Hold up there...despite the agreement that transpired between you and the landlord, it is still important to pay close attention to what the lease agreement says.
Here are some essential things you should look for before signing the lease.
Lease length: It is essential for you to know when your lease starts and when it will end. This will serve as your measure of how long you can reside in the property. Some landlords are kind enough to give extensions to allow the tenants to look for another place to live in case renewal is not an option.
Rental fee increases: A good lease agreement stipulates that at the end of the contract in effect, the landlord has the option to increase the rental fee. This lets you know that the rental fee you are paying is not going to stay flat for the years to come.
Rental payment schedule: Although it is the duty of the tenant to pay rental fee on time, it is also the responsibility of the landlord to remind tenants of their scheduled payment dates. As a good practice, the lease agreement should clearly show the monthly payment schedule. Other lease contracts contain provisions for grace periods or extensions of some three to 7 days for late payments.
Repairs and fixes: Repairs and fixes are unavoidable as time passes by. Some are cheap while others are costly. The lease agreement should clearly specify if these things are tenant or landlord responsibilities. It should also have clauses whether tenant-shouldered fixes and repairs are counted less of the monthly rental fee.
Subletting: There are tenants who resort to subletting whenever they have to leave the property for several months, for reasons that can be personal or work-related. Subletting is the process by which a tenant leases the property he or she rents to another tenant, usually a friend or relative. The subletting contract is usually short-lived, sometimes just for a few months, until the original tenant returns. If you are one that is likely to sublet the property in the near future, you should inspect the contract to see if subletting is allowed by the landlord.
These are just some of the important things that you should look for before signing a lease agreement. It is advised to keep a copy of the contract to protect yourself against discrepancies that can result from loss of landlord copy.