What should I be concerned about when signing a lease?

As with any written contract, you should understand and agree with all of the terms. Leases usually are form contracts that may contain language not easily understood and that may unfairly favor the landlord. If you do not understand something, ask the landlord questions and obtain clarification in writing, or seek help from a lawyer. Signing a lease begins a relationship with your landlord that will continue throughout the term of the lease. You therefore should keep records of rental payments, written repair requests, etc. If you request it in writing, and the lease is subject to the Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Act, a landlord must give you a written receipt for rental payments. 

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