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My new landlord wants me to sign a lease, but I don’t like some of the terms. What can I do?

A lease, sometimes called a rental agreement, is a contract between the landlord and the tenant. By signing the lease, both parties are saying they agree to all the terms.

Like any other contract, the parties can negotiate the terms. A landlord and tenant, for example, may agree to modify a written lease form to make the lease term shorter (e.g. six months instead of one year) or change the date the rent is due. To change the terms of a written lease, the parties can either re-write the lease, or just make the changes and have both parties initial them, then sign the lease, and keep a copy of the signed lease

If you feel the lease your new landlord is offering you is unfair, you can try to negotiate a change to that term. If the landlord refuses, you must decide whether to sign the lease as-is, for consider finding a new place to rent. If you sign the lease as-is, remember that you have agreed to follow all the lease’s terms.

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