Key Clauses in Rental Agreements by Bold Real Estate Group. The rental community is booming these days but the majority of prospective renters don’t understand the key clauses in rental agreements.
1. The Late Fee-
You need to have very clear understanding of when your rent is late, as far as what the late fee is exactly. Also, many places will only accept certified funds if late. Be aware that many management companies also have rules in place for accepting rent from multiple parties.
2. The exact term of the lease-
Do not assume that just because you moved in on the 17th that it will end on the 17th of the following year. It may, or it may run to the end of the calendar month.
3. End of Lease-
Have a clear understanding of the lease termination. Many leases have clauses built in to convert to a month-to-month agreement if either party doesn’t terminate or sign a new lease by a certain date. Various communities have different time frames needed to end a lease. Some are 30 day, most are 60, and a few are 90 days before you are looking to move out.
4. Early Termination: What you will owe-
Along with the knowledge of how much written notice to give, you also need to know how much you will owe if you leave early. There should always be a clear ‘Early Termination’ clause in your agreement. Know that very well.
5. Right to access-
Management in most states has unlimited right to access the unit as needed. I know it seems like an invasion of privacy, but you are leasing a small portion of their multi-million dollar investment. Basically, your apartment still belongs to them.
6. Your deposit-
Where does it go? How much is refundable at move out. Is your final water bill deducted automatically? All those things need to be clear.
7. Amenity Rules-
This may be in a separate section all together, but check terms just in case. How many guests do they allow at the pool, hot-tub, fitness room, etc? Understand that while the limitations provided may be an inconvenience to you, the rules are there because, once again, you are sharing a space.
8. Utility payments-
What are you going to pay out of pocket? How is it billed or metered. What are the terms for changing the rate?
9. Pet Policy-
If pets are included, don’t try to bypass the pet deposit. Tell management up front so that you can have a clear understanding of the pet policy. They may have strict areas for dog-walking, or kitty litter removal.
10. The concession/special rate-
What that means is the rate you will pay the entire term of the lease. Are you going in on a reduced rate? If so find out exactly what terms apply. It’s not uncommon that if you are late, you will lose the right to your special that month. Others, if you leave early you have to pay a portion of your concession back.
The most common problems that occur are no meeting of the minds between residents and landlords.
About the Author: Millie Gil has been a successful Licensed Real Estate agent for over 25 years in Florida. Millie is Vice President of Bold Real Estate Group, a boutique agency committed to concierge personalized service for discerning buyers, sellers and renters of residential and commercial properties. For more information please forward your request to firstname.lastname@example.org
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