Unless you sign a monthly lease, you’re locked in for a considerable period when you sign a lease. Initially, you might think that your rental has everything you want. However, if you don’t consider the contract carefully, you might have a long year ahead.
Beware that landlords will typically produce lease terms that favor them, so you must take your time when examining the conditions you’re dedicating to. Here’s a list of factors you should consider before signing a lease.
1. Security Deposit
A month’s rent is the norm for a security deposit. However, it can differ depending on various factors, including credit score. In the event that you have a poor credit score, the landlord might demand two months’ rent upfront.
Make sure you read the fine print keenly. It’s important you identify when you’ll obtain your cash back. A typical lease requires your landlord to release the deposit 30-60 days after vacating the property if you’ve met the stipulated conditions. Don’t let the security deposit refund run longer than required.
2. Pet deposits and fees
If the unit permits pets, you must establish whether there are any associated deposits or fees. The lease should have a detailed policy. A number of landlords charge a pet fee-a nonrefundable payment that property owners charge renters for the privilege of allowing them to keep pets on their property.
Remember, this fee doesn’t cover any pet damage. You’ll incur extra charges in the event that this happens. Typically, a pet deposit is refundable if your pet doesn’t cause damage. However, you must confirm with your landlord to be sure.
If you have a service animal for a pet, the landlord can’t charge a pet deposit or fee. Also, bear in mind that not all states permit a pet deposit or fee.
3. Rental fees and Costs
It might appear obvious that you’ll have to locate a rental whose rent meets your budget. However, your expected monthly costs aren’t always so apparent. You probably won’t deal with merely the rent cost.
Numerous landlords and property management firms charge extra fees, for instance, an application fee. You might also need to pay renters insurance and other extra fees the landlord deems necessary. Conduct research and consider the total moving cost before you sign a lease.
4. Late Fees
It’s common for property owners to charge renters a late fee for paying the rent late. Nevertheless, some states limit the amount property owners can charge. Establish if your state has limitations on late fees and identify them so you don’t pay what you don’t need to. Your landlord shouldn’t charge late fees if the lease doesn’t mention it.
5. Renewal and Termination Date
Your lease’s length and the conditions of your renewal choices are necessary to identify before signing. This differs depending on the agreement you have with the landlord. If the lease doesn’t expect you to give a 30-90 days’ notice of your renewal intentions, various things can happen.
They include the expiry of the lease or the agreement could auto-renew for another year unless you state otherwise. Your landlord should give advance notice if he or she intends to increase your rent for the subsequent leasing period, but this is dependent on state requirements.
Establish whether you’ll be in a position to break the lease early under certain circumstances. For instance, if you need to relocate for job reasons, you’d need to find a different tenant to take your place and cover the remainder of the lease.
It’s imperative you review the agreement before you make a decision. In the event that you obtain approval for the unit, it’s acceptable to ask for some days to examine the contract to make sure its terms are reasonable.
For more information on what to consider before signing a long-term lease, contact us at Apartment Agents or leave a message.