3 Facts to Know Before Signing an Apartment Lease

Moving into a new apartment can be exciting. You are finally getting out on your own, taking care of your business, and creating a new life for yourself. It’s a great feeling! You should be excited about that! Before you go signing an apartment lease, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind. Your lease may seem like just a piece of paper, but it is actually a legal binding contract. The excitement of the new apartment can sometimes cloud our judgement, causing us to overlook important details about that apartment. We’ve put together 3 important facts you need to keep in mind before signing your new lease.

1. Location Is Important

You’ll want to make sure your new apartment is in a safe area. It is important that you feel safe in your new place. Chances are, you are viewing that apartment during the day. The landlord will probably even take you on a tour of the unit as well as the entire property. While you are taking a tour, keep in mind that you could be coming home after dark some days. Pay attention to the lighting fixtures on the buildings, the breezeways, and parking lot. Make sure it will be a well-lit area at night. Notice the property grounds and the tenant’s balconies while you are out walking the property. Do it look nice and kept up, or is it littered with garbage and debris? Another thing you can do is visit the property at night and on the weekend. This will give you a better idea of what goes on at that property after hours. If you prefer a quiet living experience, you don’t want to sign a lease on that apartment if majority of the other tenants like to throw parties on the weeknights or weekends. Also, take to the internet to research the crime rate in that area prior to signing a lease. Safety is a priority, so it is important to know how safe the area you are considering moving to is

2. You Need To Read The Fine Print 

Four words that can either make your skin crawl, or make your eyes roll. Read The Fine Print. We all know we should read the fine print, but does anyone really take the time to do it? The truth is, many of us don’t. Ignoring it could potentially be a costly mistake though. Your signature on the lease commits you to a contractual agreement between yourself and the apartment landlord. Read the fine print and make yourself aware of contractual obligations you are liable for if you had to break that lease contract down the road. Sure, in the beginning you don’t have any intentions of breaking that contract after you move in. However, try to anticipate things that could go wrong down the road that would cause you to have to move. Things like a job loss, a roommate moves out, an unforeseen health issue, etc. You could move into your new apartment, and everything goes well for the duration of your lease. The idea here is to just be prepared. Don’t let the fine print scare you. Just take the time to read it over prior to signing your lease. This will help you to better prepare yourself of obligations you will still be committed to in the event that you do have to break the lease down the road.

3. Pets Are Not Always Allowed

It is important to know ahead of time if the apartment landlord allows pets in the unit. If you currently have a pet, you need to know if that pet would even be allowed to live there with you. Some apartments do accept pets, but with restrictions. For example, specific breeds and weights are often not accepted. Not all apartments have restrictions though, so take some time and do your homework. You will find an apartment that suites your needs as well as your pets needs.

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