You found your dream apartment. Before you sign the rental lease, you need to be sure of what you’re committing yourself to. It might be tempting to sign the rental lease of your new apartment quickly. However, it’s advisable not to ignore any of the potential issues that may arise later. You may think that it’s only a temporary arrangement, so why bother. Well, remember that any aspect you ignore now may cause issues later.
Go through the lease before you sign it, even if it seems to be quite boring. In this post, let’s have a look at some aspects you need to consider before signing your rental lease agreement.
Most of the lease agreements contain a specified timeframe that goes up to 12 months. Go through your lease to find out what happens once the lease term comes to an end. You may have to inform your landlord that you wish to renew your lease. In case you’re not planning to sign the new agreement, you will become a monthly tenant. Some landlords may or may not allow this condition.
At times the agreement gets automatically renewed if you do not notify the landlord that you will be moving out. It’s better to stay well informed ahead of time to avoid surprises at the time of renewal.
Also, most of the renters consider that they can sublet their apartment to outsiders. For instance, if they’re planning to go out of town for a certain period, they may wish to give their space to someone else. However, some lease agreements may contain clauses that prevent you from doing so. Do you think that you will have to sublet your apartment? If so, let your landlord know about it before you sign off the contract. Maybe the landlord will provide you the permission to do so, provided he gets to screen the subletter.
Though it’s common for roomies to stay together in rental houses and condos, it does not mean that the landlord allows it. Even if you sign the agreement along with your roommate, at times, that person may move out, and another person may come in. Most of the landlords may not approve of this. Find out if this is fine with the landlord and if there are any stipulations mentioned in the lease.
Pet Fees and Deposits
Do you have any pets with you? In case they’re allowed in your apartment, find out if there are any deposits or pet fees related to it. Your lease agreement will contain a detailed policy regarding keeping pets.
Most landlords usually charge a certain amount as pet fees. This is generally considered as a non-refundable amount. This is because the landlords are offering you the privilege of allowing you to keep your pets in their property. However, in case your pet animal causes any damage, this amount will not cover it. You will have to pay extra damage fees in case it occurs.
Pet deposits are usually refundable, especially if your pet does not create any property damages. However, find out what the landlord has to say concerning this policy. Do you have a service animal as your pet? Then the landlord cannot charge you with any of the above fees for keeping your pet. Moreover, not all states have fees or deposits for keeping pets. So check out the lease agreement in your region.
The late fees are commonly charged against tenants who make their rent payment late or default in their payments. However, some states have a restriction for the amount that the landlords can charge as late fees. Find out if your state holds any restrictions against late fees. In case you don’t wish to pay for something you don’t have to, finding this out will help you. Also, your landlord won’t be able to charge any late fees in case they are not mentioned in the lease agreement.
Be sure to check whether or not the lease agreement requires the tenant to have their own renters insurance. Whilst renters insurance is not overly expensive, it can be an additional fee you should consider when calculating your final monthly rental costs.
Landlord Inspection Clause
Most of the rental lease agreements contain specific provisions concerning inspections. This permits the landlord to inspect their property once you move in. The terms related to this clause may differ from one place to another.
Look out for clauses that allow the landlord to make unannounced inspections. Also, make sure that it does not contain any unlimited amount of visits. This is because it is a hindrance to your privacy. Make sure that the clause involves landlord inspections only for limited visits. This should also take place with reasonable and proper notice.
Most of the states offer substantial rights to the renter of the apartment. Lookout for any conditions in the agreement that restrict these privileges. For instance, look for clauses that mention the landlord has the right to open an invitation to come to your house anytime.