Real Estate Investment 101: Getting Started

3 Questions You Should Ask Before You Sign An Apartment Rental Contract

There are many people who for a variety of different reasons decide that renting an apartment is preferable to buying real estate. Perhaps they cannot qualify for a home loan, they are living temporarily in an area, the area where they live has too high of real estate costs and so much more. If you choose to rent an apartment, it is important that you make sure you are protected by asking some important questions before you sign a lease. Here are some things you should be asking.

What Is The Length of The Lease and The Termination Penalties?

Every lease will have a different length that they require you sign for. This means that you might think you are only signing for a year, but the lease says differently. If you sign that contract, even if you think it said something else, then you are legally on the hook to pay for the apartment for that amount of time. It is important that you talk to the landlord or the property management company to make sure that you are on the same page. Even if they say one thing, make sure it is in writing.

Additionally, check the contract to see what kind of penalties there are if you need to terminate your contract. In some cases you will be required to pay the rest of the lease, or you might just have to pay a termination fee. This is something you should know before you sign.

Who Takes Care Of Repairs?

At many apartments for rent, they will have a maintenance crew that will come in and take care of all of the repairs for you. This means that if the dishwasher isn't working, you can call them. However, this is not always the case. In some instances, you will have to care for it on your own, or you may have trouble getting someone there. Talk to other residents (if applicable) to see if the landlord is good at fixing things. This can be an expensive extra if they don't care for the apartment.

Who Pays The Utilities?

Lastly, you need to know who is paying for the utilities at the apartment. Does your rent cover your sewer, water, garbage and so forth, or do you need to register with the city and pay all of these bills on your own? These are questions that should be answered before you sign the contract.

By asking these questions you can know what to expect before you sign.