Leases can be fairly overwhelming for people that do not deal with them regularly. They’re not just a light read that you can skim over, and understanding the nuances of the lease can be the difference between an eviction and a happy lease term!
Below are a few things to look for in your lease to better understand the terms and conditions. Remember that each landlord is different, so their leases will be too! This means that you should read your lease thoroughly each time you move.
Right of entry
This discloses when the landlord is allowed to enter the premises. They may write that they can enter during an emergency without consent or with notice for any other purpose.
Some landlords may restrict residents from subleasing unless they are pre-approved. Also, there is a large number of landlords that do not allow their properties to be involved in Airbnb. Make sure you are aware of these rules before you let someone else into your apartment unapproved, and get yourself in trouble!
This is observed a lot in college lease settings with roommates. A landlord can disclose in this section their ability to re-assign you a new room at their discretion and you would have to switch rooms. This also poses the unlikely scenario of relocating you or one of your roommates, so make sure you’re familiar with their rules first.
Repairs and maintenance
There are moments where the tenant is responsible for all repairs and maintenance, where the landlord is responsible for the extensive repairs and maintenance and minor repairs need to be covered by the tenant, or the landlord is responsible for all repairs. These are important to be aware of because they may be added costs or benefits for you as a renter.
Rules and stipulations
These rules may include (but certainly are not limited to): how many people can occupy your space, overnight guests, and quiet hours. Sometimes people may be unaware of rules that are written in the contract that are actually very important, especially to your landlord. Being aware of these rules and stipulations will only help you be a respectful tenant which is important because many times future landlords will contact your previous ones. We’ve heard plenty of horror stories where people who break a rule as minuscule as incorrect trash disposal – aka technically violating their lease – has given their landlord grounds for eviction.
Hopefully, these small tips can help you become more aware of certain parts of your lease and avoid any unintentional violations. Additionally, next time you sign a lease you can make a more informed decision about whether or not it’s the right one for you and your needs. Making sure you’re in good graces with your landlord will only make both of your lives easier!