When you sign a lease, you are entering into a legal contract, so make sure you read the document and know what you are signing.
Beware because the terms and provisions of your lease legally bind you. By signing the lease, you are legally stating that you know what it says and are willing to abide by all the rules in it.
- Carefully examine the lease
- Ask for a copy so you and/or your family can review it more thoroughly
- Some leases are very restrictive. Be aware because you are responsible for knowing exactly what the lease says and means.
- Don’t hesitate to ask the landlord about clauses and terms that you don’t understand. You can also consult with someone at OCL. Click here for some common leasing clauses to be aware of.
- Agree on any changes, additions, or provisions with your landlord and make sure these are stated in the lease before signing on the dotted line.
- If it includes a provision or clause you want to remove, it’s okay to ask the landlord about it.
- Make sure it is all in writing and all parties involved sign, date, and keep a copy.
A lease is a legal document. No matter how your situation may change, you are financially responsible the minute you sign the lease. Make sure you understand the type of lease you’re signing. Below is a description of some common lease types.
An individual lease is when you sign for a single room, meaning you are individually responsible for paying rent and any damages to that room. You also sign for a share of the living area/ other common spaces.
Pro: If a roommate moves out, you are not responsible for his/her rent or damages.
Con: The landlord can put anybody (male, female, non-student) in the empty bedroom without your approval.
A group lease is a lease signed by all occupants, making the entire group responsible for damages and paying the full rent.
Pro: Your group has control of who may move into an empty bedroom.
Con: If a roommate backs out, the rest of the group must make up the difference in cost.
Always ask questions and make sure you fully understand the entire document. Off-Campus Life is more than willing to go over any leases with students and help them to better understand what they are signing.