Living in a tiny house often presents unique challenges, one of which is finding a suitable place to park our tiny home. My wife and I, who embraced the tiny house lifestyle nine years ago, initially rented a tiny house parking spot for our 374-square-foot tiny home, knowing full well that we needed a clear agreement with our landlord. Over time, we transitioned from being strangers to being close friends with them. We realized from the beginning the importance of having a formal lease agreement to ensure clarity and safeguard the interests of both parties involved.
Below is the lease agreement that we formulated with our landlord for parking our tiny house. We established this agreement in the State of California to rent a parking space for our tiny home for 12 months, starting on a specified date and ending one year later. Although we never formally renewed the lease, we lived on the property for 8 years before buying our own land. The lease outlined the rental rate, the responsibilities of both the landlord and us, the renters, and other essential terms and conditions aimed at promoting a harmonious arrangement. Here is that exact agreement with names changed.
Improved Trailer [or “Tiny House”] Space
Freddie And June Doggins
Tiny House Parking / STORAGE LEASE
State of California
Lake County, California
This lease made the [xx] day of January, between Bob and Jane Rancher here in after called “Landlord” and Freddie And June Doggins from now on called “Renter”:
WHEREAS, the Landlord hereby leases to Renter a space necessary to store one  improved trailer [also known as a “tiny house”] hereinafter known as “Vehicle” at a parking space identified approximately 750 feet west of the primary residence 150 Blue Heron Way, Clearlake CA 94500 for a term of 12 months to commence on the [xx] Day of January 2023 and to terminate on [xx] Day of January 2024 unless sooner terminated hereinafter provided, and the rental terms of $900.00 per month paid in advance on the date of the execution of this lease as well as general maintenance work performed by the Renter to be mutually agreed upon by Landlord and Renter; and,
WHEREAS, the Renter understands the lease can be terminated by the Landlord after giving the Renter 30 days notice, and,
WHEREAS, Renter understands this lease is not automatically renewable yet may be renewed upon mutual agreement by Renter and Landlord; and,
WHEREAS, this lease does not convey proprietary rights to any property of the Landlord.
NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the rental terms outlined above the parties agree as follows:
1. Care of Premises: The Landlord will maintain clear access to the parking space insofar as practicable. The renter agrees not to accumulate waste, tires, parts storage receptacles, or other unsightly articles in the rented space.
3. Security: The Landlord will provide and maintain a secured entry gate at the entrance of the property. The landlord will provide the Renter an entry code to the gate which the Renter may not disclose to any third party. Renter agrees that the Landlord is not responsible for theft, fire, or damage of any kind that may occur to the Renter’s Vehicle, property, or contents. Renter further agrees that all property kept, stored, and maintained is at the Renter’s sole risk.
4. Hold Harmless: The renter agrees to hold the Landlord harmless of and from any and all damages to the Renter’s Vehicle and personal property and for all personal injury including wrongful death sustained by the Renter during the term of this lease.
5. Access to premises: The renter may have access to the parking facility by obtaining an entry code to the property’s main entrance gate. The Renter may access the facility 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. The renter may provide third parties access to the facility only with the express consent of the Landlord.
6. Removal of Vehicle and Property after Expiration or Termination of Lease: The Landlord shall have the right to remove the Vehicle and property from the parking facility after the expiration/termination of the lease, provided that the Landlord gives the Renter notice in writing at the last known address of the Renter of its intent to do so at least 30 days before the Vehicle and property are removed. Renter agrees to accept all risk of damage to the vehicle and property because of such removal and Renter shall be liable to the Landlord for all costs, including reasonable attorney’s fee incurred, in connection with such removal. The Landlord reserves the right to sell the Vehicle and property 30 days after the notice has been sent.
7. Rental fees are payable in advance. A late payment penalty of $5.00 per day will be assessed on any payment received 10 days after the due date. Renter shall pay Landlord first and last month’s rental fees upon execution of this contract. Renter may deduct from the rental fees the direct expenses incurred for improvement of the facility only with the express consent of the Landlord and shall provide Landlord written receipts of any such expenses.
8. You may not sublet the space.
9. This contract binds both parties and follows the laws of the State of California.
10. This represents the entire agreement between the parties hereto.
Description of item(s) to be stored:
In Witness Whereof, the parties hereunto set their hands and seals and day and year written.
The agreement was meticulous in addressing various aspects of the arrangement. Here are some key takeaways from the lease agreement that could serve as an informative guide for others in similar situations:
- Clear Identification of Parties and Premises: The agreement clearly identifies the parties involved and the precise location of the parking space. This is crucial for avoiding any misunderstandings in the future.
- Term and Rental Fee: The lease specifies the duration and the monthly rental fee, which is essential for budgeting and legal purposes.
- Maintenance and Care of Premises: It’s important to outline who is responsible for the maintenance of the premises to prevent disputes later on.
- Security Measures: The agreement highlights the security measures in place and the responsibilities of the renter and landlord concerning the security of the tiny house and the premises.
- Hold Harmless Clause: Including a hold harmless clause protects the landlord from any liabilities arising from the renter’s use of the property.
- Access to Premises: Clearly defining the access rights to the premises ensures that both parties are aware of their boundaries.
- Termination and Removal of Property: Outlining the procedures for termination of the lease and removal of property helps to prevent any abrupt disruptions.
- Payment Terms: It’s prudent to have clear payment terms, including the due date, late payment penalties, and any other related fees.
- Subletting Restrictions: The agreement restricts subletting the space, which is a common clause in many rental agreements to ensure control over who has access to the property.
- Governing Law: Stating the governing law helps in case of any legal disputes that may arise during the term of the lease.
Our personal experience underscores the importance of having a well-thought-out lease agreement for Tiny House Parking. This formal document can significantly contribute to fostering a positive landlord-tenant relationship, ensuring that both parties have a clear understanding of their rights and responsibilities. Moreover, it serves as a legal safeguard, providing a structured approach to resolving any issues that may arise during the rental period.