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A lease should always outline the:
- conditions, and
of the rental agreement.
It is important to review all 3 before signing.
Some leases may contain unexpected requirements.
It is important to consult a lawyer before signing if you do not understand everything in the lease, or if you are creating a lease that you want customized to your terms.
The lease should stipulate the following:
- The names of the landlord and tenant(s)
- The address of the rental property
- The agreed-upon monthly rent, with or without utilities, parking, cable, etc.
- When rent is due each month
- The amount and terms of the deposit (if applicable)
- Which repairs are your responsibility if requested by the landlord
- The term of the rental period, typically one year (but may be month-to-month or week-to-week)
- The notice period required to terminate the lease (usually this is 60 days)
- Subletting rules
- Allowable rent increases
- Restrictions such as no boarders, pets, smoking, waterbeds, etc.
- When and how a landlord can enter the residential premises
- Conditions for termination of a lease
- Terms for dispute resolution: late payment, damage and repairs, eviction, etc.
- Emergency contact information for both the tenant and landlord (including phone, fax and email)
If you are sharing accommodations, consider the following:
- The person or persons who sign(s) the lease is/are legally responsible for any other roommates.
- If 2 or more tenants sign the lease, they are responsible for paying the whole rent, and the landlord can enforce the terms against either person or both people
- If each person has a separate lease, that individual is only responsible for what is contained in theirs.