When your renting an apartment or house you have to consider your own rights and needs before signing the lease. A lease or rental agreement is supposed to protect both you and the landlord. Leases act just like legal contracts so it is very important that you look them over very well before signing.
More and more people are moving towards becoming renters due to the mortgage and housing meltdown. I want to give you a few pointers to look before signing any paperwork because landlords will write leases to work in their favor, not yours!
Your lease or rental agreement should include the following:
1. Your Rent Details
2. How long is your grace period? Do you know how much time you are allowed before payment is considered late?
3. Where you are allowed pets or not?
4. Are you allowed to redecorate the house or apartment?
5. What are your responsibilities as a tenant?
6. What bills will your rent will cover?
7. How will your lease be for? Usually it is 6 months or a Year
Be sure to know when it renews and if you can renew the lease, because nothing is worse then packing up your stuff each year to find another place, it’s just a hassle if you ask me!
Ensure that your notice period is fair, and make sure you know how the process works. Some landlords will try to have you out of your apartment or house within a few days, knowing that is not possible especially if you have a lot of belongings.
Make sure the landlord is responsible for any wear and tear on the house, this is a give with any apartment complex, but it is always safe to check!
Some more additions that you can add to a lease is if you are responsible for vandalism and other minor things. See if you need to take out renters insurance to protect your belongings. This type of insurance is fairly cheap and can cover a lot of things in the event that something goes wrong.
The terms that I just laid out are both reasonable and just for both the landlord and the tenant. Be sure to get a sweeter deal when negotiating the terms with your landlord.
In the end you are the one that should be completely satisfied with your lease. A good rental agreement gives you the satisfaction of knowing you made a good choice of residents and you don’t have to sweat the small stuff!