10 Things to Ask Before Signing Your Lease

signing a leaseYou have found that perfect apartment. Everything looks great, you love the location and you’re ready to sign. But, wait, have you read what you are signing? Before you sign your lease, there are 10 questions you should ask your property manager and have solid answers to.

1. How do you handle emergency repair situations?

Not all apartments offer emergency repair services. You may have to wait for the next business day or contact an emergency repair service on your own. Therefore, you will want to work this out first before signing.

2. Can you enter my apartment without notice? What situations would allow this?

You don’t have anything to hide, but it is nice to know when a property manager will enter your apartment without telling you. While you might not own it, you have the right to some privacy.

3. Will you show the apartment before I move out?

This is important. If your lease is about to end and you aren’t renewing it, how do they show the unit? You don’t want strangers walking through your apartment while you’re still there.

4. How much notice do you need before I move out?

This should be in your lease, but you also want to clarify it with the property manager. Some places require 15 days’ notice while others can require up to 60 days.

5. What are the rules about subletting?

These days it is hard to find an apartment building that lets you sublet. So, if you can’t finish out the lease or need to get rid of the apartment, you might be in a bind. Find out the rules for subletting before you sign the lease.

6. What alterations can I make to the unit?

Some places will let you paint a wall, while others won’t even let you hang pictures or put any nail holes in the wall. Find out what alterations are allowed and what alterations could reduce how much of your security deposit (if any) you get back at the end of the lease.

7. Are you planning any construction or updates to the units?

This is important. You don’t want to be relocated or deal with loud construction that you didn’t know about.

8. What utilities am I responsible for?

Some apartments cover a lot of utilities, others will only cover the cost of sewage. You want to know how much you have to pay for your unit and how much of your rent goes to utilities.

9. How do I earn my security deposit back?

Find out how you get your security deposit back and what situations could cause you to not get it back.

10. How do you keep the apartments and tenants safe?

You want to know what your managers do to keep you and your possessions safe. Do they have security cameras? Do they do background checks on new tenants? If you want to feel secure where you live, this is important to ask.

Apr 2014
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