What You Need to Know Before Signing a Lease

Once you’ve found your Athens apartment and have been approved to rent, naturally, the next part of the apartment securing process is signing the lease. A lease is a binding contract that outlines the required terms you must follow in order to live in your rented space. It is a contractual agreement between you and your landlord, and if broken, can result in hefty fees or–worst case scenario–a lawsuit. As an international UGA student, you will want to make sure you are very careful when signing your lease. Below are some helpful points you should keep in mind:

  • Before signing, it is important to READ THE LEASE THOROUGHLY AND UNDERSTAND IT! If you don’t understand something, don’t be afraid to ask for questions or clarifications.
  • Lease terms can differ by the apartment, so it's important that you fully understand everything to avoid any trouble. Even if it's unknowingly, violating your lease terms can result in some serious repercussions.
  • Typically, lease terms in Georgia are set and non-negotiable. It's unlikely that a landlord will make a special circumstance for you and change the terms. If you are uncomfortable or find yourself disagreeing with a landlord’s lease terms, the best decision for you may be to find another apartment with lease terms that you agree with.
  • We want to reiterate that so much trouble can be avoided if you read your lease! The lease should tell you everything regarding what you're allowed and not allowed to do while renting.
  • Lastly, it’s important to keep a copy of the lease so that you can always refer to it, if needed.

« Back to International Student Resources