Understanding Your Rental Lease Before Signing

July 24,2018 | By Hillel Realty Group

Understanding Your Rental Lease Before Signing

It is such an exciting feeling to find an apartment that you know is perfect for you and your lifestyle. With excitement, many tenants rush into signing their lease, eager to take claim on their new home. Before you sign your rental lease, it is important that you understand what it says and what types of limitations you are bound to so you can ask necessary questions before it is too late.

Here are six things you should know and review before signing a lease to rent a new apartment.

  1. Be sure to have all parties review and sign it.

A rental lease legal binds the signing individuals to the terms and conditions outlined in regards to renting an apartment or house. If you plan on having roommates, it is essential they review and sign the lease too. If you are the only tenant listed on the lease, you are the only one obligated to pay rent and any other charged fees.

  1. Who is responsible for what?

A good lease will identify who (the tenant or landlord) is responsible for various types of repairs, maintenance and utility bills. Read through this section and ask additional questions so you can feel comfortable and avoid unexpected repair bills later. In many cases, the landlord is responsible for landscaping, snow removal and major repairs, while the tenant is responsible for minor repairs that occur.

  1. What are the terms of the lease?

Every lease includes terms that define the expectations of the tenant. Review the lease to understand when your rent is due, how you can pay it, if you are allowed to make modifications (i.e., paint) and what the fines or fees are if you fail to meet the terms.

  1. Document the property condition.

To protect yourself financially, it is a good idea to document the condition of the property and identify any issues before the lease is signed. This keeps you from being financially responsible for items that needed attention before moving in.

  1. How can the lease be terminated?

In addition to terms, you also want to review how a lease can be terminated. Is there a clause that lets you cancel early for certain conditions? How much notice do you need to provide? Knowing these details upfront helps you plan for the long-term in the event you need to relocate.

  1. Do some research on the landlord.

Before signing a lease or looking at an apartment, it is a good idea to research the landlord. Doing a quick online search about the property and/or landlord will give you a good idea of what other tenant’s experiences were and if the landlord is reputable.

When it is time to find an apartment, it is crucial that you never rush to sign a rental lease without reviewing it, asking questions and getting answers in writing. If you are ready to find an apartment to rent in New York City, Hillel Realty Group can help! Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.