Become a Lease Genius

A lease is a binding legal contract between you (the tenant or lessee) and the landlord (lessor). You are given the possession of an apartment that is owned by the landlord and, therefore, there are rules as to what you must do and not do. A typical lease states the terms of the rental agreement and is legally enforceable. Most landlords use the Standard Boston Lease with an addendum.

What’s Included in Your Lease

Required Information Addendum Rules Considerations
  • Date of lease
  • Pets
  • Maintenance issues
  • Landlord/property manager contact information
  • Apartment delivery “as-is” clause
  • Fees and non-refundable terms
  • Name of all tenants
  • AirBnB restriction
  • Pest extermination
  • Address and unit # of the lease property
  • Fees for repair due to negligence
  • Included utilities (heat, electricity, water)
  • Dates of contract (start and end)
  • Additional addendums (lead, mold, etc.)
  • Apartment condition statement
  • Term of contract (fixed term or tenant-at-will)
  • Required written notice before moving out
  • Working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Rent amount (total and monthly installments due)
  • Trash and recycling guidelines
  • Get oral agreements between you and your landlord in writing
  • Date rent is due
  • Legal notice fees (14 day, etc.)
  • Your landlord has a legal obligation to respond to tenant concerns in a timely manner
  • Maintenance contact information
  • Guest policy
  • Your lease does not protect against theft of or damage to your belongings
  • Space for lessee(s) and lessor to sign
  • Smoking regulation
  • Early termination
  • Extreme cleaning fees
  • Renter’s insurance
  • Subletting requirements
  • Noise and quiet hours


Ready to Sign?

Once you have seen the apartment, been approved, and reviewed the lease, you are almost done.

Here are your final steps before you sign.  

  • Get verbal promises in writing! It may feel awkward to ask for verbal promises (from your landlord, realtor, broker, etc.) to be put in writing, but it will protect you and ensure that everything you are agreeing to is legally binding. 
  • Ask any remaining questions! Never sign a lease to which you do not agree! You can walk away from a lease before you sign it, however, you may lose any non-refundable fees. Here are some examples of questions to ask before you sign. 
    • Are sublets likely to be approved?
    • What is the process for subletting?
    • What time is move in? Move out?
    • What is the best way to contact maintenance for an emergency (no heat, water leak, etc)?
  • One final check! Use our Lease Genius Checklistto review your own lease. Make sure your lease isn’t missing any information and you know the important addenda items.   
  • Want a second opinion about a clause or rule? After reviewing your lease, fill out the Lease Review form with specific questions for our team! We will provide some insight within 24-48 hours.  

After You Sign! 

  • Get a copy of your lease. A landlord is legally required to provide you with one copy of your lease (hard copy or electronic) for free. 
  • Obtain receipts for all deposits and payments made to the realtor.  
  • Make a moving plan well in advance of the first day of your lease. Here’s what to expect on  September 1st  and general moving tips to get started.  

Lease Review Tools

Below is access to our Lease Genius Guide, Lease Genius Checklist, and Lease Inquiry Form. Click on whichever resource you need!


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