Understanding Your Apartment Lease in Tuscaloosa
Understanding Your Lease
Tuscaloosa Apartment Articles
Deciding where to live when moving to Tuscaloosa
can be an unnerving task, especially when the options are as many and as varied as in the Tuscaloosa area.
One of the most important considerations when it comes to finding a new apartment home is finances. How much Tuscaloosa apartment
can you afford?
Half the fun of moving into a new apartment in the Tuscaloosa area
is decorating your space. But sometimes that can be a challenge.
When budgeting for an Tuscaloosa apartment
, don't forget to include the cost of renters insurance.
A lease is a legally binding contract between a tenant and a landlord. A lease obligates both tenant and landlord to specific terms.
You've signed the lease on your new apartment in the Tuscaloosa area
and now the work really begins. Moving can be one of the most stressful of life's events, but there are steps you can take to alleviate the pain of the process.
Before you begin a serious apartment search in Tuscaloosa
it's a good idea to delineate what you're looking for and to prioritize those desires.
Safety is a primary consideration, when choosing an Tuscaloosa area apartment
community. No amount amenities - of swimming pools and clubhouses and fancy appliances - are worthwhile if you don't feel secure in your own apartment home.
You've found the perfect apartment. Now it's time to make application, sign the lease and get moved in.
A lease is a legally binding contract between a tenant and a landlord. A lease obligates both tenant and landlord to specific terms. It gives the tenant the right to occupy the landlord's property for a set period of time, so long as the tenant abides by the terms. The lease also obligates the landlord to maintain a livable dwelling and generally prevents the raising of rent within the period of the contract. Getting everything spelled out in writing up front protects both the landlord and tenant in case of disputes down the road.
A lease should always delineate the following:
- Duration of Tenancy (Lease Term)
- Names of Tenants
- Limit on Occupancy
- Deposits and Other Fees
- Monthly Rent
- Who is Responsible for Utilities
- Who is Responsible for Repairs and Maintenance
- Pet Restrictions
- Subletting Restrictions
- Landlord's Rights and Restrictions to Access
- Tenant's Activity Restrictions
- Legal Remedy
Duration of Tenancy (Lease Term)
This is simply the length of time for which the contract is binding. Leases are generally for 12 months, but can be for as little as three. The tenant is obligated to pay rent for the duration of that period, even if he moves out of the apartment, or "breaks the lease." In most states, landlords are required to make attempts to re-lease the apartment as soon as possible, and the tenant is then liable for rent until that time, in addition to the cost of re-leasing.
Make sure your lease spells out how you will proceed after the term is up. If you wish to remain, can you pay on a month-to-month basis thereafter or will you be required to sign a new lease?
Names of Tenants in your Tuscaloosa apartment
These are the people who are legally responsible for the agreement.
Limit on Occupancy in your Tuscaloosa apartment
Your lease should specify the number of people who can occupy the property. This clause will dictate whether a tenant can have roommates or not.
Deposits and Other Fees for Tuscaloosa apartment
Landlords typically require a security deposit, often the equivalent of one month's rent. Be sure that the dollar amount of the deposit, as well as the conditions under which it may or may not be returned, are clearly spelled out.
Monthly Rent in apartment, Tuscaloosa
Your lease should specify the amount of rent, when it is due (usually the first day of the month) and the acceptable methods of payment (by check, bank draft, etc.) and where payment may be made. The lease should also state in writing when penalties will be charged (is there a grace period?), the amount of penalties and also the penalty for checks returned for insufficient funds.
Who is Responsible for Utilities?
What utilities is the landlord responsible for? Water, sewer, gas, electricity, garbage, cable? And which must the tenant pay?
Who is Responsible for Repairs and Maintenance?
This should not only delineate who is responsible for specific repair and maintenance issues, but also, the landlord's policies regarding maintenance and especially emergency repairs. The lease should also include restrictions to tenants' alterations, such as requiring permission before painting or prohibiting installation of certain appliances.
What type, breed and how many pets are permitted on the property (Tuscaloosa apartment)? Is there an additional deposit required for pets? Is it refundable? Under what conditions will it be withheld?
Can the tenant sublease the apartment (Tuscaloosa apartment) to another tenant?
Landlord's Rights and Restrictions to Access in your future Tuscaloosa home
Under what circumstances may the landlord enter the apartment? This is typically granted in case of emergency and, with prior notice, for repairs, inspections and to show the apartment to prospective tenants. Be sure the lease specifies the length of notice required before entry - generally 24 hours.
This part of the lease should specify who will pay attorney's fees in case of legal action.
Whatever you do, read your lease document carefully before signing, and don't be afraid to ask questions or even request changes. Amendments can be easily added and signed off on by both parties.
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