Rental contracts When renting a house, you have to consider your own rights and needs before signing that lease. Leases protect tenants and landlords rights alike - these rights are laid out fully in any lease you sign. Leases are considered legal contracts, so its important you know what you're signing and what you're giving up. Your lease should contain your rent details, and how much grace you'll have if you have problems paying. Your lease will also detail who your landlord is and give you contact details for them. You'll need to consider what your lease should cover - whether you're allowed pets or to redecorate. It should outline what your responsibilities are to do with the house - whether you'll be responsible for the house - whether you'll be required to keep the garden, if you have one - what bills your rental cost covers, what taxes and fees to do with the house you'll be required to pay and how long your lease is for. A short hold lease is 6 months, and other leases can last longer. An average of around a year is a good length, though it all depends on how comfortable you are with the idea of possibly moving again within 12 months. It should also detail how long it renews for, when it renews. You'll need to ensure your notice period is a fair one - and get information on how that will work. Its always a good idea to make sure your landlord is responsible for any breakages, such as the heating, boiler, or plumbing - and that you are only responsible for minor breakages, if at all. Optional additions to your lease might include whether you're responsible for window breakages, and other minor things - and whether you need to take out insurance to cover your property or whether that's included. The most important thing to remember about your lease is that you should be completely satisfied with it, and that it doesn't put you in a position that's unreasonable, or unmanageable. Good leases give you the power to live in the home comfortably, without paying the major bills, and those leases are also usually the most acceptable for both tenant and landlord.