A lease or rental agreement is a contract that you enter into between you and your landlord, stating that you will follow all of the conditions laid out in the agreement. If you are new to renting, these contracts can sometimes be difficult to decipher. Sort out any misunderstandings, and avoid miscommunication by taking some time to read our advice on understanding lease and rental agreements.
Identify Who is Involved
In most standardized leases, there is a paragraph stating which parties are involved, and who the agreement is between. When signing a lease, make sure you fully understand who is involved and whose name is on the contract as the primary contact. With multiple tenants, it is important to determine who will be responsible for actually signing the lease, as they will also be the person who ensures rent is paid monthly and that there is no damage done to the unit. Understanding who is involved in the lease is an important factor in ensuring you do not sign without knowing who is responsible for everything.
Determine Whether Rental Insurance is Mandatory
Some rental companies require you to have an insurance policy that protects you and your valuables in the event of a natural disaster, flooding, or any other unpredictable event. If they require this, the rental agreement should include a clause stating whether it is mandatory or not. Before you sign the contract, make sure you know if you require a policy or not.
Understand the Length of the Term
When you sign a rental agreement or a lease, there should be an identified period of time for which the rental will be occupied. Some terms are 6 months, with the remainder becoming a month-by-month payment, while others are a full year. Make sure you understand how long the term is before you sign the lease, as you do not want to commit to a long term lease if you will not be sticking around.
Identify the Rules of the Property
Most rental agreements and leases will have rules and regulations specific to the property that outline appropriate use of the rental. This can include the number of acceptable tenants, modifications that are allowed, parking and storage, and insurance requirements. Before signing a lease, ensure that you fully understand these rules and regulations. This will prevent you from encountering unpleasant surprises in the future, and it will help you identify whether or not the property is the right fit for you and your lifestyle.
Understand the Process for Breaking the Lease
Sometimes, extenuating circumstances require you to break a lease and move out. When you are examining your lease, make sure you understand the requirements for ending the term. Familiarize yourself with how many days’ notice you must give your landlord, and determine whether there is any specific cleaning you will need to do before leaving. All of this information should be outlined in your lease, and if it is not, don’t be afraid to ask about it.
Familiarizing yourself with the lease before you sign it is the best way to ensure that you do not enter into an agreement blindly. Make sure you understand the guidelines and rules, you know how long the lease is for, and who is involved in the agreement before signing it. Overall, if you thoroughly read the agreement, you should be aware of everything you need to know. For more information on understanding a lease agreement visit the Medallion Blog.