for both parties.
9. Receipt for Security and Other Deposits
A signed receipt for monies taken and deposited in the approved bank account is a legal requirement in some states.
10. Instruction to Release Escrow Deposits
Technically, in some states, an escrow deposit belongs to the lease agreement and not to either the tenant or the landlord. Releasing escrow funds must be mutually agreed to protect both parties and the escrow holder, which may be the landlord's bank or attorney
11. End-of-Tenancy Security Deposit Statement
This lists any deductions from the original deposit, along with receipts for work done or replacement items purchased if appropriate. Both parties should sign the statement.
12. Move-Out Checklist
A checklist stating the reason for move-out (e.g. end of tenancy, eviction for lease violation,) any charges deducted from security deposit, amount of security or other deposits returned, etc.
A tenant may violate a lease in different ways. Non-payment of rent, taking in a pet without permission, sub-letting, disturbing neighbors, usng threatening behavior, criminal activity, abandoning the property, are all examples of possible violation. Having standard forms available should they be needed can save time and hassle.
Some states require a landlord to require a tenant to correct the problem and provide timescales that landlords must follow, and some states allow landlords to set their own periods of grace (if any) as part of the original lease agreement.
13. 3 Day Notice to Pay Overdue Rent
The notice demands payment by a set date and forewarns the tenant what will happen if the rent is not paid.
14. 3 Day Notice to Correct a Violation
Some states require a grace period of three days for a tenant to fix a problem.
15. 14 Day Notice to Correct a Violation
Some state allow tenants 14 days to correct certain, minor violations.
16. 24 Hours to Quit
Criminal activity or threatening behavior usually enables a landlord to demand that a tenant vacates the property immediately.
17. 3 Day Notice to Quit
Some states only allow tenants three days to vacate if they violate a lease clause.
18. 7 Day Notice to Quit
A lodger or short-term tenant may be given 7 days to quit for any state-permitted reason.
19. 30 Day Notice to Quit
A month-to-month tenant or a tenant-at-will may require 30 days' notice to vacate the property.
End of Lease Situations
20. 30 Day Notice to Quit
A month-to-month tenant or a tenant-at-will may require 30 days' notice to vacate the property. This notice simply tells the tenant you want them to vacate because you are ending the tenancy. Do not use this form with a lodger or other short-term tenant who pays rent daily or weekly.
21. 60 Day Notice to Quit
This is similar to the 30 Day Notice, but gives the tenant a longer period.
22. 30 Day Notice to Quit with Offer to Establish a New Tenancy
At the end of a lease, a tenant should either vacate or sign a new lease, unless you choose to allow a tenancy-at-will situation. To avoid assumptions by the tenant that a tenancy-at-will is an option, this notice clarifies the situation. The new lease may have new terms and conditions.
23. 60 Day Notice to Quit with Offer of a New Tenancy
This is similar to the 30 Day Notice.
Less Common Addendums to a Lease
24. Option to Purchase
Lease-to-Purchase options are useful where a tenant wants to purchase but needs time to qualify for a mortgage or wants to use part of the rent as a down payment. The addendum carries the terms for end-of-lease actions and mutual agreement that, if all terms are met, the tenant may remain in place and become the owner.
25. Bed Bug Addendum
This form lists what a tenant should do to minimize the risk of introducing bed bugs into a property, and what to do if there is a bed bug infestation.
26. Mold Addendum
This form lists what a tenant should and should not to minimize mold infestation, and what to do if mold is discovered.
27. Notice of Damage
Should a tenant damage anything, it is wise to list the damage and have the tenant sign to confirm they were the cause. The form may include what compensation is due, and how it will be paid.
28. Notice of an Increase in the Rent Amount
Where an increase is permitted during a current lease period, this form confirms when and by how much the rent will increase.
29. Increase in Security Deposit and Last Month's Rent
If the weekly/monthly rental amount changes during a tenancy, the tenant should increase their security deposit and final month's rent held in escrow.
30. Conversion to Tenancy-at-Will
As the end of a lease agreement approaches, a tenant may want to remain for a short period, so an automatic conversion to Tenancy-at-Will can be signed.
31. Roommate Agreement
This form enables a tenant to take in a roommate, confirms the new occupant's personal details, and lists the terms of the occupancy by that person. Roommates must agree to abide by the same terms as the primary tenant.
32. Water and Sewer Addendum
If tenants are charged utilities from a submetered system off the mains, this explains how the system works.
33. Blank Addendum
A basic form to write in anything agreed with the tenant.
Communication with Tenant
34. Consent to Electronic Delivery of Documents
Converting from paper-based, mail delivery to electronic delivery should be mutually agreed, and the email address, etc. of both parties should be listed to avoid potential misunderstanding or claims of non-delivery. The form should include an agreement the change and that any future changes to an electronic destination will be communicated and confirmed.
35. Receipt of Rent
Confirmation that the rent has been received. The form should include the amount of rent paid, any underpayment, the date received, and if it has been paid late.
36. Receipt of Rent for Use and Occupancy Only
In some municipalities, accepting rent assumes a tenancy. This form clarifies that rent received is only for current use and occupancy of a property and does not establish a lease or leasehold privileges.
37. Receipt of Security Deposit and Last Month Rent
Where payments are not made electronically, this receipt confirms the money has been received and will be held in an appropriate account.
38. Receipt on Transfer of Security Deposit and Last Month Rent
If the property is sold with a sitting tenant, all parties must acknowledge that the escrow monies have been correctly transferred to the new landlord, and where the monies will now be held.
39. Lead Based Paint Disclosure (English)
A mandatory disclosure for a tenant occupying a property built before 1978 that there may be lead paint in it.
40. Lead Based Paint Disclosure (Spanish)
The same as the English disclosure but in Spanish.
41. Lead Based Paint Pamphlet
Federally produced information for lead based paint to accompany the disclosure.
42. Letter to Tenant for Damage (Friendly)
Accidents do happen, but any damage should be confirmed, and a request for payment, or confirmation of forgiveness for non-payment should be on file.
43. Letter to Tenant for Damage (Formal)
Any deliberate or major damage should be recorded with a statement referencing the appropriate clause(s) in the lease. Bills for making good or replacing items should be included along with a demand for payment, and by when payment should be made.
44. Federal Fair Housing Chart
Federal Law forbids discrimination against certain classes of people (on the grounds of race, religion, national origin, etc.) It is valuable to either display these details or to provide them in a new tenant pack to publicize the fact that the landlord knows the law and does not discriminate.
45. Permission to Enter
Landlords, contractors, real estate agents, future potential tenants may need to enter the property for approved reasons. This form confirms the tenant's permission for authorized entry with due notice.
Prior to Establishing a Tenancy
46. Rental Application
This form includes all the information needed to establish a tenancy before a lease agreement is created.
47. Previous Landlord Details
This form lists previous landlords or management companies your future tenant has rented from and includes a permission statement from the tenant for you to seek references from them.
48. Prospective Tenant Pre-Screen and Contact Details
Pre-screen potential tenants over the phone, use this form to take down all necessary details prior to arranging a meeting and showing of the property.
49. Permission to Seek Credit History and Criminal Background Checks
Potential tenants must approve having their financial and other history investigated. This form confirms their approval for the landlord or a professional agent to perform the checks.
50. Agreement With a Property Manager
This agreement covers the details beteeen a landlord and a prefessional property management company to manage a tenancy and to establish new leases on behalf of the landlord for an agreed fee.
Owning investment property is a lucrative business. Managing tenants can be complex and time-consuming. Having free landlord forms available to personalize and print off or to download and eSign saves time and also helps the landlord to know they have covered all the bases. If you would like to learn more about our services and jow we can make your rental business more profitable, please just click this link to contact us.
About the author
Matt Angerer is the Founder and President of VerticalRent. He enjoys writing on a variety of topics that help Landlords, Property Managers, and Renters across America. He is particularly interested in helping renters understand their local marketplace, pick the best places to live, and find an awesome roommate. Since 2011, VerticalRent has grown to service over 100,000 landlords and renters across America.