Office of Residence Life

Leases

  • What is a lease?

    A lease is a legally binding agreement that outlines the rights and responsibilities of a landlord and tenants. A lease details rules by which a landlord and tenants agree to handle matters arising under the rental agreement. The majority of leases in the University area are for a full calendar year. In addition, most leases require that each tenant is responsible for the entire amount of the rent. Therefore, if one of your roommates fails to pay the month’s rent, you may be held responsible for paying the entire amount of the rent for that month. Other standard clauses in a lease include:

    • Names and addresses of all parties involved.
    • The amount of rent, when it is due, and whether there are fees for late payment.
    • The beginning and ending dates of the lease, and the amount of the security deposit.
    • Who is responsible for paying utilities such as heat, hot water, electric, gas, phone, and cable.
    • Whether or not pets are allowed.
    • Who is responsible for repairs and maintenance; for example, sometimes luxury items, like dishwashers, are not the responsibility of the landlord to fix.
    • Who is responsible for disposing of trash, cutting the grass, and shoveling the sidewalks.

    You should be sure that you keep a copy of your lease for your records. You may need to refer back to the terms of the lease if you have a dispute with your landlord. If your landlord does not provide you with a copy of your lease, request one before moving in.

  • Should I be concerned about signing a lease?

    A lease is a legally binding agreement that obligates you financially—it should be entered into with caution. Before signing a lease, make sure you have read it, you understand it, and you agree to abide by the terms listed in it. Once you sign a lease it can be difficult and even impossible to get out of it. Even if your landlord fails to live up to his or her responsibilities under the lease, you may not be released from your obligations. Before you sign a lease, you can have it reviewed for free by Student Legal Services. Before you sign a lease, you can have it reviewed for free by Student Legal Services. Attorneys at Student Legal Services offer free advice and consultation on all legal problems and representation for certain legal problems. Consultation hours in the Student Union, Room 3511 are Mondays and Wednesdays: 3:30 – 4:30pm for walk ins, and 4:30 – 5:30 by appointment. Call 518-272-6565 for an appointment.

  • Can I sublet my apartment during the summer?

    Subleasing occurs when a tenant rents the apartment to a third party (subtenant). The subtenant is responsible to the tenant for performing all obligations set forth in the sublease agreement. The tenant is still responsible to the landlord for performing all obligations set forth in the original lease agreement. This means that finding a subtenant does not release you from your obligations under the original lease. For example, if the subtenant does not pay his or her rent, you remain responsible for the amount due. Before you negotiate a sublease agreement, you must be sure that you are entitled to do so under your lease. In addition, you may want to get advice from an attorney to discuss drafting a sublease agreement that will protect your rights. Attorneys at Student Legal Services offer free advice and consultation. Before you sign a lease, you can have it reviewed for free by Student Legal Services. Attorneys at Student Legal Services offer free advice and consultation on all legal problems and representation for certain legal problems. Consultation hours in the Student Union, Room 3511 are Mondays and Wednesdays: 3:30 – 4:30pm for walk ins, and 4:30 – 5:30 by appointment. Call 518-272-6565 for an appointment.

Last modified: May 5, 2012