What Every Future Tenant Should Know Before Signing a Lease

Jul 7


Liz Jay

Liz Jay

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When you're getting ready to apply for an apartment, an important part of protecting your pocket and your rights as a tenant is understanding your lease. Know what you are signing to prevent unexpected costs, losing your security deposit, or being bound by terms that do not suit your lifestyle. The right steps will prevent signing a lease you cannot afford.


The first step to renting is getting approved for a lease. While you're excited to get the call back for approval,What Every Future Tenant Should Know Before Signing a Lease Articles your lease is the document that contains your rights and governs your tenancy. Whether you are renting an apartment for a year or 6 months, let's look at important considerations when you receive your apartment lease. 

The Security and Rental Deposit 

Knowing the difference between a security and a rental deposit is an important part of renting. The security deposit is paid upon signing the lease and is meant to cover any damages that you cause in the apartment while you are living there. If the apartment is in good condition by the lease end, you get your security deposit refunded. 

The rental deposit is offered prior to a lease and is used to "hold" an apartment available for rent until you get the necessary documents or finances to get your lease approved. 

The Importance of Maintenance 

Maintenance will not only help you keep the apartment in excellent condition to get your security deposit back but can also prevent costly, damaging, and frustrating apartment emergencies such as plumbing disasters from happening. 

The secret to successful renting is to have any problem that comes up in the apartment managed or repaired as soon as it occurs. Something as simple as a leaking tap should be fixed before it becomes worse and before the end of your lease. 

Apartments have maintenance or management services that regularly come out to inspect the plumbing and the HVAC. If you notice any irregularities with your utilities, have it fixed before you have to cover the expenses!

Read How Your Rent is Charged 

The lease will provide a detailed breakdown of rent. This includes the amount per month, the date that it should be paid, and who it should be paid to. Another part of the lease you should look at is whether landlords are allowed to increase the rent through the course of your tenancy. 

Many renters have been shocked by a notification of rent going up during their lease period. If you read the lease, you can prepare for any increases. In an agreement that doesn't specify by how much the rent could go up, you will need to ask the landlord or property manager for an indication in writing. This can prevent any financial surprises especially if you've budgeted for a certain amount of rent each month. 

Read Your Lease Carefully 

Read your lease very carefully. If there's something you don't understand, ask your landlord to clarify the clause, term, or request. This will protect you against conflict and possible financial losses during your tenancy.