Signing a Lease What You Should Know HIDDEN TRAPS!! 2. Penalties for Late or Missed Rent
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What You Should Know
2. Penalties for Late or Missed Rent
[I once had a landlord who insisted that, if his tenants were late on rent even once -- or if the check bounced -- all subsequent rent payments would have to be made with certified checks. This would mean a trip to the bank every month and the bank's fee for issuing the check. Fortunately, my roommate and I caught this in the fine print prior to signing and persuaded him to change the proviso to two late payments before dropping the axe, so to speak. You, too, should take note of the penalties for missed and late rent. Is there a fee? Will they report you to the credit bureau? Also, is there a grace period?
1. The Monthly Due Date for Rent Checks
I highly recommend knowing when your landlord expects to receive your rent check. Timely payments ensure a favorable impression -- something which you may need in the future if you apply to an apartment that requires references from previous landlords. It's also a good idea to know the due date, so you can avoid------
Sometimes and oftentimes unexpectedly, we need to break the lease. So, always be on the lookout for the clause in the lease that explains any penalties for breaking the lease. Be wary of any conditions that require you to pay rent until the landlord finds a replacement. If your lease has this clause, be sure to find out if your state requires landlords to make all efforts to find a new tenant. And if they don't, you'll definitely want to know what limitations, if any, there are to finding a new tenant.
Don't assume that you're allowed to sublet freely to anyone you want. The building belongs to the landlord, so it's ultimately up to him or her whether their tenants can sublease the unit to a third party. If you think you may want to sublet in the next year, then be sure to find out if you're allowed to.
5. Unusual Fees
Some landlords charge fees for special circumstances or the use of building facilities. There are pet fees, key deposits, gym fees and parking garage fees. So your budget doesn't start blowing up, I recommend finding out about these beforehand and questioning any that seem unreasonable to you.
1.Names of all prospective tenants.The lease binds only those whose names are listed. You don't want to be stuck taking responsibility for everyone, in case something should happen. So check that all names, including those of your roommates, are listed.
2.Address of the apartment. This means the address and apartment number.
3.Amount of rent.The lease should indicate how often this amount is paid (weekly, monthly, etc.).
4.Security deposit.The amount of the security deposit should be stated
5.Start and end date.This represents the duration of the lease, which means the agreement is only active for this period.For leases — the length of time that the lease will be active, specified as the start and end date. This means you're obliged to pay rent and the landlord cannot rent this unit out to another during this period.
For month-to-month rental agreements — the agreement should stipulate that the period is month-to-month and indicate how much notice must be given before moving out. Should the landlord decide to rent to someone else, he or she must also give this same notice to you.
Both the tenant and the landlord must sign the lease. The lease is not valid if only one party signs.
If you have all the necessary information--credit report, reference letters, and cash to pay rent, security deposit and broker fees--you could sign the lease the same day you look at the apartment. Traditionally, such speed-renting is done in competitive markets such as New York City and during times when many people are looking (such as after graduation).
What You Need:
credit report OR social security number and money for the credit check fee
reference letters from previous landlords OR the landlords’ contact information
money for the application fee
money for rent and security deposit
money for the broker, if you use one
bag or folder to carry all of this and to carry your new apartment lease home
Currier RA 07-08
University of Iowa