Top 5 Questions to Ask Before Signing an Apartment Lease

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Leasing an apartment is an exciting time. When you find the perfect apartment community, you may feel anxious to sign the lease and move in. However, before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you know what you’re getting into. Here are some critical questions you should always ask before you sign.

  1. How Long is the Lease Term?

Typically, a lease lasts a year, but some are only for six months. You may even be able to obtain a month-to-month contract if you need one. Make sure you know the length of the term and see it in writing in the lease. Once you see the term, find out what the penalties are if you break it. Life can change unexpectedly, and you should know if you’re stuck with high fees if your job decides to move you before the end of the term.

  1. What Are the Rules About Guests?

You may desire to have overnight guests from time to time when family or friends visit. Sometimes, apartment communities have rules about this. You may have a limited amount of time to have overnight guests, or the community may not allow them at all.

  1. What Are the Rent Payment Policies?

Find out what the monthly rent is and when it is due. Also, find out the payment options, so you aren’t late simply because you couldn’t figure out how to pay it properly. If you happen to pay late, what will the penalty be?

  1. Can I Personalize My Apartment?

Do you want to put a fresh coat of paint on the walls or hang an entertainment system on the wall? Before you do, make sure you know what’s allowed in the lease. While you might have the freedom to do this, you may need to put everything back in “move-in” condition or forfeit your security deposit.

  1. How Do I Get My Security Deposit Back?

You will pay a security deposit to move into your apartment. This is typically refundable when you move out unless you do damage to the apartment that the owner has to repair. Apartment communities have specific requirements to ensure tenants get their security deposits back. This may include repainting the apartment to its original colors or having the carpets shampooed. Know what the requirements are before signing the lease, so you can fulfill your end of the agreement when you’re ready to move out.

lease is a legally binding agreement, and you need to fully understand its terms before you sign. By asking these questions, you can sign with confidence, knowing what you’re receiving and what’s expected of you as a member of your new apartment community.

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