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Terms you should request before signing a lease

It is often believed that landlords have significant power over their tenants when it comes to rental property. As the owner of the property, the landlord can make decisions, but must still make sure that the decisions do not violate the terms designated in the rental agreement. There are a few things that a renter could request in the rental agreement to help make certain that they are not taken advantage of after the agreement is signed.

If there are multiple adults who will be residing on the premises, each person should be included on the agreement. This means that each person is responsible for staying within the terms; this could also protect the others on the agreement if one of the tenants fails to follow the previously agreed upon terms.

The rental agreement should not only include the exact rent due, but also list all acceptable forms of payment and mention whether any grace periods are allowed. This could prevent a dispute down the road. In addition to rent, security deposits and any additional fees and expenses should also be outlined and discussed in the document as well.

If there are occupancy limits expressed by the landlord, these should be listed in the agreement as well. This is applicable to future residents who may wish to move in after the agreement has been signed, as well as pets, which may or may not be allowed at the residence, depending upon the landlord's wishes.

Before you sign on the dotted line, it might be in a future renter's best interest to have the document reviewed by a legal professional. Making sure everything is outline and covered before the document is signed could save both parties from serious problems and landlord/tenant disputes down the road if the relationship goes south.

Source: findlaw.com, "The Top Ten Lease Terms You Should Have When Renting," Accessed April 24, 2017

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