What to Consider Before Signing a Lease
Finding a good rental is never easy, especially if you’re a first-time renter. FOMO (fear of missing out) can influence your search. You might think you have to sign a lease immediately before someone comes around and takes it off your hand. But that might not be in your best interest.
We’ll examine the various things you should consider before signing your rental lease.
Know the Length of Your Lease
The standard length of a lease will be 12 months. However, if you were hoping to find a rental property with a six or nine-month term, you should ask if they are an option.
Keep in mind short-term leases typically come with monthly fees. These fees can range anywhere from $50 up to $300. Your landlord determines that fee.
Know What You’re Paying For
Make sure you know what is included in the rent. Some rental properties cover water, sewage, and garbage pickup, while others will not cover any utilities.
It’s important to know this information beforehand. That way, you are not spending more money than you thought you would have to.
Know Who’s Responsible for Major Appliances in Your Rental
Read the section on appliances that come with your rental home. Know who must repair appliances if they break or who must maintain the appliances regularly.
Do not assume that your landlord or property manager will handle major repairs on your appliances. It differs from rental to rental.
Carefully Read the Print Regarding Pets
If you’re a pet owner, you should pay close attention to the lease section on animals. If you have pets, you can’t overlook this section, as it states all the fees, deposits, limitations, and your responsibility as a tenant.
Ultimately, you will be responsible for any damages caused by your pets. Your goal is to leave the rental as you found it!
Determine if You Need a Co-Signer
Property managers and landlords might not feel good about handing you a lease if you don’t have a rental history. However, if you are moving in with someone else, they could offer to co-sign your lease, which could increase your chances of getting the rental property.
Even if that person does not have a rental history, your property manager can rest assured that two people are responsible for the rent.
Examine the Rental Property and Take Photos of Any Damages
Don’t sign the lease to any rental home until you’ve seen the place you’ll be inhabiting. Make a note of all damages and take photos of them.
Make sure your landlord or property manager knows about these damages before you sign anything. Or else you risk losing your security deposit.
Consider Your Other Rental Options
You want to make sure you choose the best of the bunch. After all, you don’t want to be stuck with a rental home or apartment that isn’t a good fit. Re-examine all your options. Go on other tours.
Think to yourself, “is this rental the best option I have?” If not, apply to a rental property you deem more favorable.
You Have the Right to be Picky
You have the right to be picky about the property you reside in. After all, you don’t want to leave a rental after a very brief time. The additional expenses of moving and setting up utilities can take a toll on your savings.
You want to know what you’re getting into before you invest your money into the place you’re considering.