Inspect the Lease

Remember that your lease is a legal contract. Do not sign anything that you do not understand!

Here is a list of things to keep in mind when going through the lease:

  • Make sure the name of the landlord, the address of the rental property and total amount of the rent is included
  • Rent: What’s the amount and due date? Are utilities included? Penalty for late payment?
  • Length of lease: Month-to-month, six months, one year or other terms?
  • Deposit: The amount and purpose of the security deposit? What’s the refund policy?
  • Damages: What is the policy for paying for damages beyond normal wear and tear- individuals or all tenants?
  • Subletting: Is it allowed? What is the procedure?
  • Roommates: Should all roommates sign the lease? Are roommates responsible for only a portion of the rent? In case someone moves out, are the remaining roommates responsible for making up the difference? What is the total number of tenants allowed in the property?
  • Alterations: To what extent can tenants alter the property?  Hang pictures on the wall?
  • Landlord belongings: What belongings are given by the landlord at the time of signing the lease such as keys and parking permit? Are all the items listed on the lease?
  • Parking: Is it available?  Is it included in the rent?
  • Pets/Smoking: Are pets allowed? Is smoking permitted?
  • Utilities: What utilities are included in the rent?
  • Early termination of the lease: What’s the policy for terminating the lease earlier? What’s the procedure?
  • Get a copy of the lease: Always request a copy of the completed signed lease.