Signing a lease can feel like a no-brainer when you’ve found the luxury apartment of your dreams. But before you rush to put pen to paper, it’s incredibly important that you:
- Go over some key elements of the lease first
- Know exactly what you’re agreeing to before you sign the lease
Because leases are contracts.
If you sign (or “execute”) that contract, you’re saying you know and agree to all of its terms. Obviously, that can come back to bite you big time if you’re signing the lease and agreeing to terms you don’t really understand.
That can cost you in a lot of ways later — but it doesn’t have to.
How to Rent a Luxury Apartment: 4 Key Terms to Review Before Signing a Lease
To help you navigate the ins and outs of complex rental agreements, here’s a breakdown of the key terms and conditions you need to keep an eye out for — and fully comprehend — before you sign any lease.
1. Rent Costs & Payment
First and foremost, make sure the monthly rent fees you’ve discussed with the landlord or property manager are detailed in the lease. Additionally, with rent costs and payment terms, make sure you are clear on the terms related to:
- When rent is due and what the grace periods for payment are
- When rent fees can be raised and how much notification must be provided before prices go up
- When rent fees may be prorated
- What any extra costs may be for pets
2. Others’ Access to Your Unit
At some point, property managers or others affiliated with the apartment complex may need to get into your unit to do some work or complete certain inspections. If or when that’s necessary, you need to know what that means for you when it comes to:
- Who has the right to access your unit
- How much notification must be provided before others access your unit
- Whether or not that access can occur without you being present
When things in your unit break and you need help, what can you expect in terms of maintenance? That should be outlined in your lease too. So, look for terms that specifically relate to:
- Who is responsible for fixing what
- How soon you can expect maintenance to respond to your requests
- What happens when you need after-hours maintenance
- When or whether rent will be prorated if key appliances or features of your unit are not working for extended periods
4. Other Terms
In addition to the above, some other important terms to check out before signing can include (and may not be limited to):
- The pet policy
- The noise and party policy
- Lease renewals
- Guest policies
Signing a Luxury Apartment Lease: 5 More Pro Tips
Beyond keeping your eyes peeled for the terms above, here are a few more useful tips that can help you when it’s time to check out a lease:
- Use a highlighter or sticky notes to call out the essential terms, so you can easily find and review them later.
- Bring your ID and the required deposit with you when you go to review and sign the lease.
- Bring someone you trust with you, if possible, so you have another pair of eyes helping you scan the lease and look for any odd, unusual, or unfair terms.
- Negotiate the terms if you need to. If you know that certain terms just won’t work out but there’s a reasonable alternative, try to negotiate what you need into the lease before you sign it.
- Be prepared to pay for any additional deposits, outside of the first/last month’s rent and the security deposit, like pet deposits.
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