Classified among the greatest errors a Westfield tenant can make is not thoroughly reading the lease prior to signing it. This is a substantial problem by reason that there are no two leases particularly the same, and countless landlords may include things in the lease that you possibly shouldn’t agree to. A lease is a binding legal contract, so unless a certain clause violates state law, you could find yourself responsible for anything from unauthorized guests to tree removal. Before you sign all that, read the entire lease attentively. And, as you read through the lease, watch out for these five things in particular.
1. Documentation of Property Condition
Previous to signing a lease or moving into a new home, it’s significant to check if your landlord has a system for documenting the property’s condition. This is exceedingly important; if you don’t have some method to document the property’s condition before you move in, you could pay the price. To protect yourself, be sure to inquire about details in connection with your landlord’s documentation process and take actions to report any existing damage before you move in.
2. Termination Policy and Fees
A lot of leases cover a specific time period, though others may renew on a month-to-month basis. Regardless of which style your lease applies, it’s necessary to know the stated policy with regards to terminating or canceling the lease and what fees might be involved. The majority of leases may require advance notice that you’re leaving, often 30-60 days. But on the other hand, others may impose serious penalties for terminating a lease. By way of example, if you sign a 12-month lease but then need to move after six months, your lease may require you to pay a cancellation fee, the remaining rent on the contract, or both. You may similarly forfeit some or all of your security deposit. Since every lease is different, it’s relevant to read these policies conscientiously and, if you have any concerns or questions, ask them before you sign.
3. Roommates and Subletting
One prevalent misperception about renting a home is that a renter has the right to sublet all or part of their home to others. But in actuality, many leases include clauses that strictly forbid renters from doing so. If you had been thinking to sublet your home during an extended absence or get a roommate to help you with the rent, you’d need to find out from your lease to be certain that it is permitted. The last thing you need is to get busted illegally subletting your place – that can have you evicted or held financially responsible for any damage your illegal tenant did about while living in the residence.
4. Pet Policy and Pet Fees
If you are searching for a new home for not only yourself but for a dear pet as well, it’s vital to ascertain your lease carefully for your landlord’s pet policy. Attempting to hide a pet from a landlord that doesn’t permit them on the property is not a nice plan – various tenants who try this turn out to be found out. If pets are authorized, there may be additional fees or a deposit required. You should likewise verify to find out if that deposit is refundable if your pet doesn’t cause any property damage. The only exception is if your pet is a service or emotional support animal. If that is so, your landlord must permit the animal on the property and cannot charge you additional fees. If you have this case, talk it out specifically with your landlord to prevent any troubles later on.
5. Cleaning and Other Responsibilities
As you read through the lease, take careful note of which responsibilities are assigned to whom. In several leases, the landlord will give some services while wanting you to do others. A few typical duties oftentimes (but not always) delegated to a tenant comprise lawn maintenance, light bulb replacement, utilities, and cleaning. Various landlords choose to provide these services and have the property cleaned professionally between tenants. Others think and expect the tenant to do it themselves or employ their own professional cleaning company to get the job accomplished. Either way, you need to identify your duties and make a decision whether you are comfortable doing them before you sign the lease.
In the long run, it’s relevant to take the time to read your lease carefully. Ensure that you comprehend all, and ask for clarification if needed. Certain parts of your lease may be negotiable, so if it covers things you don’t like, consider asking your landlord for revisions. You are the one who has to put up with the lease terms, in the end, and the more you clearly know, the fewer surprises you’ll run into down the line.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.