The advantages of a written lease are generally considered to be certainty and clarity. The lease sets the rent for the lease term. Unless the language of the lease states otherwise, rent can not be increased during the lease term. A lease spells out the obligations of the tenant and landlord. If there are any disputes between the tenant and the landlord, the lease represents what was agreed upon by the parties. Where there is not a written lease, there are often misunderstandings between the tenant and landlord. The primary disadvantage of a lease is that it kinds the tenant to the premises for a specified amount of time. Therefore, if you are planning to live in the unit for a very short period of time, you may not want a lease. Leases can be made for any length of time, so you could ask the landlord if the lease could be written for the time period you expect to live in the unit. Alternatively, if you may have to move due to a job transfer during the term of the lease, you can ask that the lease include a provision allowing the tenant to terminate without penalty due to employment reasons. Similarly, if you intend to buy a house during the rental period you may ask that the lease include a provision allowing you to terminate without penalty upon closing on a home. Georgia law does not allow a tenant to break a lease because they are buying a home or being transferred by their employer.
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