You’ve found the perfect place and are all ready to sign your lease. Before you do here are a few things you may want to pay attention to:
1.Do you have a roommate?
If you have a roommate, pay particular attention to whether or not you are signing the lease together or as individuals. If you are signing one lease that has you and your roommates name on it, then you could potentially be responsible for your roommates rent if they decide to move out early. If your roommate pays your rent late, or not at all then the bill will go on your credit report as well, even if you personally always pay your rent early. If you are leasing individually then you will only be responsible for your portion of the rent and can not be held accountable for your roomates portion.
2. Make sure you know how long your lease is
Many leasing agencies will offer considerable discounts if you sign a longer lease. If you only plan on staying in your new apartment or house for a year, make sure you aren’t signing a two year lease.
3.Can you sublease?
With some leases you are able to sublease your apartment to someone else for several months, or should you want the remainder of your lease. With a sublease another person would move in to your home for an allocated amount of time, and would lease the space from you rather than from your landlord. Subleasing can be a great option if you are a college student and plan on going home for the summer, or if you get a job in another town, or decide to transfer to a different school before your lease is over.
4.Can you have Pets?
You may want to bring your pet lizard Charlie to your new apartment, but your landlord may have other ideas. While most places will allow fish, many will not allow animals that live outside of water, so Charlie would be out. For dogs and cats you will also often have to pay a pet deposit or fee, and in some cases pet rent as well. It’s important to know going in what those fees are going to be, and whether or not you can have pets at all. If you are found with a pet in your home that you have not reported to your landlord, you will in effect break your lease and can be evicted.
5.What bills are you responsible for?
Are you responsible for paying your own electric and gas bills? What about water and trash pick up? Before you sign any lease make sure you know about any additional bills you’ll have every month, and make sure your new home is still something you can afford.
6.When is rent due?
Most rent is due the first of the month. Make sure you know when and where you need to pay your rent, as well as any late fees you may incur if for some reason your rent is late.
Moving into a new home can be an exciting time, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into and you’re bound to have a great experience.