When Reading Your Lease Agreement, Keep an Eye Out for These Lesser-Known Issues

It’s a great feeling thinking about a new place to live or going on an apartment hunt, but new renters should tread softly and make sure they’re not being taken advantage of. While getting into a new unit in a choice part of town is great to think about, it’s always important to make sure you read between the lines in that new leasing agreement you’re about to sign.

Here are some things to look out for when signing a new lease that can help you stay out of a potentially bad living situation.

Move-In Fees

Saving up for a new apartment goes beyond just the first month’s rent–you also have to think about the initial move-in fees for new renters. Many buildings charge a move-in fee, usually around $500 depending on the area, as well as additional fees, such as freight elevator use. The lease should specify whether or not certain fees are covered by the landlord of the renter.

Rent Increases

Rent increases could happen at a moment’s notice or be long-gestating issues that loom overhead, like in the city of Inglewood, California, which is putting a cap on its rate increase in the area following the announcement of a new stadium for the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers football teams.

Most lease contracts enable the landlord to raise the rent when the agreement expires. Renters can negotiate the rate if there is no cap, which can help you lock in a certain rate or even lower your rent if you plan to stay into a new year.

Subletting

Subletting and renting rooms out is becoming more and more popular today. With sites like Airbnb, people are making some extra money on the side by opening their doors. But when it’s the doors to an apartment that’s under a lease, there’s some grey area that needs to be addressed.

An agreement should state the requirements for subletting or renting rooms as landlords may require any subletters to submit a rental application and add their name to the lease.

Miscellaneous Fees

A lease agreement should also spell out clearly all fees that a renter is responsible for on top of rent, such as utilities. Many landlords and apartment leasing offices require a pet deposit and most tack on cleaning fees when you move out, which is taken out of your security deposit.

Notice of Lease Termination

When a lease agreement ends, renters are required to give a proper amount of time in notice of whether or not they’re staying. Usually this time period is 60 days, but some are okay with 30 days while others push for 90 days out. This gives the landlord or leasing office ample time to find a replacement for your unit so they’re not losing money.

Renters Insurance

One thing that definitely should not go overlooked is the importance of local renters insurance. Renters insurance CT options are available for renters looking to protect everything from their belongings in the event of an accident to their finances in the event of claims made against them by a landlord.

It’s not unheard of for a landlord or leasing office to bring claims against a renter who stepped out on a payment, for instance. In any event it’s better to have this additional coverage than not.

About Byrnes Agency

At Byrnes Agency, we offer insurance solutions that can be tailored to meet your specific needs. Whether you’re looking for personal policies or commercial coverage, we have the right coverage for you. To learn more about our products, contact us today at one of our two locations.

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