Ways You’re Violating Your Lease and Don’t Even Know It  

signing a leaseThere is a lot to read in your lease — you know it. Most likely you skimmed over the important material, such as when rent is due, when you can end the lease, etc. But, if you are like most renters, you’re violating your lease and you don’t even know it. While most landlords won’t call you on it, if they do, you could risk not only being evicted, but lose out on your security deposit.

Your Cousin Is Staying With You for a Few Weeks

Your lease most likely specifies that any guest that stays for an extended period of time must be placed on your lease. A lot of renters don’t realize that their landlord stipulates what constitutes a guest and what is considered a “tenant”.

You Hung Up Your Photographs

You wanted your rental unit to feel more like home, but any improvements or alterations could reduce your security deposit. Some leases prohibit putting any holes into the walls what-so-ever. That means even a minor change like hanging a picture could mean you’ve just violated your lease.

You Have a Home-Based Business

Perhaps you do freelance art work or you’re a writer. But, make sure your lease doesn’t say “residential” only. Because, running your own business out of your home could be a violation. In most cases, however, if the business is just you and no one else — and clients don’t enter your home — you should be alright. But, you may want to discuss the situation with your landlord to clarify it.

You Display Campaign Signs on Your Windows

You’re political and it is within your right. But, displaying those campaigning signs might violate your lease agreement. Some lease agreements directly prohibit any display on the premises that doesn’t have to do with the apartment complex. So, check your lease before proudly displaying who you will be voting for this year.

You Got a Waterbed or Fish

Most leases have specific clauses regarding waterbeds and fish tanks. They are prohibited due to the amount of damage they can cause if they were to break. Check your lease before you decide to go retro or before you get a fish as a pet.

You Got a New Car and Didn’t Tell the Landlord

If you have assigned parking stalls, it is likely you register your vehicle with the property manager. If you got a new one and didn’t tell them, you could be in violation of that rule. Always let your landlord know when you get a new vehicle, especially if it is parked in assigned parking stalls.

Jun 2014