When you sign, your lease be prepared for the following:
Most leases will require payment of some rent at signing. Sometimes, it will be first and last month’s rent. Sometimes just one or the other, but you’ll need to cut a check for the appropriate amount to include with the signed lease. This check will be deposited as soon as the landlord puts his signature on the lease. So make sure you’ve got funds in the account to cover them.
Many landlords will require a payment equivalent to one month’s rent as a security deposit to cover possible damages to the leased premises when you move out. Many tenants forget that they left a security deposit with the landlord. Be sure to have your accountant book your security deposit as an asset on your balance sheet. Make a note in your lease documents file to remember to ask the landlord for a refund of that security deposit when you move out.
Although many jurisdictions do not require a notary for lease signatures, many landlords make them mandatory to avoid signatory disputes later in the lease. Make sure you are the one that gets your signature notarized. Don’t take a chance on someone else submitting your documents for notary when you are not present.
Even though there may be quite a few pages in your lease, make sure that you are getting back AT LEAST one original document with “wet-ink” signatures of both yourself and your landlord. It is recommended that you execute at least three copies of your lease as originals – two for your landlord and one for you. Keep your “wet-ink” original in a safe place. It is a good defense against the landlord using your lease or some change being made to the lease without your knowledge.
Blue Ink Signatures & Initials
Now that high-speed copiers, PDF reproductions and faxed pages are common, the line between original documents and 3rd generation copies are becoming blurred. To make sure your document is an “original” which has the best chance of standing up in court if there’s ever a dispute, initial each and every page with A blue ink pen. Make every one of your signatures with blue ink. This way, when you’re presented with a black and white “original” you’ll know to pull your “blue ink” true original from the file and verify the black and white is not altered to your disadvantage.