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When you move into any type of apartment or housing unit you can be expected to sign a lease. This is something that is normally done before the tenant moves in and verifies that the place will be rented for a specific period of time. Every single lease agreement is going to be a little bit different.

However, it is important to know what you are looking for and what to expect in any lease agreement. When you are comparing former lease agreements to present ones you may find that the layouts vary as well as each individual clauses. However, for the most part, the just of each lease will remain the same.

Lease Agreements Explained

A lease agreement is a written contract signed by both the tenant and the landlord outlining what is to be expected through this partnership. It will outline the rules of living in the apartment as well as how much the rent will be and how long the lease will remain in place. It will outline specifics about what is allowed and what is not allowed in the apartment such as information regarding pets, visitors, subletting, parties, smoking, etc. It will go into detail about communal areas in the complex such as the swimming pool, the gym and the parking lot as well as individual rules pertaining to your specific unit such as rules against painting, putting pictures on the wall, having pets inside and playing music at certain times in the day.

If you have been in a lease agreement before then you will most likely find yourself comparing the various sub clauses to see how different each lease is. This is a good thing to do and if you do notice anything that is quite different between the two leases, then it might be a good idea to bring the situation up with your landlord. Two of the biggest things to be concerned with involve the protocol for paying for damages to the building as well as the protocol involving paying for electrical costs in a complex.

Common Concerns with Leases

If there is any damage to the building, such as structural damage, then the landlord is the one responsible for paying for the damage, not the tenant. If your lease agreement says otherwise, then this is a problem. You should not be responsible for fixing a leaking roof after a hurricane when you are only renting. The landlord is responsible for buying homeowners insurance and making a claim for this type of misfortune.

Furthermore, if you are living in an apartment where there is only one electrical meter for the entire complex, then it is the responsibility of the landlord to pay this, not each individual tenant. Unless there is a separate meter for each unit, a landlord cannot 'estimate' how much each tenant needs to pay each month. This is against the law.

These are the two most common concerns renters have when they are comparing present lease agreements to past ones. However, there are a lot of other areas that may be quite foggy and you may need to clarify before you sign. The terms and conditions of when you get the damage deposit back, for example, can often cause complications and reasons for concern down the road. When you sign a lease you are agreeing to all the terms and conditions in place which is why you should do a little bit of research by comparing lease agreements and reading through each clause to ensure that everything that is written seems fair to you.

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