Every contract out there has terms and conditions that apply to your agreement. Legal jargon can be difficult to understand unless your familiar with the terms used. Many people have gotten into trouble by pretending to understand the terms used in the contract. You may discover if you use a lawyer often enough, they will sometimes assume that you already understand the business terms of the deal. Business terms include things like price, date of closing, amount of deposit and so on. When the lease extends past one year, look for the cost of living increase provision clause in the lease payments. Many of these monthly payments are set to adjust upward to reflect in increase in the cost of living. If you find that after one year there is an upward swing in prices, consider if this is worth your time. Review carefully anything in the lease that would cause you to be in default. Not everything may be specifically spelled out. For example the lease may say that any violations of city, state, federal, or building rules or regulations. If your leasing an apartment or a condo building, you will be expected to abide by all the rules of that particular building. Make sure you know what those rules are before signing the lease. Some of these rules may be rules that you feel cannot be lived up to. Its always good to have a lawyer look over all your paper work before signing any agreements. Some hidden costs can be repairs of replacement of items in the apartment. Most leases dictate that you keep the property in good repair. Make sure you check over everything and you’ve made sure that all the appliances are in working order. There are property inspection companies that will inspect the property before you move in, and although these companies are generally used for a buyer, there is no reason you cannot have hem do a mini check for any items that might become an expense to you. Before you go to the expense of having this inspection, make sure the apartment or home is at least 6 years old. This inspection is simply a waste of funds if it’s after 6 years.
If you plan to make improvements ot the property you should have a clear understanding in the lease that you are permitted to do so and that you are not required to return the property to it’s previous condition at the end of the lease. If you are fixing something in the property like a heater, swimming pool or air filtering system, make sure that you have the ability to remove these items. Some leases have a penalty for late payment in rent. Be sure that you understand how much the penalty is, even if you have the means to pay your rent on time. Be aware what is going to happen at the end of the lease when you ask for your security deposit back. Ask the landlord to give you written notice for any debts that are taken off your security deposit.
Your landlord may want the right to inspect the property from time to time for several reasons. First, they want to make sure that the property is being used according to the terms of the lease and is kept in good repair. Second, they may want to show the apartment to prospective tenants as your lease draws to it’s close. The landlord must give 24 hours before inspecting your property.
Property insurance is cut between the landlord and the tenant. On one hand the landlord should have enough insurance to cover the property in the event of a fire or natural disaster. However, the owner of the building does not have insurance to cover your building in the even of theft. Remember that this is your responsibility. Finally there may be a provision in the lease that allows a sign in your window nearing the ending of your lease. This sign will draw uninvited visitors to your home. Ask that near the end of your lease that an ad is placed in the local news paper or simply use an internet company to help find a tenant.