by: Nathan Katz
Tenant Apartment Lease Concerns
We all need a place to live. Many of us are too mobile to buy a house or condo. Because a home purchase is such a large investment we opt instead to rent an apartment. In doing so, we are required to sign an APARTMENT LEASE. Many think they can simply sign whatever the apartment management or owner gives them, but that will put you at risk should anything come up.
Often, we are so anxious to get the apartment we like that we do not consider reading the lease closely or asking for revisions that are not suitable. Many times the lease may be fine, but at the very least you need to be aware of the specifics of certain matters. In addition, if you find sections within the lease that are not applicable to your situation, then you should have them removed or cross them out. Be sure and obtain a copy of the lease showing the signed document as having those things crosses out or excluded.
- Validate rental period, and rental amount. What day of the month is the rent due? Make sure you understand what happens if the rent is late. For example: Are there fees for paying the rent late? Is there a grace period that allows for late payment without extra fees? How late can you pay before a threat of eviction will come?
- If you have a pet, what are the pet policies? Are there any additional fees or deposits? Is there a weight limit for dogs?
- You should precisely know if any other services are included in your rental fee? Services commonly included are trash pickup, snow removal and repairs of appliances, plumbing and electrical wiring system. Additional services may include provisions regarding painting or carpet upgrade. Are there assigned parking spaces?
- What rights does your landlord have to enter your apartment without your consent? All landlords have some rights of entry as it is their property, but there should be provisions that spell out exactly what those rights are.
- You should know what violations may cause the owner or management to terminate the lease and ask you to leave? How much time is involved to issue a notice? Make sure these items are included in your agreement as it can make a big difference if anything unforeseen happens.
- The APARTMENT LEASE should contain verbiage regarding time periods for notices to you and from you. In the event, you must move out, what are the penalties and fees required for breaking your lease agreement. Know that many leases automatically renew if you do not give written notice of your intention to move at the end of your lease. So understand what those requirements are so that when your lease is up, it has not been auto-renewed obligating you to another year.
- Finally, make sure you understand who is responsible for what repairs. If your refrigerator, stove or dishwasher breaks, who pays to repair it.
By taken a little extra time to examine your APARTMENT LEASE, your rental experience can be free of unexpected obligations.