When someone enters into a rental agreement as a tenant, in most cases, a written agreement, called a “lease,” is drawn up and signed. The written lease signed by both landlord and tenant is a binding contract defining the new landlord-tenant relationship. It not only identifies the names of the landlord and tenant, but also lists the terms of the rental agreement and the responsibilities of both parties.
You should never sign any legal document without first reading it, and this goes double for leases. If you have a written lease, read it carefully as you will be required to fully comply with all the terms you agree to when you sign that lease. Ideally, the best course of action is to avoid a lease dispute before it happens. As such, review a proposed lease, identify potential problem provisions, seek revisions if needed, and if necessary renegotiate the terms of the lease with the other party. A good lease should be crafted in such a way as to prevent potential disagreements between the landlord and tenant by reducing any ambiguities concerning the rights and responsibilities of both the property owner and a renter. Yes, drafting or negotiating a good lease is not easy, but there are plenty of professionals who can do just that.
A landlord in New Jersey is subject to some of the strongest pro-tenant housing laws in the United States. However, in addition to many rights, tenants also have responsibilities. It is important to understand what these are and what the consequences may be if these responsibilities are violated. You do not want to end up in court for lease violation. It may not seem like a big deal, but if handled incorrectly it can end up with your eviction.