A thorough understanding of the terms included in your home rental lease agreement is essential, as this document — once signed — will serve as a legally binding contract. Before penning your John Hancock, the property management experts here at Realty Roundup, recommend you take the proper time to research, inquire about, and negotiate all pertinent details.
Here, they share a few questions you should ask before signing the rental agreement:
1. What Are the Lease Terms?
Renters should be acutely aware of the rules contained in the document, including its length and the penalties for breaking it early. Inquire about what you will be charged for a security deposit as well as how this amount will be adjusted when you vacate the property. You may also want to find out about rent increases and advance payments.
2. What Does Rent Cover?
Certain amenities in a rental property may be included in the price, but it’s important to budget for those that are not. Prior to signing the lease agreement, ask whether the landlord charges for electric connections, gas, and cable.
3. Are There Rules Against Decorating?
It’s good to know what alterations you are allowed to make in advance. If you plan to paint your walls, take down the carpeting, or hang up framed photos, it’s important to discuss your plans with the landlord to avoid losing your deposit down the road.
4. Are Pets Allowed?
If you are a pet owner or plan to become one, inquire about their policy. Some landlords are wary of anything that could potentially damage their property. Others request a separate deposit, charge monthly fees, or impose weight restrictions.
5. What Is the Maintenance Policy?
In most leases, tenants are responsible for all maintenance pertaining to the aesthetic upkeep of the property. This can include mowing the lawn, handling the trash, and paying HOA fees. On the other hand, a broken garbage disposal, AC unit, or electricity meter will often fall under the landlord’s jurisdiction.
Serving Stockton, Elk Grove, and Galt, CA, Realty Roundup is a full-service property management company specializing in move-ins, maintenance, owner and tenant relations, and vacancy.