House hunting is a thrilling adventure, full of excitement and possibilities. Imagine all the different neighborhoods you will explore and the different styles of homes you will see along the way. It is like a treasure hunt for the perfect place to call home.
However, signing a lease is a big responsibility. So you must weigh the pros and cons of each option and make an informed decision that will be the best fit for you and your family. With this informative guide, we will break down all the key factors you should consider before signing a lease:
From adhering to building codes to ensuring prompt repairs, a credible landlord is more likely to uphold safety standards. They will treat their tenants respectfully, refraining from discriminatory or illegal practices. It also includes returning security deposits on time and refraining from unfair eviction.
One way to assess a landlord’s credibility before signing a lease is to research online. Look up landlords online to see if there are any reviews or complaints about them. Websites like Yelp, Google, and the Better Business Bureau can be good starting points.
Visiting the property in person is another key step in evaluating a landlord’s reliability. When visiting the property, pay attention to the overall condition, including the cleanliness and upkeep of the common areas, such as the hallways, stairwells, and exterior of the building. If the property is in good condition, it is a tell-tale indicator that the landlord will respond promptly to repair needs. Having a tech-savvy landlord is also a plus. Why? Well, property owners who use real estate lease accounting software instead of excel sheets can easily streamline tenant data and stay compliant.
Lease terms are the specific conditions and agreements outlined in a rental contract. They include things like the rent amount, security deposit, and the rights and responsibilities of both the landlord and the tenant. The following are some additional lease provisions to consider:
- Termination clause: A termination clause enables the landlord and tenant to terminate the lease before the end of the lease term. In this provision, the terms and conditions for early termination of the lease are laid out.
- Tenant insurance protects your belongings and finances from losses caused by burglary, fire, and natural disasters. In most cases, the landlord will set the bare minimum required for tenant insurance. As a tenant, you must ensure that the coverage meets your requirements.
- Guest policies: The guest policies for a rental property specifies the maximum number of guests who can visit or stay overnight at your place. They vary from landlord to landlord, so it is important to properly read and understand guest policies before signing.
If you have a car, considering parking availability is a must. Imagine parking your car several blocks away from your rental property, especially in inclement weather or at night, with your arms full of groceries or other heavy items. It could be a huge inconvenience for you.
Additionally, having a designated parking spot could also save you valuable time. It is because you will not have to spend time searching for a parking spot. With a guaranteed parking place, you can stay on top of your schedule. Besides personal parking, you should pay equal consideration to visitor parking. A designated visitor parking means your guests will have an easy time visiting you and also avoid any potential parking violations or fines.
Many people sign a lease for a brand new apartment, all fresh and empty, only to realize they are not allowed to add a personal touch to it. They cannot paint the walls, hang a gallery of their favorite art, or install shelving. It is like renting a blank canvas without a paintbrush. Tenants who cannot leverage customization options may experience renter’s remorse. Surely, you do not want to keep up with the same situation. Therefore, you should have a clear idea upfront about what you can and cannot do to make your space feel like home.
Some landlords have a specific vision for their property and may have restrictions on modifications or decorations. They may want to keep the property looking a certain way or to maintain a certain aesthetic. But, you may have a different vision for your home, and the restrictions may not align with your personal style. On the other hand, several landlords allow tenants to make changes as long as they undo them before moving out. It would be wise to come to terms with your landlord’s vision and know the rules inside and out so you do not run into any trouble.
A 12-month lease is the standard option. It provides stability and predictability for both the landlord and the tenant, giving them enough time to plan for the future. A 6-month lease, on the other hand, maybe a good option for those looking for a short-term commitment. It typically works well for students or people with a job that may require them to move within a year. Lastly, a month-to-month lease ensures ultimate flexibility, allowing you to stay as long as you want or move out on short notice.
It bears worth mentioning that some landlords may offer incentives or discounts for signing a longer lease. So be sure to inquire about any such offers when reviewing different alternatives of the lease duration.
Access To Transportation
Not all people have a car. If you fall into that category, you want easy access to public transportation before signing a lease. A rental near public transportation will make your daily commute more convenient. Besides, it also means you will have easy access to all the fun and exciting places the city offers. You can hop on a train or subway and head to the heart of the city in no time, ready to explore all the museums, restaurants, and shops.
Another advantage of living near public transportation is that you’ll have more options for getting to work or school. This can be especially beneficial if you have an early morning or late evening class or work schedule.
Moving to the new house could mean embarking on an exciting journey. However, choosing the right rental is easier said than done. But by considering all these factors before signing a lease, you can rest assured that you will find a home that fits your needs and lifestyle.