For all of the great things about apartment living, there is one that often strikes dread in the hearts of renters – the all-important lease. A legal document intended to provide for a stable situation, a lease can be fraught with complicated terms and conditions. Whether you are a potential renter or a current one, you may be concerned about your landlord implementing lease changes to your Piscataway rental. In general, the type of contract you have and the significance of the change determine the boundaries of the landlord’s authority to make changes mid-lease.

Typical leases address a wide range of key topics such as possession, utilities, renewal, restrictions, security deposits, and penalties for early termination. Each party that signs a lease becomes legally bound by its terms, regardless of how well they study the provisions. Many people only give a cursory glance before signing a rental agreement, but there can be a lot of essential details in the fine print. While most renters sign a one-year lease, some properties are more flexible and offer a six-month or month-to-month leases.

If a landlord or property manager wants to make a major change to a lease with a specific duration, they can’t do it arbitrarily. Instead, they have to draw up an addendum that outlines the modifications and amends the original lease. As a renter, it is within your rights to not sign an addendum and it won’t change the current lease. However, keep in mind that the addendum can simply be made part of the lease upon renewal so if it’s truly a change you can’t live with, you may need to consider finding a new place. Implementing lease changes to your Piscataway rental is easier for the landlord if you have a month-to-month agreement. In that situation, the only stipulation is that you have to be given 30 days’ notice. Once that time is up, the change goes into effect whether you agree with it or not.

So, what sorts of changes are major enough for these guidelines to apply? Generally, anything that costs you more money or that materially alters the way you live day-to-day such as new pet fees or a new ban on smoking. In contrast, a new rule against leaving laundry unattended or a new spot designated for trash are examples of minor modifications that a landlord could likely make mid-lease without recourse. Implementing lease changes to your Piscataway rental can seem like a daunting prospect, but you do have rights. Additionally, major changes are most frequently instituted when a lease ends, giving you the choice of whether to continue under the new terms or move out.

Implementing lease changes to your Piscataway rental should be a formal process and agreed upon by all parties. Without leases, we’re all left vulnerable!