Are There Lease Or Rental Agreement Terms That A Renter Should Look Out For?

lease rental agreement terms renters must understand

Renting an apartment in the United States can be a tricky business. Laws regarding discrimination tend to vary from state to state and it can be hard to know what is legal to put in a lease. 

If an independent property owner rents out their home, they are unlikely to be able to afford an attorney to draft a lease specifically for them. However, there are websites online where they can get prepared leases that meet legal standards. If you are a renter, you should make sure that the lease you are signing is professionally prepared. 

There are a few terms of which to be aware of when you carefully read over your apartment lease. 

Terminating And Renewing 

In some cases, a lease will simply end 12 months from the date you sign it. There are some places that will have an automatic renewal clause, which means that they will renew unless you give notice that you are moving out. The lease should specify the number of days in advance you will have to terminate it. 

Although you may sign a lease for a year, life happens and you may find that you have to move out early. It is always a good idea to see if the lease has an early termination fee. This is a fee you will pay if you end up having to break your lease. It is normally the equivalent of two months’ rent. 

If a lease does not have a break lease fee, this is not a good sign. This means that if you terminate early, you will be responsible for rent until the end of your lease or until your apartment is rented to someone else. 

What Is Their Policy On Guests? 

If you live in an apartment long enough you are sure to have a guest or two. However, if your guest is going to stay more than a few nights you may be in violation of your lease. 

If you meet that special someone in the course of your tenancy and they become more of a roommate, your landlord may find out about it and they may ask you to put that person on the lease or tell them they have to stay somewhere else. The lease may require your new friend to have a background check, and pay rent. 

Pet Policies 

Having a pet is one of the greatest joys a person can ever experience. However, if you want to keep a pet in your apartment, you must have permission to do so on your lease. Landlords will often charge a pet fee and they might even charge pet rent. There may also be size limitations and breed restrictions. 

There are some states that will allow you to have a pet in your apartment for emotional support or if they are a service animal. In this case, your landlord must allow the animals to live with you, and they will not be able to charge a fee. 


Moving into a new apartment can be exciting. If you read your lease carefully, you can avoid misunderstandings and have a good relationship with your landlord. You can find more at

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