What should be included in a lease?

The lease states who the landlord and tenant/s are, where the property is, who can live there and what the deposit and the rent will be. It should also state what rent change will happen in the event that the tenancy continues for longer than a year. Usually a deposit of at least 1 month’s rent would be required at the beginning of the tenancy, and rent would expect to be increased annually by inflation.

It details what the tenants’ responsibilities are, such as cleaning including the windows, taking out the bins (and on what days), keeping the communal areas in flats clean and unimpeded and looking after the garden where it is for sole use of a property not divided into flats. It should also state whether there is parking and where, when the rent is due, whether the tenant will maintain electrical and gas appliances and boilers, and that the tenant will insure their contents and the inside of the property for fire and similar risks.

It details what the landlord’ responsibilities are, such as maintenance of the outside so will typically provide a property that is wind and water tight, that the property is maintained and has buildings insurance and insurance of the landlord’s contents. For properties which share communal areas, e.g. flats, the gardens are maintained by the landlord.

This is by no means a definitive list, reference to your responsibilities should be determined by reading the actual lease.