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3 Things To Check For Before Signing A Residential Lease

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Are you thinking about renting an apartment or home? If so, you are probably going to be signing a lease before you move in. A lease is a good thing, since it can tell you what to expect and can protect both you and the landlord. However, it's important to be careful about what you are signing. These are a few things that you should check for when signing a residential lease. If you need help, consider hiring a real estate attorney to assist you.

1. The Cost of Breaking the Lease

First of all, you probably don't have any intention of breaking your lease right now. However, things do happen. If you think that there is any chance that you are going to have to move out of your rental before your lease ends, it's important to pay attention to how much it will cost if you break your lease. Some landlords charge a reasonable fee for this, while others charge much more. If there's a chance that you might need to move out for some reason or another, you'll probably want to look for a lease with reasonable terms for moving out before the end of the lease period.

2. Required Notice Before the Landlord Can Enter

In many cases, the landlord can enter the property in emergency situations without giving the tenant any notice ahead of time, such as if there is a fire or a major plumbing leak. However, in normal circumstances, many landlords are required to give you notice before they enter the property. This is often outlined in the lease, and if you value your privacy, you may want to look for a lease that requires a reasonable amount of notice. Also, check for "mandatory inspections," which some landlords like to conduct on a monthly, semi-annual, or other basis.

3. Ability to Have Pets

Are you a pet owner? Do you think you might like the idea of getting a pet later on? If so, you will want to check your lease. Some landlords do not allow pets at all. Others do allow pets but have restrictions, such as the type of pet and number of pets you can have in the house. Some also charge pet fees and pet deposits. Being aware of all of these things can help you determine if a rental is the right choice for you as a pet owner or potential pet owner.