Hey Landlord! Supercharge Your Lease: Two Provisions Every Landlord Should Include In Their Lease

Christine Schneider
3 min readJun 30, 2022

With property tax increases in many markets in the United States, a little extra effort is needed for landlords to keep profit margins from shrinking. While it may be possible to increase rental rates between lease years, there are more subtle ways to increase profits by making some changes in your lease form.

Here are two clauses that can save you money.

  1. Utility Problems: We are living in strange times. If the utilities fail, the power goes out, or a utility service becomes unavailable, that risk should be firmly and unequivocally shifted to the tenant, unless you as the landlord are at fault. Utilities should be in the name of your tenant. Here is your sample language: All utilities shall be maintained in the name of Tenant, and Tenant covenants and agrees to make sure all utility payments are made on a timely basis. Any unpaid or past due utility charges may be deducted from the Security Deposit without notice. In the event of a permanent or temporary failure of any utility service for any reason, Landlord shall have no liability whatsoever for any costs or expenses incurred by Tenant as a direct or indirect result of such utility failure. By way of example, in the event of a public waterline failure, and temporary suspension of water service to the Premises, Landlord shall have no liability or responsibility for providing temporary housing or temporary laundry accommodations, and shall owe no damages to Tenant, nor shall Tenant have abated rent.
  2. Security Deposit Application and Replenishment: Your security deposit is magic. Make it as large as you can — at least one month’s rent — and include a clause that allows you to broadly apply the security deposit to any past due obligations of Tenant. Finally, include a provision that requires Tenant to promptly replenish the security deposit within a short time if you do in fact have to use it. Here is your sample language: As a condition to this Lease, Tenant shall deliver to Landlord a security deposit in the amount of $___________ (the “Security Deposit”). The Security Deposit shall be held by Landlord, without liability for interest, as security for the performance of all of Tenant’s obligations under the Lease. Unless required by applicable law, Landlord shall not be required to keep the Security Deposit segregated from other funds of Landlord. Landlord shall have the right, without prejudice to any other remedy, to use the Security Deposit or any part there to pay any amounts that are past due under the Lease, including, without limitation, late fees, past due rent, unpaid utility charges, property damage during the term or after the end of the term, and any other damage, injury or expense. Following any application of all or any part of the Security Deposit, Tenant shall pay Landlord, on demand, the amount so applied in order to restore the Security Deposit to its original amount.

For more easy to use tips and residential leases clauses, see Hey Landlord! 10 Clauses Every Landlord Should Include in a Residential Lease: Some of Which Will Save You Money. https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B0B3JWPKKN/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_738SCC5ATC4DH5BN5SK1

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Christine Schneider

Atlanta, Georgia. Books, cocktails, theatre, art, writing, music, real estate, but not always in that order. Vice Chair of Board of Actor’s Express Theatre.