Things To Look for in Lease Agreement

Updated October 18, 2023
12 min read
Things To Look for in Lease Agreement


When stepping into the world of lease agreements, it's crucial to understand the important details and implications. Whether you're a landlord or a tenant, the things to look out for in a lease should be your main focus.

A lease agreement is a contractual arrangement, often legally binding, and missing a small detail could lead to inconveniences or even legal issues down the line. With the right know-how, you can navigate this territory confidently.

Key Things To Look Out for in a Lease

As you scrutinize your lease agreement, prioritizing certain elements can make the process less daunting. What are the key things to look for in a lease agreement?

Rent terms

The terms regarding rent are the cornerstone of any lease agreement and are among the essential things to look out for in a lease. Ensure that the agreement clearly specifies the amount of rent, due dates, and acceptable payment methods. Consider, for instance, a commercial lease agreement template from Lawrina, where these rent-related aspects are carefully defined.

Lease duration

Your lease's duration is another vital aspect of what to look for in a lease agreement. Start and end dates should be clearly stated, along with processes for lease renewal or early termination. This information influences your long-term commitments and plans.

Maintenance & Repairs

Things to look out for in a rental lease also include your and the landlord's responsibilities regarding maintenance and repairs. Are you expected to mow the lawn or fix leaky faucets, or is it handled by the landlord? Clear delineation of these roles avoids future disputes.

Security deposit terms

Considering the significant amount of money at stake, the security deposit terms are crucial things to look for in a lease agreement. These terms should outline the amount of the deposit, its purpose, return conditions, and whether it's refundable.

Termination clauses

Paying heed to termination clauses is a crucial component in understanding what to look for in a lease agreement. These delineate the grounds on which a lease can be prematurely ended and the penalties, if any, for breaking the lease.

Red Flags in Lease Agreements

As you delve into the nitty-gritty of the things to look out for in a lease, it's crucial to be vigilant for certain red flags. These worrisome signs could be detrimental to your rights and might lead to unfavorable situations down the line. Here are some examples:

  1. Vague or ambiguous clauses: Clauses that are not explicitly defined or that leave too much room for interpretation are among the chief "things to look for in a lease agreement." Clear and precise language leaves less chance for disputes or misunderstandings.

  2. Unchecked power to the landlord: Beware of any term that grants excessive rights or powers solely to the landlord, as this could run the risk of creating an imbalanced agreement. Always keep in mind the tenant's rights and seek a balance between the two parties.

  3. Waiver of tenant's rights: Any clause requiring you to give up your legal rights as a tenant is a red flag. Thoroughly scrutinize such stipulations and consult with a legal professional to understand their implications.

In all types of leases, be it short-term rentals, commercial, or long-term residential, these red flags consistently pop up, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a clear-eyed approach when assessing things to look out for in a rental lease.


Ultimately, understanding the key "things to look out for in a lease" is paramount to establishing a mutually beneficial leasing arrangement. Whether you're the lessor or lessee, attention to detail and a keen understanding of lease agreements can save you from potential legal pitfalls. There are many resources available, like Lawrina, a reliable legaltech ecosystem that offers other real estate-related templates and documents that can help in shaping a better understanding.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a lease agreement work?

In essence, a lease agreement works as a formal contract between two parties: the lessee, or tenant, and the lessor, or landlord. This document details specific terms like the length of the lease, monthly rent amount, and responsibilities of each party. 


For example, in a one-year lease agreement, the tenant agrees to pay a set rent each month for one year, while the landlord commits to maintain the property's condition. If any party doesn't uphold their end of the contract, the agreement outlines legal actions to rectify the violation.


What happens if I break my lease agreement?

Should you break a lease agreement, various penalties may ensue, typically spelled out in the lease itself. For instance, if a tenant decides to move out before the lease term ends, they may forfeit their security deposit or even be liable to pay the remaining rent due under the lease. 


These terms can vary widely, so it's crucial to understand them thoroughly before signing a keen representation of why understanding what to look for in a lease agreement is paramount. 


What's the difference between a lease and a rental agreement?

Though both pertain to renting property, a key difference lies in the duration of the agreement. Lease agreements generally cover longer periods, often six months to a year, and the terms remain fixed for the lease's entirety. For instance, a tenant is bound to pay a set monthly rent for the entire year in a one-year lease agreement.


On the other hand, a rental agreement typically operates on a month-to-month basis. This short-term arrangement offers flexibility, with terms that can be altered with a month's notice from either party. If a tenant seeks temporary accommodation or a landlord wishes to increase rent frequently, a monthly rental agreement may be more appropriate than a long-term lease.