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Quick Answers...Legal Issues


What should be included in a tenant/landlord lease agreement?

As a renter, you can ask for a written lease agreement, whether you rent month-to-month or longer. The lease should include several things that need to be agreed to by both tenant and landlord:


  • Description and address of the property being rented or leased.
  • Whether the lease is month-to-month or for a specific term.
  • The amount of rent payment due and the date it is due.
  • Where and how to pay the rent.
  • Additional fee for late rental payments.
  • Who will be living in the rental unit.
  • What appliances will be furnished with the property and the condition of appliances (e.g., if a window air conditioner exists and it becomes inoperable, the landlord must replace it).
  • The amount of any deposit to be paid and under what conditions it will be returned at the end of the lease.
  • Who has the responsibility to pay for utilities.
  • What repairs the landlord will be responsible for and what repairs and maintenance the tenant will be responsible for.
  • Whether the landlord will allow any pets on the property and the amount of any pet deposit.

Read your lease carefully, because once you and your landlord sign it, it becomes a legal contract that you must abide by. If a landlord asks you to sign a lease that does not include these items, you can ask that they be added to the lease before you sign it.





Brenda Procter, M.S., State Specialist & Instructor
Personal Financial Planning, University of Missouri-Extension





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Last update: Wednesday, April 19, 2006




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