Breach of Contract: 4 Things to Look for In Your Next Lease

by HoulonBerman on November 16, 2012

(US law and generally) Leasing an apartment, whether it is your first or 50th time, can be stressful. The legal paperwork can seem especially complicated and leaves many renters confused about their rights.

Before you sign any paperwork it is important to understand what you should be looking for in your legal papers. You should understand the limitations of the contract and the potential actions that can be taken if a breach of contract occurs such as lawsuits.

Keep reading to discover 4 things you may want to look for in your next lease.

Basic Responsibilities

Lease agreements are in place to protect both the landlord and the renter. Within the confines of the agreement there should be a section that states that the landlord agrees to keep the rental in good condition. This clause means the landlord agrees to honor requests, such as fixing faulty appliances, re-painting the interior and exterior periodically, and ensuring the rental property is livable and fully functional.

Along the same lines it is the tenants responsibility to read the fine print of a lease, understand what each clause means, and fully adhere to their responsibilities. For example, many leases include clauses that prohibit the tenant from making changes to the apartment. If changes are made, such as pulling up carpet, altering wall colors or disturbing the layout of the space, the tenant is in breach of contract. In this case the landlord can move to evict the tenant and attempt to collect compensation for the changes made to the space.


Many leases have clauses about pets built into them. If you have a pet or are planning to obtain a pet after you move into your place check the lease for the actual rules about an animal. In many cases rentals that do not allow pets will have it stated in the contract.  You must comply with this regulation.

In some cases pets are permitted under a certain size, or excluding certain breeds or types of pets. Read carefully before you choose this space as failure to comply to this regulation can be a costly mistake. In most cases, if you have a pet in a rental that does not allow for them the landlord can evict you.

Excessive Noise

Excessive noise is another issue that landlords often have worked into a lease agreement. As a tenant you are expected to keep the noise to a minimal level — especially during the evening hours. Failure to comply with this clause may put you in breach of your contract. Before you sign a lease check the clauses.

Some people’s lifestyles simply do not mesh with the rules and regulations of the rental property. If you choose to sign the lease you will have to comply with the noise regulations set forth.


Before you sign on the dotted line of any rental agreement read any and all clauses about damage to the apartment. Take pictures the day you sign the agreement so you have evidence to backup any and all claims in the case of a problem.

Damage to an apartment could put you in breach of contract and will often force you to relinquish your security deposit. Be sure that you are aware of the agreement and the damages that will cause a breach of contract.

If you are unclear on any of the information shared above, please contact a trusted real estate attorney to resolve any questions you may have.





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