A lease is the foundation of the landlord-tenant relationship, and it is crucial you know what you are signing up for. Detailed below are the considerations all tenants must be aware of when signing a lease.
1. Know your lease
It is crucial that you understand the key aspects of the lease you are signing.
Ask the landlord to make it explicitly clear what you are being asked to agree to. You should be able to understand the total extent and duration of the cost and liability you will be taking on if you sign a lease based on the terms being offered by the Landlord.
2. Ending your lease
Be sure that you understand how to end the lease, and how and when the notices should be served.
You should make sure you understand the options available to you when your lease expires. Take professional advice to make sure all notices are properly served and that your interests are protected.
3. Know your costs
The Landlord should provide full details of your expected costs involved in leasing the property. This should include all personal or company guarantees, security deposits or other bank guarantees.
Not all costs will be fixed at the time of agreeing the lease. You should expect the Landlord to explain how any costs are calculated so that you can understand the risks and make sure you can afford all the costs of leasing the property
4. Maintenance and repairs
Both the landlord and the tenant will have varying obligations with regards to the maintenance and repair of the property.
When signing a lease make sure that those obligations are spelled out and there is a clear understanding who is responsible for each part of the property.
5. Identify what type of contract you are signing
For instance, A joint tenancy agreement holds the whole group responsible for the property and collective rent payments.
If you intend to sublet, or think you may want to in the future, you need to check if the lease allows this. Most leases will not allow subletting.
7. Service Charges
You should expect the Landlord to be explicit in his offer about any service charges, including how these costs are calculated, what they cover (and don’t include) and the extent to which you will be obliged to pay towards any capital improvements and long-term repairs or replacements of structure, fabric or machinery and equipment.
Make sure you check and confirm the inventory for the property.
9. Get everything in writing.
Sometimes the lease isn’t detailed enough, which could spell trouble if expectations aren’t discussed and spelled out beforehand. If you do discuss expectations with a prospective landlord.
10. Research your landlord or letting agency
Before signing a lease, it is worth doing some research on your landlord or letting agency. By considering previous experiences involving these parties this will give you a good idea as to whether you are making the correct decision or not.