Do you know what to look for in an apartment lease? It’s important to know your rights and needs as a renter before signing any apartment’s lease—even a top-rated apartment’s! Although every lease is different, there are several basic components of a rental agreement that most apartment leases contain. Here’s an easy, step-by-step way to evaluate typical clauses in top-rated apartments’ leases, so you can sign your lease feeling confident that you’ve made the right decision.
First, make sure the top-rated apartment’s lease meets your needs. Will you need to sublet your apartment for a few months? Do you have pets? Do you have regular guests, or are you planning on letting guests stay for an extended period of time? All of these circumstances have requirements that a lease could allow or deny. Think about what you’ll need from your lease and read carefully to determine whether or not it will work for you.
Next, understand what typical provisions are included in a top-rated apartment’s lease. This will help you know when something out of the ordinary is written in a lease, as well as whether or not the lease speaks to your needs. Some typical apartment lease clauses address:
1. Pet Policies
Some apartments don’t allow certain breeds of dogs, or dogs over a certain size, and some don’t allow pets at all. Check the lease to ensure that Fred or Fluffy can live safely (and legally!) with you.
2. Maintenance Responsibilities
A top-rated apartment’s lease should place the responsibility of major maintenance and repairs on the apartment’s management. Repairs can add up to be expensive and time-consuming. If a guarantee that the apartment will take care of major repairs isn’t spelled out clearly in the lease, steer clear.
3. Visitors and Guests
Apartments may have restrictions regarding the number of people allowed to be living in a unit at any given time. If you anticipate having roommates, or even guests for a very extended period of time, make sure the lease accommodates your plans.
Policies on subletting can vary widely from apartment to apartment. Some apartments prohibit any subletting, while others require the original lessee to clear the subletter with management first. If you’ll be out of your apartment for a while and would like to sublease, check the rental agreement to see what that top-rated apartment’s rules are. There may also be rules in the lease about extended absences, so be aware of those, as well.
Last, you’ll want to walk into the leasing office with confidence and ready to ask questions. Familiarize yourself with the lease, don’t feel rushed, and don’t be afraid to clarify any aspects of the agreement with the top-rated apartment’s leasing agent. You’re better safe and over-informed than sorry when it comes to signing a lease.
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