As a legal arrangement made effective at time of signing, the rental lease outlines the tenant and landlord responsibilities. It is important to review the lease in detail prior to signing, as it will include everything expected of the tenant and details what the landlord will provide. Students are encouraged to have the lease reviewed by an attorney prior to signing. Undergraduate students have access to Student Legal Services as part of their Student Fee.
It is recommended students keep a signed copy of the lease for their own records and explore the following information. For additional information or questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Off-Campus Student Living team.
As a legal arrangement made effective at time of signing, the lease outlines the tenant and landlord responsibilities. It is important to review the lease in detail prior to signing, as it will include everything expected of the tenant and details what the landlord will provide.
Prior to signing a lease, students are encouraged to have the lease reviewed by an attorney to ensure they understand the terms to which they would be legally bound. Undergraduate students have access to Student Legal Services as part of their Student Fee who can provide lease reviews and answer legal questions about any potential lease.
The lease legally binds signing tenants and also the landlord to the terms contained within it. Review your lease for information that details what your landlord will provide.
- New York State essentially requires residences to have carbon monoxide alarms installed and maintained by landlords.
- Duty of Repair outlines that landlords are responsible for maintaining electrical and plumbing systems in the dwelling unit, repairing any peeling lead-based paint, maintaining the unit and any supplied equipment (e.g., refrigerators, stoves, ovens, etc.).
- Residential buildings in the City of Syracuse must maintain a temperature of no less than 68 degrees Fahrenheit between September 15 and May 31, whenever the outside temperature falls below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Landlords are required to take reasonable precautions against foreseeable harms that may occur on their property.
- Landlords are required to install and maintain operable smoke alarms in all rental units throughout New York State.
Review the lease for all expectations for which you are responsible. If you have difficulty understanding any of the parts to your lease, it is recommended that you contact an attorney to assist.
- A lease may require a co-signor/guarantor. This is someone who is willing to co-sign the lease or guarantee that should the tenant not be able to pay the rent, they are willing to do so.
- Confirm the lease dates, outlining when you are permitted to move in and when you must move out.
- By video or photograph, prior to moving in and after you’ve moved out, always document the condition of all aspects of your rental unit. If anything is damaged or does not work upon move-in, ensure you have that captured and contact your landlord for repair. If you do not have evidence of prior damage when you move out, you may be charged for the damage after you vacate the property.
- Work to keep the property clean and safe. Dispose of trash and recyclables regularly.
- Be careful when moving furniture to not damage floors, walls or other surfaces.
- As soon as you notice any repairs or maintenance needed, you are responsible for reporting it to your landlord. As needed repairs can cause damage to other areas of the property, it is important that you report concerns promptly.
- Your lease may require you to notify your landlord:
- if you will be away for an extended period to ensure utilities are set properly;
- of your intended departure and/or decision to not renew your lease.
- You have a right to privacy in your rental unit. However, your landlord may enter:
- to make needed repairs;
- to inspect the unit;
- to supply necessary or agreed upon services;
- upon providing reasonable notice and at a reasonable time to show the property to prospective tenants;
- in case of an emergency without prior notice.
Subleasing occurs when a tenant rents the unit to a third party (subtenant). When signing a sublease, the subtenant becomes responsible to the tenant for performing all obligations set forth in the sublease agreement, and the tenant for performing all obligations set forth in the original lease agreement. Important notes include the following.
- The sublease becomes an additional legal agreement between the original tenant and the subtenant, but it does not absolve the original tenant from the lease originally signed.
- Original tenants who acquire subtenants remain legally responsible for all requirements and conditions in the original lease agreement; if the subtenant fails to pay rent, the original tenant remains responsible for the rent.
- Not all lease agreements permit a sublease. Review the lease to learn if a sublease is an option or consult an attorney. Never attempt to draft the terms of a sublease yourself. Always work with an attorney to ensure that the terms and conditions are properly written.