What to Look for Before Signing a Lease

Leasing an office, apartment, or any type of space enters you into a contract with the landlord.  It’s easy to get excited about a property and feel a sense of urgency to jump on it before anyone else catches on to the opportunity.  You need to understand, however, that a handshake and a smile isn’t going to protect you in the long run.  When you sign a lease, there are certain things you should look for to avoid rental agreement disputes in the future.

Avoid Rental Agreement Disputes By Looking for These Items

Here are some of the basic things you should look for before signing a lease.

rental agreement disputes

Length of the Lease

The most important part of your agreement is going to be the length of time that you are required to commit to.  Make sure the period of time is something you can handle financially.  For instance, if you are just starting out and are not sure how things are going to go, you may want to avoid a two year lease.  On the other hand, if you have an established business or a large inventory, you certainly don’t want a month-to-month lease because it gives the landlord the power to terminate the lease at any time.  The same goes for your living situation.  A family of four does not want to have to pack up and move in two months simply because the landlord changed their mind.


Utilities can make up a big portion of your expenses, so you can’t base your budget on rent alone.  Find out which, if any, utilities are included in your rent.  Ask the landlord what the utilities typically run on a monthly basis.  This could mean the difference between taking or leaving the place in question.

Maintenance and Timing

Find out who is responsible for maintenance, and how long they have to fix issues.  If there is not a time limit on request response, you should add a 24 hour follow up provision to your lease.  You want to make sure that you are able to easily contact the landlord or property manager in case of an issue, and that the issue in question will be dealt with swiftly.



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