Renting a new house or apartment is the beginning of an exciting, fresh chapter in your life. Before you dot all of your i’s, make sure your rental agreement is informational and accurate. Always read between the lines to ensure you get the living arrangements you deserve.
Understand the Lease Type
First things first, you need to understand the type of lease you agree to. There are month-to-month leases, which are flexible but sometimes expensive. You might be signing an automatic renewal lease, in which case, make sure you provide notice if you do not desire the lease to renew. Fixed-term leases are another option. These provide you with a fixed end date. At that point, you can decide if you would like to stay and sign a new lease or move.
Assure the Property Description Is Accurate
From the start, you want to establish that your future space has everything the model unit or home you toured had. Check that the square footage is accurate down to every last number. Check that the amenities are correct. If the complex or neighborhood claims to have tennis courts, but you do not see it on the agreement, make it known! Finally, ensure the address is the one agreed upon. Sometimes apartment complexes will play switcheroo with units, but if you decide on one near the pool, make sure that the address is correct.
Check the Necessary Contact Information
Your faucet might leak, or your garbage disposal might malfunction, in which case you need to be able to get in touch with your landlord or your apartment complex’s property manager. Make sure that their contact information is on the rental agreement and the hours they are available. You should also include your contact information in the contract.
Review the Payment Details
You need to know when rent is due and how much it totals to be. Your agreement should have the pay-by date and the amount, or a breakdown of added utilities and fees. It should also contain late fee information. If you plan to bring your cat and dog, make sure the agreed-upon pet fee is also on your agreement.
Know the Renter’s Rights
Knowing your renters right is imperative. Every agreement should include your rights as a renter. Pay extra attention to this area. If your rights as a renter are violated, you will want to reach out to a real estate law firm. A real estate attorney can assure that any violations are adequately addressed.
Ensure the agreement adheres to health and safety regulations, is non-discriminatory, and does not violate any rent control laws.
Examine the Landlord Obligations
Landlords are required to disclose certain information to you. For example, if there is anything potentially harmful in your future living space, such as it once had a severe bug infestation. Also, note if smoking is allowed as they are required to make this clear to you before you sign the lease.
Get a Second Opinion
If anything seems wrong with your rental agreement, get your law firm to review it. Once your signature is on the document, it is hard, if not impossible, to go back. So make sure you have a professional check for any inconsistencies or red flags before signing.
Are you feeling overwhelmed? Don’t! Moving to a new house or apartment is an important step, so find a place you love! Rental agreements are not too complicated, but they should be done correctly to prevent future problems. Double-check that the contract covers everything you need before signing on to your future!