Truth in Renting

Read through your lease and fill out the Truth in Renting Worksheet (pdf) to more fully understand the terms of your lease. If there is anything that you are not sure about, you can ask the landlord—but remember that nothing is binding unless it is written on the lease.

Important Questions to Consider

Lease term - move in, move out

  • Date lease begins, when can you move in?
  • Time you move in?
  • Option to move in early?
    • Does it cost money?
    • Are you accepting the unit "as is"?
  • Date lease ends, when do you have to be out?
  • Time you need to be out?

Rent money

  • How much is rent, how often are you paying?
  • Are you making 12 equal payments? (This is typical)
    Are partial months prorated or discounted? (Not typical)
  • Which utilities are included?
    • Electric
    • Gas
    • Water
    • Sewer/Sanitary
    • Garbage
    • Internet
    • Cable
  • "Premium" Fees?
  • Parking?
  • Extra Fees?
    • Rent Plus
    • Insurance
    • Pets Fees
    • Simple Bills
    • Other fees?

What kind of lease?

  • Joint lease or bedroom lease?
  • Is it just your name, or are your roommates also on the lease?
  • What unit are your renting, or does it say TBD/general description?
  • Are your roommates guaranteed?
  • Have you seen your actual unit?

Can I get out of this lease early?

  • Is there a clause explaining early termination? If no, assume you cannot get out of the lease until the termination date.

What if things go wrong at move-in?

  • What if move-in is delayed?
  • What if things are dirty or broken at move-in?
  • What if they overbooked and don’t have room for me?

Move out, security deposit, non-refundable fees

  • Security deposit?
  • Non-refundable admin fees?

Any other promises?

  • If you were promised anything from the landlord or leasing agent, it MUST be in the lease to be legally enforceable.

Worksheet Download

The information on this page is also available to download as a worksheet.