Sign The Right Lease

signing the right lease

Found The Right Place?  Sign The Right Lease.

Signing a new lease is very similar to buying a new car in that the terms of the agreement make up at least half of the criteria that makes it a good deal or not.

Now that you have found the right place at the right rate, you want to keep that rate as long as possible.  On the other end of the spectrum, the property owner knows that once you get settled into your life at their property they have leverage due to the universal truth….moving is a hassle.

The first thing renters need to do before they go into lease negotiations is determine how long they feel they will be at this property. When it comes time to sign the lease ask for that duration.  For residential properties and dealing with individual property investors, you may actually be able to negotiate a longer lease.  Apartments in particular seldom allow leases for more than one year.  They want to make sure that they have the flexibility to raise rent, after this current lease.  And who can blame them?  After all the advertising, special promotions, move in specials and commissions they have invested to get the property leased, they would like to recoup those expenses, and this is one way that is accomplished. ( a sidebar note here is the Pathfinder Move knows where all the special promotions and move-in specials are.  So in addition to quickly finding you a great place to live, and offering you our $50 signing bonus, we will secure any move-in special for you.  Hiring a seasoned apartment locator is a no-brainer).

Ask for it anyway.  Who knows, with the right property, you may get what your ask for.  It’s not easy to walk away from someone making that kind of a financial commitment.  And even if you don’t get a 2 or 3 year lease, you may get 18 months and secure your current rate for another 6 months.  That is a win! 

Security Deposit

When you are about to sign a lease, you will likely need to make a security deposit along with your first month’s rent.  It ranges from $100-$500 and can be more depending on your credit history.  If the property owners allow pets and you have one, you will also need to make a pet deposit which can vary.  These are all important question to ask in your initial search.  At the end of your lease, you should receive the balance of your deposit minus any cost of repairs, carpet cleaning, painting, etc.  If you know someone who has lived there before, you may ask them if they felt they were treated fairly when it came time to settle the deposit balance.

It is a good practice to walk the property with the owner to point out any damages that can be listed as pre-existing on the lease you are about to sign so that upon departure, you will not be charged for the damage and/or you can make a note on the lease that these damages will be repaired.

Do not sign a lease site unseen.

When Life Happens

Your intention no doubt is to fulfill your lease, but what if you are called away for reasons like, you have to care for a family member or you get a higher paying job in another city?  There are a multitude of reasons you may not be able to fulfill the lease.  If you think that there may be any reason that you may not be able to complete the lease, find out what the penalties may be for unfulfillment. 

Do not enter into a lease without having an exit strategy even if you plan on living there for the duration.  Make sure you know the terms to exit a property including the 30, or 60 day written notice you must give the owner before exiting. 

In the case where you had to have a co-signer due to non-established credit, you do not want to hang them out to dry.  Try to make the lease without a co-signer, but if you are just getting started in life, this may be unavoidable.  Know that anything you are unable to fulfill, they are agreeing to and the property will go after them to collect. 

In the case where you need a couple more months, you may have the option to pay a premium on a month-to-month deal.  Always remember that your notice to vacate the property still stands and if you fail to comply with the part of the lease, it will likely cost you another month’s rent or more.

Read The Contract

A lease is a legally binding contact.  Make sure you read it and ask questions about any part of it you do not understand.  Make sure it includes all verbal agreements made during the negotiation period.  Ultimately, you won’t win on all these points.  Make sure you can live with what you are about to sign.  Know what you are getting into, so that you can live peaceably in your new perfect place.

Pathfinder Apartment Locators has been serving the Houston and surrounding areas for over 15 years.  They bring their expertise to you as a free service.  Properties in the area rely on Pathfinder to help fill their vacancies, therefore, the best prices and specials are available to YOU through Pathfinder!!  With your requirements for the perfect residence In mind, the friendly and professional real estate agents will contact area properties best suited for you needs.  You will be provided information on vacancies, prices, deposits, current specials and MUCH more.

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