Searching for an apartment is not always an easy task. You might have spent a lot of time searching for a vacant apartment, and you may have filled out a whole lot of applications and waited for approvals. Now that a landlord has finally approved you and asked you to sign a lease, you might be ready to hurry up and do so as soon as possible. After all, you probably want to move in as soon as you can.
However, even though you might be excited about the idea of moving into your new apartment, you shouldn’t just rush into signing your new lease. These are some of the things that you should know before you sign a lease for an apartment.
An Apartment Lease is a Legal Document
First of all, you should know that an apartment lease is a legal document. As soon as you sign it, you can be held to the terms of the document. Therefore, if you sign the lease and then change your mind, you may not be able to break the lease without spending a whole lot of money or even ending up with a poor rental record.
You Shouldn’t Sign Without Reading
You might just assume that the terms of your lease are pretty standard, and you might be used to skipping over long paperwork and just signing on the dotted line. However, even though it can be a bit time-consuming, it is important to take your time to read what you are signing beforehand. After all, you don’t want to sign your lease only to find that it includes something that you didn’t know about or that you don’t agree with, but that is exactly what could happen if you don’t take your time to read it.
You Do Have Rights
You might assume that landlords are the only ones who really have any rights, but this is not the case at all. Depending on the state that you live in, there are some landlord and tenant rights in place. It is a good idea to find out more about this so that you can ensure that you know what your rights are. Then, you can help ensure that your rights are not violated anywhere in the lease and that your rights aren’t violated later on, either. If you are unsure about some of your rights, consider working with a real estate lawyer who has a lot of experience in working with tenants and landlords. Then, you can find out more about how things work in your state.
Some Landlords Will Negotiate
Don’t just assume that everything that is written in your lease is set in stone, even if it does abide by the landlord and tenant laws in your area. Some landlords are willing to negotiate certain terms of a lease, so it does not hurt to ask. For example, you may want to ask about things like negotiating down the pet fee or getting a discount in your rent if you agree to sign a longer lease contract. Of course, the landlord does not have to agree to these changes, but it does not hurt to ask.
You Shouldn’t Feel Pushed
Your landlord knows that an apartment lease is a legal document, and he or she should understand why you would want to read over it carefully and ask questions before signing it. If your landlord makes you feel pushed to sign the lease, you should not give in to the pressure. There might be a not-so-good reason why he or she is being so pushy, so you should see it as a red flag. A good landlord will be understanding about the fact that you want to understand what you are signing and will not try to push you.
As you can see, signing an apartment lease is not something that you should take lightly. Instead, make sure that you remember these simple yet important things before you sign the dotted line on the lease for your new apartment. Then, you can help ensure that you know what you are getting yourself into, and you can help avoid having any regrets later on.