OCSS

Off-Campus Housing

Advantages of a Written Lease

Sometimes when renting a property, especially from a private homeowner, a written lease is not always used. However, a written lease has its advantages and serves as a means to protect yourself as well as the proprietor.

What is a Lease?

  • A lease is a contractual arrangement calling for the lessee (user) to pay the lessor (owner) for use of a rental property.

The Lease

  • A lease must be in written form to be legally binding
  • Ask questions regarding provisions
  • Scrutinize the Lease
  • Negotiate for more favorable provisions in the lease to protect yourself later
  • Once it has been signed, you will be strictly held accountable to it
  • Changes made to any lease should be signed by both tenant and landlord.

Advantages include:

  • Legally binding
  • Documents & sets forth the rights and duties of both parties in writing
  • Assures your right to live in the premises for a specific period of time
  • Assures that rent will remain at the stated amount during that period of time

Points to consider before signing a lease:

  • Examine the Property
  • Make Note of Needed Repairs
  • Get Verbal Promises in Writing
  • Get Receipts
  • Discuss the Amount of Security Deposit
  • Know your Status
  • Discuss Tenant Responsibilities
  • Know the Law on Discrimination in Housing -
    http://mccr.maryland.gov/housing.html

  • View a sample Lease