Understanding the Lease Agreement
For those in search of their first apartment one should expect to sign a lease agreement. This lease agreement serves as a contractual agreement between you and your landlord. Thus it is important that you understand how a lease agreement works and what you should expect to be included in the lease agreement.
To begin with there are two common types of lease agreements. As a tenant you might sign a fixed lease agreement or a periodic lease agreement. For the most part the general terms and conditions of each type of lease agreement is similar, however the difference lies in the length of the agreement.
Periodic Lease Agreement
As one might expect, the term of a periodic lease agreement is indefinite. Such a lease typically grants the tenant the legal right to occupy the dwelling for an undefined period of time. The tenant retains this right until the lease agreement has been lawfully terminated.
In most cases a periodic lease agreement can be terminated at any time by either the tenant or the landlord. In most cases the agreement calls for a notice to be given before the contract is actually terminated. For instance, if you are a party in a periodic lease agreement and desire to move to a new location then your contract will likely require that you give your landlord a 60 or 90 day notice before leaving.
Fixed Lease Agreement
On the other hand a fixed lease agreement contains a definite timetable for occupying the dwelling. That is to say the length of the lease is for fixed time period. A fixed lease agreement for apartments typically features a 3, 6, or 12 month lease period. If you signed a 12 month fixed lease agreement then you would have a legal right to the apartment for the 12 month period defined in the contract in addition to the legal responsibility to provide payment for that time period. For his part the landlord has a legal responsibility to provide an apartment to the tenant for the length of the fixed lease agreement, in this case 12 months.
Beyond understanding the length of one’s lease agreement, it is also important to understand the lease options written into your agreement. Besides the lease option to decide the length of time your lease agreement covers, you will likely have options on the size of the apartment you rent as well as key features included. If you are interested in having a dishwasher as well as washer and dryer hookups then you will want to make sure your lease option includes these features.
More than anything before you sign on the dotted line make sure you have read through the lease agreement and understand the lease options included in the contract. Be sure to have a firm grasp of what you are agreeing to before you enter into this legal and binding contract.
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