Rental Property

Don't rent a bunch of trouble. When you leave home or finish college, your first stop is often a rental property, whether it's an apartment, condominium, or house. You will be asked by the landlord to enter into a lease. A lease is an agreement between you, as a tenant, and your landlord that describes both parties’ rights and responsibilities concerning the property you are renting.

All of the terms of the lease are important, and you should read and understand them. Look closely at the provisions concerning rent (whether or not there is a late fee if the rent is paid late), the security deposit, repairs and maintenance of the property, the duration of the lease, and renewal and termination of the lease.

Make sure you note and document (take pictures) when you move in and when you move out as well.

  • Don't let anyone rush you into signing an agreement before you understand what it says, and do not sign a lease until all blanks are filled in.

  • Watch out for clauses which provide for the automatic renewal for another full term equal to the original term.

  • Remember that if you are sharing the property, you may be responsible for nonpayment, damages, or breaches caused by any roommate or co-signer.

  • Inspect the premises prior to signing. If the property is furnished, check for any defects in the furniture.

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