A property lease is a legal document that should protect both you and the property owner. Here are some things to consider before you begin the leasing process:
- There are really two common types of property management systems. Larger apartment buildings are typically managed by a larger company. They have a fixed lease, which you should understand and agree to before you sign. There is typically a management office onsite, and they offer maintenance services if something needs repair. Because these companies offer multiple units for rent, they will not make adjustments to the lease. Fair Housing Act requires that if they allow a change to one, they allow a change to all leases.
- The other type of property management you might find is an individual Landlord, or property owner, who might use a third party management company.
- You should always make sure the Landlord owns or has the right to lease the property. This is done by checking county records , or public records in the county where the property is located, typically at the assessor’s website. Make sure that taxes are paid to date. In the USA, the Landlord typically is responsible for paying the property taxes.
- There are Standard Lease Terms to know that you will see in most leases.
TIPS on important items to review in the lease include:
DUE DATE (When is rent due? Is there a late fee?)
MAINTENANCE response (Who is responsible for repairs? How long does the landlord have to make a repair?
EARLY TERMINATION (What if you have to move before the lease is up? What is the penalty?)
SECURITY DEPOSIT (Not more than 1.5 month rent is typical. How long does landlord have to return deposit when you move out?)