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What You Need to Know Before Signing a Lease


Signing a rent lease can be exciting, stressful, boring, or even overwhelming, among other emotions that can cause us to not focus or taking the to read, ask questions, negotiate a better price, or make suggestions to our landlord BEFORE placing our signature. 

In this post, we disclose helpful tips that will make you more aware of what you can find in a rental agreement to later discuss with your lawyer and be clear/sure of what you are signing for, before meeting the landlord to close the deal. Let's get into them!

1. Take Your Time to Read It.

Lease agreements are usually long and probably hard to read, but take our advice and READ IT. Make an effort and try to understand everything that is being stated in the contract, otherwise, you could regret it. Asking questions is ok, in fact, its expected, request a copy prior to signing and if unsure take an outsider's point of view, someone who is knowledgeable like a lawyer or an experienced friend who has been through the same situation.

2.  Negotiate.

Nothing is set on stone, not even a lease agreement. Use your negotiation skills and ask for reasonable changes in the contract. Remember, everything that has been agreed on should be stated on the lease. Verbal promises aren't valuable or trustworthy.

3. Not All Leases Are Equal.

If you have already experienced with rentals and have previously read an agreement do get overconfident and pretend that all leases are the same, because they are not. Every landlord has different restrictions and requirements, so as we said previously, read the lease!

4. Want to Do Customizations? 

Assuming that it will be ok to lease the property and then paint or/and put up nice artwork on the walls, well, then think again. Make sure this is allowed and stated in the contract.

5. Are Pets Allowed?

Before even considering to move into a property that doesn't have a clear pet policy, please ask about it! most landlords state this policy in the lease. If you are planning to get a pet stick with the restrictions in the contract, and if you already own one, make sure it's welcomed before you sign.

6. Is the Renewal Automatic?

There are some leases were clauses indicate an automatic renewal of the rental. Remember to add this clause, if interested.

7. Utilities.

Pay close attention when it comes to utilities, are they all listed? which ones are you responsible for?  Make sure you agree and what do you have to pay.

8. Late Fee Statement.

This is important, whether you pay on-time or not, make sure you agree with the statement on late payment fees. Do not assume anything, 5 to 10 days period grace can be acceptable for some landlords, however, this is rarely the case.

9. Maintenance and Repairs.

As you can imagine maintenance and repairs aren't cheap, so be aware of what is stated in the contract and pay close attention since you might need to pay for snow removal or lawn service if moving into a house.

10. Out Clause.

The out close is one of the most important things to look into a rental agreement. Remember to ask questions and add content to the clause if needed. This is something you have to keep in mind when thinking about subletting or relocating elsewhere.

There you have them, be smart reading and defining your rental agreement to avoid future issues with your landlord!