What to Know About Your Lease Agreement

Once you have found the perfect apartment, you are anxious to move in. However, before signing your lease, you need to make sure you understand all of the terms in it. Your agreement is a legally binding contract, so it’s important to review the agreement closely before signing. Below are some important items to be aware of in your lease:

Length of the Lease

Your lease will outline how long the term lasts. It is common that most leases last one year or six months. However, some leases will be month-to- month. It’s important to know the lease term since you will be responsible for payments during that time. You should also know if the lease is pro-rated, and what the penalties you could face if you break the agreement early.

Payments and Fees (And How to Pay)

The price of your monthly rent will be outlined in your lease. It will also state whether utilities are included or not. This can vary greatly by landlord so pay attention. Some leases will cover only water and electricity, while others might cover many other services such as cable, Wi-Fi, trash, parking and maintenance. Your lease will also discuss the appropriate method of paying for your rent. Some landlords require a check to be delivered to the leasing office. Others prefer payment through an online portal.

Pet Policy

If you are a pet owner, it’s smart to know the apartment’s pet policy before signing your name on the dotted line. Many apartments are pet-friendly, but require you to pay extra deposits or monthly payments.

Included Amenities

Your lease will also outline what amenities accompany the lease. Apartment complexes will typically include a gym, pool, dog park and more. Many will also have a laundry facility for tenants to use. Another highly sought after amenity is 24-hour maintenance. You’ll want to know if the onsite property management team will be available in case of emergency.

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