5 Things You Should Know Before Signing a Lease

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Apartments come in all sizes, which leaves plenty of room for hiccups when choosing the perfect place. Eliminate extra hassles during the apartment hunting process by asking plenty of questions. The goal is to know as much as possible about the place you will live in for the next period of your life. Here are 5 important things to consider before signing your name on the lease.

  1. Take a good look around

Drive around the neighborhood during the day and night. You could get a good sense of how noisy the area is during various times of the day. Your living space should be peaceful. Evaluate the area before settling down. Since being comfortable is a major priority, do not put all your eggs in one basket. Try not to sign the first lease because the community appears peaceful the first time around. Do some more research, and then narrow your options to the top three apartments before signing the rental agreement.

  1. Read every single document

The security deposit and first month’s rent is affordable. You like what you see so far and you’re eager to sign the dotted line. Take your time with the final step to avoid headaches later. Read every detail on the lease from the first page to the last. Ask questions along the way. This allows you to not miss information and to ask the tough questions while your landlord is right in front of you. When problems arrive, everyone turns to the lease. Knowing what you are getting into is in black and white. Just in case any gray area exists, ask to have any verbal agreements written into the document.

  1. Fix it up!

Is your apartment in tip top condition? Landlords must meet home inspection state laws. Your safety is imperative, and your apartment space should meet and exceed compliance. After major issues are covered, aesthetics follow. Take pictures and write down carpet damage and peeled wall coverings. You want the full security deposit at lease termination. This requires you return the place to the owner in good condition. Once you are comfortable with what you see, now you may proceed with the lease.

  1. To sublet or not?

College towns notoriously allow students to grant their place to sub leasers. This is an opportunity that must be addressed before taking action. Assumptions are counterproductive, especially when it can land you in court. If you plan to vacation a lot or will not occupy your apartment seasonally, simply ask your building manager about their subleasing policy. Consider a month-to-month rental contract if the policy is not suitable for your pockets.

  1. Cover your assets

Living on the first floor of an apartment building widens the chance for flooding. From the laundry room down the hall to a severe thunderstorm, your items risk being damaged. Fires and hail storms add to the natural disasters destroying people’s property. Do not expect the landlord to pay for losses incurred. Check the lease for information regarding renter’s insurance. A package costs around $200.00 on average for one year. A couple hundred bucks is well worth the investment to avoid starting over.

Apartment hunting is serious business. The experience entails solid research, reading all paperwork, and fixing loose ends in the apartment itself. Knowing if you can sublease as well as how to retrieve loss property during inclement weather is essential to your apartment checklist. Take these five steps toward signing a lease for your dream apartment.

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