A lease should always outline the:

  • terms
  • conditions, and
  • duration

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.

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Date Published: March 31, 2018