Not All Apartment Leases Are Created Equal

Before signing any lease:

* Take a walk through the unit that you are renting to make sure it is in good repair.

* Be sure to read the lease completely. All leases are not the same.

What should be included in your lease:

* All verbal promises should be reduced to writing within the lease.

* Are there provisions for a job transfer within the lease?

* How and when do you give notice to move? Must you give notice even when the lease expires and you wish to move? Can you go month to month at the expiration of you lease?

* How long does the landlord have to return your security deposit once you have moved.

* Who is responsible for the repairs to the apartment? If you move into an apartment complex, there are usually maintenance people to take care of all needed repairs. On the other hand if you are renting from a private landlord, you may be responsible for part or all of the repairs.

* Are late fees addressed in the lease?

* Who is responsible for the utilities?

* What happens if you cause damage to the apartment?

If you want to make a change to the lease, cross out the clause in question. Then both you and the landlord must initial the change for it to be binding.

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