4 Things To Do Before Signing An Apartment Lease

Posted on: 13 July 2020

Seeking out your next apartment? Whether you're looking at studios, two-bedroom apartments, or anything between, you'll want to do your due diligence before signing a legally binding lease agreement. Specifically, there are a few things you should check off your list before you sign on that dotted line.

Inquire About Utilities

The rental rate on the apartment may be within your budget, but what about other expenses? If utilities like gas, electric, and water aren't covered as part of your monthly rent, you'll want to get a general idea of how much these will cost you. Your landlord should be able to provide you with a monthly utility estimate based on the previous tenants, so don't hesitate to ask.

Pore Over the Lease Agreement

While it may seem like a laborious task to read every single line of your lease agreement before signing, this is exactly what you should do. Ask the landlord or property manager to send you a copy of the lease agreement ahead of time so you have time to read it for yourself. Specifically, be on the lookout for policies related to painting/decorating, having visitors, pets, and parking. You'll also want to read up on your security deposit conditions and what other funds may be due at the signing of your lease (such as first and last months' rent).

Ask For a Walk-Through

Before you sign your lease agreement and have the keys to the apartment in your hands, you may also want to request a walk-through inspection of the exact unit in which you'll be living. This will give you an opportunity to note any existing damage to the property so that you can't be held accountable for it after you move out. Examples of things to note may include stained carpet, cracked tiles, and broken blinds. Make sure that both you and your landlord keep a copy of this documentation on file.

Check Out the Amenities

If the apartment complex advertises a pool fitness center or other amenities that you plan on using, check them out for yourself before you sign your lease. You'll want to make sure you're happy with the condition and accessibility of these amenities before you make a final decision.

Even if you're in a hurry to secure a lease on an apartment, you'll want to take these four important steps before you sign a legally binding rental agreement. From there, you can move in with a little more confidence and peace of mind!