Renting a property in Cameroon may involve some issues and risks. It is important that parties to such a contract should be aware of the risks which may emanate from the transaction. In order to manage the outcome of such risks, a tenancy contract should be drawn up between the parties. In such a contract, the landlord is to specify all the terms for renting his property and these terms should be clearly written in the best interest of the landlord.
The clauses under which the rights and protection of the landlord are guaranteed is as follows;
- Severability Clause: This clause is aimed at preventing future issues in the tenancy contract. This clause states that if any part of the contract is ruled to be non-applicable by the court, the rest of the contract is going to remain valid. Failure to insert such a clause in the contract will expose the entire contract to be declared invalid by the court.
- Access to Premises: This is the right-to-entry clause. In as much as the landlord in leasing his property is also transferring possession to the tenant, he may still need to enter the property in cases of emergency (Such as emergency repair, property inspection, etc.).
- Joint and Several Liability: This is also an important clause as it stipulates that the tenants are entirely responsible for paying full rent even if one of the parties refuses to pay their share in a particular month.
- Use of Property: This clause illustrates how the tenant is to use the property. This is to control the nature of habitation, regular maintenance, cleaning, waste disposal, etc.
- Sublet Rules: This clause enables the landlord to set his terms for subleasing. If the landlord does not want the tenant to sublet his property, it should be clearly stated in the contract.
- Rent Due Date and Late Fees: It is important for landlords to specify the payment conditions and timeline. The due date for rent, the grace period for late payments, and the penalty amount charged to tenants should be clearly stated. A landlord might have issues collecting payments without this clause.
- Renewal Clause: This clause usually states that the tenant must give an advance written notice of their intention to renew their rent period. This guides the landlord in knowing whether to source for new tenants or not.
- Cleaning Clause: This clause helps to maintain the state of repair of the property of the landlord. The tenant usually needs to return the property in the state of repair as it was first met. This excepts fair wear and tear on the property.
- Indemnification of Landlord Clause: This clause absolves the landlord from any damage or loss to any property or person on the property. This clause is aimed at protecting the landlord from any damage that may have been caused by the tenant while they occupied the property.
- Early Termination Clause: This clause permits a landlord to terminate the rental arrangement before the end of the term. This is usually the case for a breach of terms in the rental contract.
- Lease Termination Clause: This is termination by mutual written consent between a landlord and a tenant.
- Lease Breakage Clause: This clause permits the landlord and tenant to terminate the rental term at an agreed point in time. Some conditions may still have to be met for the breakage terms to apply such as;
- The tenant needs to be up-to-date with full rent amount payments,
- The tenant needs to relinquish the property so the landlord can use it,
- The property needs to be in a good state of repair,
- The tenant needs to notify the landlord through a written notice about the breakage.
There may be other miscellaneous clauses a landlord may wish to add to the major clauses illustrated above. However, it is guided by the circumstance of the rental situation the landlord may find himself into.