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Leases for apartments are documents that outline the rules and regulations of renting and moving into an apartment. They normally include a wide range of clauses that may discuss subletting, payment, lease length, pets, maintenance, building rules, visitors, swimming pool and shared complex care and much more. Before you can move into an apartment you will be required to read through and sign a lease.

Standard Lease Agreements

No two leases are the same but most are typed documents with a number of different sub clauses. This can be intimating for the reader, especially when you are so excited to sign the thing and actually claim the place as your own. Before you jump the gun, however, you need to give the document a good read through. Ask to take the lease home so you can read through it at your leisure. Take notes on any clauses that you do not understand or any areas that you are not happy with. Once you see your potential landlord again, bring these issues up before signing the lease.

In most instances a lease is not going to change. Just because you want to buy a puppy, if the building is a 'no pet' building, then you will most likely be unable to own a pet. However, in some instances you may be able to make slight changes to the lease. You may be able to extend or limit the lease amount by a couple of months in some situations, for example, if you know you are moving away in 11 months but have the lease for twelve. You may even be able to lower the rent by $10 if you agree to a longer lease term than what is required.

Lease Signing Precautions

If you have never signed a lease before then it might be a good idea to have a friend or family member look over it for you. If you find that something is really not right with the lease, then speaking to a real estate lawyer can help. You may find out that the lease is actually asking you to do something that is illegal. If this is the case, you will want to put a stop to this property manager or landlord before others in your situation are caught in the trap.

Some of the things to beware of when signing a lease are any leases that require you to submit your damage deposit no matter what. Another big problem is leases that require you to pay for all damages to the apartment - this is the responsibility of the owner, not the tenant in an apartment setting. Furthermore, unless each unit is individually metered, it is also against the law for you to pay for electricity and water by splitting the cost equally with all the different tenants. If you notice anything about these situations in the lease, it might be a good idea to speak to a real estate lawyer or ask a realtor to look over it.

Landlords and property managers know that most tenants do not have a real estate license or a degree in law. Many property managers will take advantage of this by making lease agreements hard to read with teeny tiny font and several sub clauses that veer off in all different topics. This is why you need to be careful about what you sign. Although leases for apartments may look complicated, it's important to read through every last clause. If you sign without reading, you could be trapped in an agreement that doesn't work for your lifestyle.

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