Things you don’t know about your lease
Getting ready to rent a new apartment? In addition to the preparations you’re making for your big move, it’s important to make sure you’ve fully familiarized yourself with the terms of your apartment lease.
While most lease documents are straightforward and won’t contain any unexpected surprises, it’s still vital to make sure you know exactly what you are committing to and of any restrictions that might be placed on you as a resident of your new apartment.
Here are the areas that experts recommended double checking before you sign off on your lease:
The start and end date of your tenancy: Are you moving in and vacating on the time frame expected/requested?
Contingencies for post-lease continuance: Some apartments will allow you to rent month to month after you have completed your first year of residency. Others will ask for another year-long lease or may offer a shorter term lease, such as six months.
The rental price and deposit amount: Make sure the dollar amounts match up to what you’ve discussed with the leasing agent.
Terms of anticipated increases: This probably won’t pertain to your first year of residency, as you are signing to rent the apartment at the stated monthly price. However, read carefully to make sure there aren’t any causes/situations in which the lease states the landlord can raise the rent. You also might find a standard second-year increase contained in the lease.
Reasons for termination: This should be detailed and specific. Make sure you aren’t agreeing to any vague loopholes under which a landlord could evict you “for cause” or without violation of the lease terms.
Move-out penalties: If you need to leave your apartment before the lease is up, will you be assessed an additional fee?
Tenant-responsible repairs: The lease should state who is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the apartment unit, and it should not be the tenant.
Is renters’ insurance required? Some apartment complexes mandate renters’ insurance. You should have it anyway, because it’s a valuable protection, but it may be required by your lease as well.
Any policies about subletting or visitors? Make sure you know what rules you’ve agreed to abide by before you move in and start having guests.
Good luck in your new place!