Before you confirm a lease by signing it, read your copy of the rental contract vigilantly. This is important because the lease may contain certain terms which you would like to be changed. Remember that you must attend to such terms before signing the rental contract because once you have signed the contract; no claims will be of any value and changing the terms of the lease will become nearly impossible.
You may want to change terms pertaining to keeping pets inside the rental property, starting a home business if you are leasing a home, minimum time for which the lease would hold valid before it can be revised or cancelled, subletting a portion of the property to someone else and policies related to refund of security deposits. Make notes of all the terms that you want to be changes.
Arrange a meeting with the landlord and discuss the changes that you have in your mind. Also discuss what will be an agreeable solution for you. See if the landlord is willing to make the proposed changes or not.
If the landlord is adamant and is not ready to change the terms, simply back off from the deal and look for another rental property. However, if the landlord is willing to make the changes that you proposed, make changes to the lease in permanent ink. Remember to make changes on your and landlord’s copy of the lease.
Put your initials and the current date on each change being made to the lease. Request the landlord to do the same. This is important because without the initials, the changes will have no legal value.
Keep your copy of the lease in a safe place so that you can refer to it in future if required.