While oral agreements seem friendly and informal, if you and your landlord later disagree about an issue, a written lease will clarify the agreement and minimize the conflict.
Here are some preventative measures that may prove helpful.
Keep copies of any correspondence between you and your landlord.
Put issues in writing and keep copies of the rental agreement. Be sure these important terms are in your residential lease (although this list is not inclusive):
The length of your tenancy
The amount of deposits and rent
Existing defects, damages and repairs to the property
Who will pay for utilities
Whether you can keep pets
How much late fees will be charged
How much of the deposit will apply to cleaning
The extent of access the landlord has to the property while you are occupying it
Remember, if you break a lease without good cause, you are responsible for the remainder of the rent due under the lease.
Finally, if all else fails, see a lawyer. Be sure to choose someone you trust; someone who is experienced in handling landlord/tenant matters. Contact the law office of Platt & Westby to speak with an experienced Arizona real estate attorney.