A lease or rental agreement is a legally binding contract – meaning that anyone that signs it is legally obligated to fulfill ALL of the requirements.
Ask these 5 key questions to avoid a financial smack in the face when you move out!
So you’ve Found Your Perfect Apartment and understand what it will cost you. Here are the next key questions that you should be sure to ask BEFORE you sign a lease and pay your rent/deposit fee.
Must Ask Questions:
- What do I have to do to get ALL of my security/damage deposit back? #dinneronme
- How do I pay my rent? If there are multiple tenants on the lease, can the payments be divided per person and paid individually? What is the “late rent” policy? Are there any grace period days? What is the late fee?
- What if we have roommate changes? How do we add/change names on the lease, are there any fees? #dontletthedoorhityouintheass. Is there a guest policy? Can you AirBnB a room? What if we want a pet – is it allowed and what does it cost?
- What about terminating the lease early? What are fees and how much notice do I need to give? Also, once the lease term is complete do I have to move out or sign another lease?
- How do I submit a request for maintenance? What if it is an emergency – like a broken pipe or the heat is no longer working?
Other Must Dos!
- Get it in writing! Don’t take the landlord’s word about something that is or is not in the lease. Be sure to cross it out or write it on the lease before you sign! And keep a copy for your records. Once the unit is rented, it is easy to “forget” these things.
- Do a “walkthrough” of the entire apartment and document any damage or wear. It is generally a good idea to take pictures of every room when you move in so that there are no disagreements when you move out.
- Have the locks been re-keyed? You don’t want the previous tenant showing up for breakfast. #uninvited
- Ask what you can change in the apt – Can you hang pictures on the wall, change curtains … or paint a room?
Take a Hike:
Grab your roomies, get your answers for the checklist above and make any changes on the lease agreement.
If you understand and are comfortable with everything in the lease and are OK with all of the costs associated with the apartment – Sign the Lease! #party@myplace #apartmenttherapy
Picking a fantastic roommate – don’t leave it to chance!