What information should be in your lease agreement?
Updated: Feb 9
Knowing how to read your lease will ensure the start of a great relationship with your landlord and that you're aware of your rights and responsibilities while you live off campus.
Names: The lease should include your full name, the full names of other tenants/ roommates you'll be living with and your Landlord's name. Additionally, the address of your location as well as the address of your landlord must be in this contract.
The security deposit, which is refundable after any damage caused by the tenant is covered, must be stated and cannot be higher than one month's rent. Usually, this will be paid after viewing the home, immediately after you sign your lease. and is used to secure the place as yours.
Your rent amount and payment method of this rent will also be included in the lease. This can include e-transfers or rarely by cheque. There should be no other fees to pay before signing your lease
Due date: Confirm the due date for rent payments (usually the first or last of the month) and any late fee penalties.
Utilities: Understand which utilities are included in the rent and which are the tenant's responsibility.
Maintenance and repairs: Review the landlord's responsibilities for maintenance and repairs and the process for requesting repairs. Ensure that you and the landlord agree on terms of entry. The landlord cannot enter unless the tenant gives verbal or written agreement.
Verify the start and end date of the lease and any options for renewing or extending the lease.
Termination and eviction clauses will be added: so make sure to review the terms and fees for terminating the lease early and the process and reasons for eviction.
These include changes you're allowed to make to the property like:
Alterations and decorations: Check for any restrictions on adding semi-permanent changes, permanent changes or decorations to the rental unit. (painting walls, nailing art to the wall, etc.)
Subletting: Check if subletting is allowed and the process for obtaining permission. Also, if guests stay over, or you leave the property for an extended period, the lease will include this information.
Pets and smoking: These policies on pets and smoking in the rental unit will be important to note as they will have fees associated with their allowance.
Guest policy: Understand the policy on overnight guests and any restrictions.
Governing laws: Check if there is any mention of local or state laws that govern the lease. In Alberta, the lease terms are governed by the Residential Tenancies Act.
Lastly, Additional terms: Read through any additional terms or clauses that may not be covered in other sections of the lease.