Checklist to evaluate lease terms

Checklist to evaluate lease terms

Jun 09, 2008
Click here to download a PDF of the following checklist.

Before you rent a leasehold, make sure you're satisfied with the answers to these questions and that you get these details in writing:

> How long is the term of the lease ?

> What is the rent and how much will it increase over the term of the lease?

> Who pays for utilities, insurance, and property taxes?

> Are there any property tax escalation clauses? In other words, if the town raises property taxes, can the landlord pass them onto you?

> Are there maintenance charges for common areas shared by various tenants? If so, how are they computed?

> Who pays for fix-up costs to make the building suitable for veterinary work?

> What happens to the property at the end of the lease term?

> Is a security deposit required?

> Who signs and guarantees the lease?

> What are the repair and maintenance clauses vs. capitalized repairs? In other words, which repairs are considered wear-and-tear and the tenant's responsibility, and which are substantial repairs that improve the capital of the property and the landlord's responsibility?

> What are the options-to-renew clauses?

> Can the lease be assigned to someone of your choosing when you sell?

> Are there escape clauses, especially if the landlord is not fulfilling his or her end of the lease agreement?

> Are there any free rent periods?