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a legal document, which defines the relationship between the landlord and the tenant. If there are

provisions in the lease that you do not understandget help. Ask someone you trust to explain

what the language means. Be careful of leases that contain the following:

  • An extremely long lease term with penalties for early termination

  • Automatic rent increases during the lease term

  • References to rules that are not provided to you

  • Any attempt by the landlord to make you responsible for repairs

  • Language which provides that the tenant paysthe landlord for u ilities rather than being billed by the utility provider

  • Provisions which require the tenant pay the landlord's attorney fees if a landlord hires an attorney to enforce the lease, unless the provision also makes the landlord responsible for the tenant's attorney's fees

  • Lease terms which state that the landlordcan evict you wit out going into court and using the dispossessory process

Before the lease is signed, a tenant may request c anges to the lease. Some landlords will agree

to the changes, others will not. If signed, both the landlord and tenant will be required to comply

with the lease terms.

Is the length of the lease term important?

Yes. For example, a written lease agreemet for longer than one year must describe the

leased property clearly and in detil to be valid. Leases for oneyear or less are not required to

contain such a detailed description of the property being leased. A lease that is for a period of

more than five years does not normally create landlord tenant relations ip but instead creates

an estate for years. An estate for years is taxable and can be recorded with the title to the land in

the local court.


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