5 Questions to Ask Before Signing the Lease of a Rental Apartment
A lease is a time-bound contractual agreement made between a lessee and landlord. Under the agreement, the lessee agrees to pay the lessor a fixed amount for a stipulated period of time, for using the latter’s rental property or any other asset. Unlike a “rental agreement”, a lease is a legally binding document, and therefore, you must clarify all your doubts before signing on the dotted line. Whether you are looking for a property in San Angelo or any other part of Texas, there are a number of questions you need to ask to ensure a hassle-free stay. This post puts together five important questions you need to ask before signing a lease.
1. Can You Change or Reprogram the Locks?
Whenever someone rents an apartment, there is a concern that the previous renter may have a copy of the keys to the apartment. It is, therefore, essential to clarify whether you can change the locks, or if will be taken care of by the landlord. Read the contract carefully and if there is nothing mentioned about the locks, ask the landlord. The laws for changing the locks of an apartment vary in different states, but there are chances that you may need to provide a copy of the key to your landlord, for emergencies.
2. What’s the policy on additional occupants?
When you rent an apartment, you may either be listed as a tenant (you sign the lease) or an occupant. It is advisable to get a clear idea about the accountability factors of paying the rent, especially if you plan to have roommates anytime in future. If the rent, for instance, doesn’t get paid for a month, the repercussions may come down on the signee(s), and therefore, it is advisable to ensure that your roommates also sign the lease, so that you don’t end up taking up all the blame, if something goes south.
3. Do you need a guarantor before signing?
Most landlords require wishful tenants to qualify a credit check and income standard, before they rent out the property. If the tenant or roommates don’t meet the income benchmark, you may need the help of a guarantor to sign the lease, agreeing to pay the rent in case of any lapse. Therefore, if required, look for someone in your family or friends who is qualified and willing to be the guarantor. In such cases, the landlord may charge an additional fee for the credit check of the guarantor. Do inquire, if unsure.
4. What’s the rental increment policy?
If you have signed a “lease”, the landlord cannot increase the rent of an apartment during the term of the contract, unless otherwise stated. On the other hand, if you sign a “rental agreement”, the landlord may increase the rent without prior notice. It is, therefore, imperative to know your rights as a tenant and enquire about increment policy. In addition, find out the amount or percentage by which the rent will increase after the renewal of the lease or rental agreement, and document all agreements to prevent any confusions in the future.
5. What’s the Parking Policy?
Enquiring about the parking policy is essential to avoid any problems with the other residents in the apartment. Generally, every apartment gets one parking slot, and if a tenant has more than one vehicle, they can pay for the additional slots required. In some apartments, however, the tenants may get more than one parking space. Therefore, ask the landlord in advance about the dedicated spots allotted for parking or the concerned reporting authority you need to turn to, if you face any parking hassles.
The Way Forward
Those were some of the necessary questions you need to ask before you finalize an apartment for rent. To ensure you have a pleasant stay in a rental apartment home in San Angelo, get all your doubts cleared before moving in. We hope the list of questions discussed in the most serves as a handy tool when you are searching a rental home. Whether you are looking for a rental apartment home loaded with all essential amenities, or wish to learn more about lease or rental agreement, Kington Properties has got you covered. You can schedule an appointment with one of our property managers by filling out our contact form.