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LEASE AGREEMENTS AND LIMITS ON OCCUPANCY

When going into a rental lease agreement, you will need to carefully listen and review all the details before signing. Many people fall in the habit skimming over contracts when the writing begins to run together and the words begin sounding the same. However, a lease agreement is an area in which this cannot be done, for reasons of your personal security down the line. Because a lease always constitutes a time commitment, and involves the place you will spend your nights and a portion of your days for the next six months to two years, every detail is important. One detail you will want to pay attention to in particular, other than the rental deposit fee, is the limit on occupancy.

Different jurisdictions differ in legal approaches to occupancy limits. In some places, there is no limit for relatives living together, only for nonrelatives. Many jurisdictions are quite hands-off in this category, largely leaving restrictions regarding the property up to the property's rightful owner. In such cases, landlords frequently develop their own stipulations regarding occupancy. You will want to pay attention to anything mentioned in this regard so that you will know what to expect regarding the future comfort level and potential to become crowded of your new residence.

Addressing Occupancy Concerns

It is common practice for a landlord to rent out several rooms in one unit, with all renters having separate lease agreements. This happens often in bustling urban areas and college towns where space can be hard to come by and renters' funds can be low. Arranging to rent a given unit to more than one person can be beneficial to both landlords and the renters. If it were not for this practice, many struggling college students could not afford rental property and would spend much longer living in dorm rooms or at home. Landlords naturally benefit from this arrangement in that their profit margin can increase by renting out rooms rather than a full property. The important balance that most landlords seek to strike involves making full use of the space they own (and thereby earning the most profit they reasonably can) while ensuring that tenants' reasonable needs regarding comfort, privacy, and space are accounted for.

When you know up front that you will be one renter among two or three others in an apartment, you will want to make certain you know your landlord's policy on occupancy limits. If you have moved into a three bedroom apartment and will, under the current rental situation, have your own bedroom, this may constitute one of the selling points of the apartment. In this or a similar circumstance, you will want to make absolutely certain that your bedroom is guaranteed to remain yours and yours alone throughout the length of your lease agreement. While there is no universal protocol and property management teams can differ wildly on this front, a common stipulation is that no more than two people per bedroom with one additional person can occupy a given apartment.

Lease agreements and limits on occupancy may be distinct realms in some circumstances. If, after having thoroughly reviewed the proposed lease agreement, you see nothing about a limit on occupancy, you will want to do more than ask your potential landlord what the limit is. You will also want to ask that the limit be put into writing. While it can feel somewhat intimidating to bring up matters such as these to a landlord whom you do not yet know well, landlords as professionals should understand your perspective. When you express yourself politely yet confidently, you will probably obtain your desired result with no strife.

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