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Before you sign a lease


Before signing the lease, read it carefully and talk to your landlord if you have any concerns or need changes. Make sure the lease includes everything you agreed to and understand important details like rent amount, late fees, and utility responsibilities. Check the property thoroughly, and keep receipts for any payments made, including the security deposit.


Last updated 06/22/2023

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Read the lease carefully before you sign it

If you have a problem with any part of the lease, discuss your concerns with the landlord to see if changes can be made. Get the changes in writing.

Make sure the lease includes everything to which you agreed

Make sure you understand the amount of the security deposit, the amount of rent you will owe every month, the amount of fees charged for late rent payments, and who is responsible for paying utilities. Ask questions if you do not understand any part of the lease.

Look at the property carefully and inspect every room

Take photos of each room. Take photos of any defective conditions.

Make sure everything works, including toilets, drains, appliances, windows, furnace, air conditioner, and locks. Do the keys work? Are there bugs? Do any repairs need to be made?

If you must pay money before or when you sign the lease, get a receipt that states what you paid.

Get a signed receipt when you pay your security deposit.