It is important to know in advance that the landlord has approved you as a new tenant. Once you have been accepted it is O.K. to sign. The next concern would be the deposit and how much to pay if you are moving in where others have lived for a while. It would be wise to agree on the condition of the unit before you sign a new lease. Complete an “inventory & condition report”. Discuss any “imperfections” with your housemates and possibly the landlord. Get things fixed at the beginning of your tenancy or get an agreement, in writing, from your housemates that you will not be held responsible for the specific “imperfections” you have found. If you do not do this you have agreed to accept the place “as is” and may be liable for damages you didn’t make when you are leaving.