When you’re ready to sign the lease on an apartment, you’ve probably already gotten answers to most of your major rent-related questions. Location, cost per month, and included utilities are all important considerations before signing any paperwork, but what about the less basic questions? While renting a property isn’t as involved as getting a house, it is legitimately binding, and there are some important questions you must have addressed before signing the contract. Mark Roemer Oakland has compiled a list of 15 questions to ask before signing a lease so you can be prepared.
- What Exactly Are the Lease Terms? – Even if you and your potential landlord have openly mentioned whether your lease will be a year or month-to-month, double-check that the lease term you expect is the one specified. Whatever terms are on the lease are the ones to which you are officially agreeing, so you’ll need more than just confirmation received.
- Is The Rent Pro-Rated If the Lease Does Not Begin on The First Of The Month? – Many leases specify that the first of the month is the day rent is due, but what if you’re relocating on a different date? The majority of the time, your first month’s rent will be pro-rated, which means you’ll only pay for the days you’ll be there.
If your lease expires on a day other than the first, the same rules apply. It’s fairly common in these situations to offer pro-rated rent for the first and last month, so make sure it’s specified in the lease. If it isn’t, ask that your rent be pro-rated for these times.
- What Are the Policies Regarding Early Lease Termination? – Certainly, you are not renting a property with the aim of breaking your lease early, and it is possible that you will have to leave before the end of your lease term.
Before signing, ensure that you comprehend the policies encircling early lease termination, notably whether it is authorized and what the punishments are. While many property owners will allow you to break your lease early, if necessary, there may be a fine or you may be required to forfeit your deposit.
- What Are the Policies Regarding Non-Tenant Access? – Your landlord or a maintenance specialist might need some access to your unit from time to time, but that doesn’t imply that they must be able to come and go as they please. Check to see if your lease requires a certain amount of notification before they can enter your apartment. Most states have different laws regarding how much notice is needed, so check your state’s laws and ensure the lease contains the correct terms.
- How Is the Rent Paid? – Each landlord or management firm has its own method of collecting rent. While in a perfect world, you would be able to pay your rent online each month, it is entirely feasible that you would have to drop off a check or mail it to a particular location.
The more you understand the questions to ask before signing a lease, the better secured you’ll be from surprises or disgusts once the lease begins. You’ll have very little recourse to dispute the things you’ve officially agreed to in the lease, so ensure you get all your questions answered before signing the agreement. By asking the above questions of Mark Roemer Oakland, you should have a smart strategy of what you’re receiving and have a stress-free rental experience.