Always Get Your Lease or Rental Agreement in Writing!
It’s hard to believe but many people who lease a home don’t think they need a formal lease agreement in writing. But that’s a big mistake.
The rental agreement or lease that you and a landlord sign sets out the contractual basis of your relationship with each other, and is full of crucial business details, such as how long you’ll occupy the rental and the amount of the rent. Taken together with federal, state, and local landlord-tenant laws, your lease or rental agreement sets out all the legal rules you boy must follow.
Even with a written lease, problems can arise when landlords include illegal clauses in the lease, such as a waiver of their responsibility to keep premises habitable, or when landlords fail to make legally required disclosures such as past use of lead-based paint, or any visible evidence of mold, right from the beginning.
And even if it’s not required that you cover a particular issue in your lease, such as how when and how a landlord can enter rental property, you can avoid all kinds of disputes by using a legal lease and rental agreement that clearly spells out the responsibilities and rights of both parties. Your agent should provide this but if you don’t use a realtor you should check for a legal document from sources such as LegalZoom.com or LawDepot.com.