Rules to Follow Before Signing an Apartment Lease
Your lease is a legally binding document between you and your landlord or property owner in College Station, Texas. For this reason, it is essential you fully understand how you should use your apartment lease to protect your interests. Rushing in and signing a lease on the first apartment you come across is more than a mistake, it is a legal blunder that can cost you a lot of money. Here are 5 rules you should always follow before you sign a lease for any apartment in College Station, Texas.
Rule #1 – Establish a Rapport with the Landlord
Put simply, be nice! Even if you are still at the apartment hunting phase, you always want to be respectful. Never criticize what you view as faults of the property. You can ask questions, but do so in a courteous manner. You will be in no position to negotiate if you get on the landlord’s bad side. The property owner may even equate rudeness to being a bad tenant and be unwilling to rent to you. A good relationship with the landlord will go a long way to making your rental experience a positive one.
Rule #2 – Consider Initial Visits to be Informal Inspections
It is not unusual to visit an apartment complex more than once. When you do visit, be observant and take note of everything you see as though you are conducting an inspection. Feel free to open doors and operate knobs. You want to make sure they operate appropriately. Be sure to check for comfort and safety as well.
Rule #3 – Make a List of Existing Damage Before You Move In
This should not be a problem. Many landlords will gladly conduct a preliminary inspection with you before you sign an apartment lease. If the landlord does not use an actual inspection form, you can download one online or simply make a handwritten list that you both sign and include with the lease. The purpose to this is so you are not later charged with damaging the property which can mean you do not get your security deposit back. Without this documentation, you have no legal recourse in a College Station, Texas court.
Rule #4 – Understand the Lease
The apartment lease will spell out what utilities are included and which ones you have to pay yourself. Where you are permitted to park is also outlined. If you have to pay a monthly fee to park in a secured garage, that should be clear in the lease. Know what you can do and not do in your apartment. Some landlords allow tenants to paint walls while others prohibit any type of change to the property. You may even have to use specific nails to hang pictures. And if the lease specifically prohibits pets, you should abide by that clause unless you want to pay penalties for violating your lease.
These are just a few of the rules you should following before you sign a lease in College Station, Texas. As with any legal document, the important thing is to read and understand your apartment lease. If you have questions, ask for clarification before not after you sign a lease agreement.