For the lease agreement to be binding the landlord must sign and his signature must be witnessed. The tenant does not need to sign for the lease to be binding, occupation of the premises is considered to be acceptance of the lease agreement. An exculpatory clause in standard residential apartment lease exempting the landlord from liability for any injury to person or loss of or damage to property form any cause is valid and enforceable. The lease should state who is responsible for repairing the property, and also when and how repairs to the property are to be made. When the tenant pays rent in advance, the rent becomes the property of the landlord. If there is an option to renew the lease in the lease agreement, the landlord must renew the lease upon notice from the tenant. If leased property is sold while a lease agreement is in effect then the new landlord is bound by that lease.
The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.