It is important to closely go over every word of your lease before you sign it, and it would be especially helpful to have a checklist in mind of some information that you want included in the lease. Here are some suggestions for what the lease should at contain, at minimum:
- The name and contact information of the landlord or the name of the company that is representing the landlord. If there are problems down the line, who you are making the agreement with will affect your legal remedies.
- Name of the person or company acquiring the space (you). Remember that if the lease is in your name, you will be the one who is personally responsible for the terms of the lease.
- The start date and length of the lease. A word to the wise: if possible, do not sign a five year lease!
- The cost of the deposit the lease requires and whether or not it is refundable. Will the landlord insist that you pay painting or cleaning fees when you leave? How much might these cost?
Check back to later posts for more items you might want to include on your checklist before signing your lease! Going over these things carefully before finalizing the agreement could save you from dealing with issues down the road.