7 Questions You Should Ask Before Signing a Lease

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lease agreement money on wood table

Did you know that nearly 75 percent of millennials rent their homes? If you’re reading this article, you’re likely to be one of those people. The biggest rule to know and understand before signing a lease, however, is exactly what you’re agreeing to.

That’s why asking questions and ensuring you’re happy with the answers is crucial for your rental success. What questions should you ask, though? What answers should you even be looking for?

Luckily, we’re here to help you find the answer. Read on for seven of the most important questions to ask before signing a lease.

1. Why Did the Previous Tenant Move Out?

This can be a tough one for any landlord to answer, but it’s an important question to ask. There are a lot of reasons a tenant can move out, but some of them aren’t always favorable. Things like noisy neighbors, pest infestations, cost of living, or even the location can all play a huge role in making tenants want to leave.

More than likely, it’s none of these reasons. It’s usually as simple as moving away for a job or some other life event. It’s always a good idea to ask this question, though.

2. What Are My Options for Paying Rent?

If it’s difficult for you to pay your rent each month, then this rental probably isn’t worth your time. There are a lot of options for paying rent (and properties like the ones at libertyproperties.info are going to have a lot of options that provide flexibility), and you want to make sure there’s a method that works for you.

Often, the simplest way to pay rent is online. There are other ways, though, like checks, cash, or even money order. The important thing, though, is that they offer what’s most convenient for you.

3. What Is Included in Rent?

Sometimes, more than the amenities are included in your rent. Utilities are sometimes covered, like water/sewage/garbage, but other properties include electricity and internet as well.

There are things that sometimes aren’t included in rent, like parking or even amenities fees, so getting a list of what’s included in writing is going to help make a world of difference.

4. Is Early Termination or Subletting an Option?

A lot of properties can be fickle about early termination or sub-letting your unit, but sometimes situations arise and you have to be able to make an early move.

In the event you do have to leave, knowing this information in advance is going to prove helpful. If you have to pay a termination fee or find a subletter, that’s something you want to know about in advance.

If you can’t do this, then you might want to consider a different lease.

5. What’s the Pet Policy?

If you have a pet, this is something you’re already looking into. If you plan on adopting a pet in the future, however, you want to ask about fees and deposits in advance.

If you’re renting a house, looking for one with a fenced-in yard is going to be important. If you’re looking for an apartment, a lot of complexes actually offer fenced-in dog parks nowadays. If this is the case, then you can be sure that they’re pet-friendly.

Some rentals are going to come with stipulations, though, like a weight limit or breed restrictions. You may also find that the deposit or monthly pet fee is something you simply can’t afford.

Before you rent anywhere, you want to make sure you and your furry friend are covered.

6. What Alterations Can You Make?

Some rentals are flexible with changes you can make to your unit, while others might not even allow you to put holes in the wall. If you’re one to customize your home a lot, then this is an important thing to ask about.

Even if you’re not, it’s important to ensure you can place holes in the wall in case you need work done. If the internet or cable guy visits your rental to set things up but they’re unable to drill where they need to drill, then you’re going to face big problems.

While you might be able to paint your unit, you might also be required to paint it back to its original color once you leave.

It’s important to know these things in advance and to make sure you get any agreements you make in writing so they can’t be used against you later.

7. Is the Security Deposit Refundable?

This is where getting everything in writing ahead of time is important. If your landlord tells you that painting the walls is allowed, but then the end of your lease comes up and they say your refund is void because you violated the lease, then there isn’t much you can do at that point.

On the other side of that, if the security deposit isn’t refundable, then there isn’t much to look forward to anyway. Further, if you’re paying a pretty penny for that security deposit, you want to make sure you’re getting back everything you can. If you don’t bother to ask if the security deposit is refundable, then you’re not going to know if that’s even a possibility until it’s too late.

Remember These Things When Signing a Lease

Now that we’ve gone over a few questions to ask before signing a lease, are you ready to get started?

Whether this is your first time renting an apartment or your fifth, it’s important to understand the arrangement you’re agreeing to before it’s set in stone. These questions are a great starting point, but you should definitely ask more questions as you have them.

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