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Ready to Start Renting? What You Need to Know about Creating a Contract

When you are getting ready to rent a home or apartment do you read the contract/lease? As long as the landlord keeps to the standards that the state’s landlord-tenant laws say they have to follow, they can add basically anything else they want to the lease.

A lease is a binding contract that you will have to live with until your lease is over, which usually lasts a year. Reading the fine print is a necessity so that you know what you are getting yourself into. You do not want to end up hiring a civil litigation lawyer to fight your landlord. Having to fight your landlord is never a pleasant experience. Here are some more things to keep in mind when you are ready to sign a lease.

Late Fees:

Always check to see how much the late fees are and how many days you can be late before you have to pay a late fee. People normally pay their rent on time but things happen that could set that back a few days. They also cannot charge a late fee if it is not in the lease.

Pet Fees:

Some landlords will charge a pet fee and or deposit. A pet fee is for the right to have a pet and the deposit is to cover any damages your pet does to the property, which is usually refunded if there is no damage. They cannot charge these fees for a service animal.


Most landlords will not let you sublet. If you know there will be a time when you are away for an extended period of time, talk to the landlord about subletting before you sign the lease.

Moving out Early:

If you want to leave your lease early you are required to pay the amount left on the lease. If the landlord finds another tenant then you do not have to pay the monthly lease payment and will not be responsible for the rest.

Moving Out:

Find out about what the landlord expects when you move out. Some may want you to paint the walls or have the carpet cleaned and you need to know what you are responsible for before you sign.

You will want to cover all your options and make sure this is a lease you can live with. A year is a long time if you are unhappy with the terms of your lease. A lot of people do not read their lease and end up with situations they weren’t prepared for.

Author Bio: Emma Sturgis is a freelance writer living in Boston, MA. When not writing, she enjoys reading and indoor rock climbing. Find her on Google +

Bob Kraft

I am a Dallas, Texas lawyer who has had the privilege of helping thousands of clients since 1971 in the areas of Personal Injury law and Social Security Disability.

About This Blog

The title of this blog reflects my attitude toward those government agencies and insurance companies that routinely mistreat injured or disabled people. As a Dallas, Texas lawyer, I've spent more than 45 years trying to help those poor folk, and I have been frustrated daily by the actions of the people on the other side of their claims. (Sorry if I offended you...)

If you find this type of information interesting or helpful, please visit my law firm's main website at You will find many more articles and links. Thank you for your time.

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