Once you’ve found an apartment or home that’s right for you, the next step before moving in will be signing a lease. But before you take the leap and sign on the dotted line, review these steps to present the strongest case to the landlord and protect your interests as a renter. And remember always read your lease agreement thoroughly!
In any business or personal transaction it is important to always establish a good relationship. This should be enough for all parties involved to treat each other fairly and with respect. You should always be polite and professional when dealing with your landlord and strive to put your best foot forward. It’s always nice to have a positive relationship with your landlord with normal maintenance and repair items arise.
While reviewing your lease agreement, never bluff or try to strong arm the landlord during negotiations. When it comes time to inspect the unit, make sure you take the time to document and record any existing damage and present it to the landlord. Taking the extra time to do this can protect yourself from unwarranted charges to your security deposit. Pictures are a powerful way to document any damages.
It is important to know what amenities are included with your lease agreement. Does the property have utilities like gas, water, electric, and refuse included? How about these items:
- Air Conditioning
- Washer and Dryer
You’ll also want to know what you can and cannot do to the apartment. Are you allowed to hang fixtures from the ceilings and walls? Are you allowed to paint? What about pets?
Remember don’t skim your lease and a handshake means nothing. If it’s not in writing, it’s not binding. Congratulations on your new home!
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