3 Questions To Ask Before Signing A Lease For An Apartment

Posted on: 8 May 2017

Before signing a rental contract for an apartment, you need to thoroughly review the apartment and even the landlord. You want to be sure that the apartment meets your needs and that the landlord is committed to upholding his or her responsibilities. Here are just a few questions you can ask of potential landlords before deciding on an apartment.  

What Is the Application Process? 

Simply asking a landlord about the application fee and how long it takes to process an application is not enough. Depending on the steps the landlord takes to screen your application, your credit could potentially be impacted. Therefore, it is important that you understand exactly what steps the landlord is going to take to screen your application.  

For instance, if he or she is conducting a credit check, you need to know if the inquiry will be a hard or soft one. You also need to know what criteria you have to meet to be approved. If you do not meet those criteria, you can save yourself the application fee and time by simply bypassing on applying.  

Is Early Termination Possible? 

If you have to move before the end of your rental term, you need to know exactly what happens if you do. Whether or not early termination of the lease is possible is important because if the landlord is not agreeable to it, you could end up being responsible for the remainder of the lease.  

If the landlord does have an early termination clause in the rental agreement, you need to understand the terms. For instance, will you be responsible for paying a fee to break your lease? If so, how much? Can you help find a substitute tenant and end the lease without having to pay any fees? 

What Changes Are Allowed? 

Even though the apartment is just a rental, you might want to make changes to it to make it seem more like your home. For instance, you might want to paint a room or mount a television on the wall. For some landlords, all of these are acceptable changes. For others, they are big no-nos. Before you make any changes, you need to understand exactly what you are allowed to do.  

Ideally, the rental contract should outline which changes are allowed. If you want to make changes that are not covered in the contract, ask for permission. If the landlord agrees, ask him or her to write it into the contract and sign and date the change. 

For more information, talk to a professional like Meadowdale Apartments.