Louise Gray June 10, 2019 Rental Agreement
Did you know that only 25% of tenants actually read the rental agreement? This is shocking, as it’s a legally binding document. It’s important to read the document before you sign so you know the terms of the document. Once your landlord drafts the rental agreement, it’s your responsibility to read it thoroughly.
Before reviewing and signing your rental agreement, talk to your landlord about everything that you expect to be in writing. This will make sure your landlord knows what you want reflected in the agreement before they draft it. For example, if your landlord promises to paint or re-carpet before you move in, then tell your landlord you’d like it in writing. Otherwise, you risk your landlord saying, “I never said that.” It puts you in a bad legal position if you don’t have landlord-tenant agreements in writing.
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.
As you’re reading, make sure you understand everything in the agreement. Legal jargon can be confusing, so ask for clarification if needed. And make yourself aware of rules, like noise restrictions and guest policies. If you notice the rental agreement doesn’t accurately reflect what you discussed with your landlord, make sure to ask him or her to edit the document. And don’t worry about being bothersome during this process- it’s worth going back and forth until the rental agreement is perfect.
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