The relationship between a landlord and tenant is a common, yet complex one. Beneath the surface of the exchange of money for a place to live are a series of transactions, promises and rights that are not always acknowledged at the start of the landlord/tenant relationship. For example, some landlords and tenants rely on a spoken lease sealed with a handshake. Of course a written lease may be a better option for both landlord and tenant as it puts each person on notice as to what there respective rights and responsibilities are. For tenants, make sure you understand all the terms in the lease. Typically, the landlord presents the lease to the tenant and most terms may be in his or her favor. Pay particular attention to clauses that set forth such things as responsibility for maintenance, what happens if the apartment is damaged by fire, how disputes are to be handled, and how much notice is required before a tenant can move out. These are topics that may not be an issue at the time a lease is formed, but can become critical at a later date.