What’s the lease term? What does the lease say about the security deposit? Is the security deposit refundable?
What’s the lease term?
Don’t need to rent property until 12 months, while many residential leases last for 12 months, don’t automatically assume that your lease will last a year. Find out specifically how long your lease term is because you’ll be obligated for rent for the duration, and protected from changes such as the landlord raising rent.
While a month-to-month lease can give you much more flexibility, you’re vulnerable to a landlord evicting you or raising rent soon after you move in. A longer lease provides more peace of mind that your housing situation will be stable. If you plan to stay put, you may even want to ask if the landlord would be open to a multi-year lease.
What does the lease say about the security deposit?
As a condition of moving in, you’ll almost definitely need to put down a security deposit in case of to cover any rent arrears, bills owing or damage beyond normal wear and tear at the end of the tenancy, it’s a guarantee that you’re going to take care of the property you’re renting. Find out exactly how much that deposit is. You also want to know when your landlord can keep your deposit.
Typically, your state’s landlord-tenant laws set basic guidelines regarding when your landlord needs to return your deposit and under what circumstances your landlord can take deductions for repairs. However, make sure your lease doesn’t include any special provisions giving your landlord more power to retain your money. You must know what the situations are before signing the lease to ensure you are able to get the deposit back when you move out
Is the security deposit refundable?
Make sure you have clarity about what part of the money you give your landlord upfront for the apartment or other rental is an administration fee, and what is a deposit.
Some deposits are fully refundable if the apartment is returned in good condition after the renter moves out, and some are nonrefundable.
If the deposit is significant, ask important questions before move-in day about what conditions the lease spells out for the security deposit’s return, how maintenance requests are handled, and if there are any additional fees.