Student Legal Services

This video was produced by U-M students for a class project.  In this video, you will hear Gayle Rosen speak on the importance of reading the lease before you sign it, to include specific areas to review.  

A lease is a valid contract. Your signature on the lease commits you to its terms. Before you sign the lease, it is essential that you consider several factors:

Have you thoroughly read the lease?

  • Is the rental amount correct?
  • Who is responsible for paying utilities?
  • When does the lease end?
  • Do you have to mow the lawn?
  • Are all promises in writing? Verbal promises may not be enforceable.

Roommate Selection!

Choose your roommates wisely—you may be responsible for the full monthly rent even if your chosen roommate does not return to Ann Arbor. You can not terminate your lease just because you and your roommate no longer want to live together.

Almost every lease makes all of the tenants “jointly and severally liable.” That means each of the tenants is responsible for everything. If one tenant does not pay rent, the other tenants are still responsible for the full rent.

Paying a Deposit?

Do not pay a deposit to hold the property unless you are sure you want to rent or the deposit is refundable if you decide not to rent.

The above points are not all-inclusive.  Ms. Rosen is available to review and help navigate you through the process.  She is also available to speak to any student group/organization on this topic. This can be accomplished by requesting a speaker.