If you have ever rented a home, you know first hand how stressful the process can be. Not only are you consumed with finding the perfect home, but the contract process can be overwhelming once you do. With so much information to digest, it is common to overlook important questions that you should be asking. Below are three important inquiries that should be confirmed before entering into a lease agreement:
When is rent due and how can payment be remitted? If you have rented a home in the past, you may have been fortunate enough to be provided with a grace period. However, it is becoming more and more common that property management companies are requiring rent to be paid by the 1st of the month and the late fee can be significant if it is not received on time.
It is also important to inquire how rent can be paid. Most property managers and landlords now have the capability to accept online payments. This can make paying rent extremely convenient and help to avoid any late fees, especially if automatic payments can be setup.
How are maintenance requests submitted and how long does it take to address the issue? One of the primary benefits of renting from a property management company is that maintenance requests are usually taken extremely seriously. Before signing the lease agreement, it is important to clarify how maintenance requests are to be submitted and what phone number should be used for emergency situations. Most property managers will want the issue to be submitted in writing and have the capability to accept the maintenance request online. It is also very important to ask how long it typically takes to respond to these requests and the timeline to resolve most issues.
How can the lease agreement be terminated? When entering into the contract, the last thing you are probably thinking about is canceling your lease agreement; however, the fact of the matter is your situation may change and it is important to outline the process for early termination. Most property management companies do have policies for this situation and will offer an early termination option. Before entering into a lease agreement, it is extremely important to confirm this policy and how much is charged for breaking the agreement early.
I hope that you never are in a situation where you enter into a lease agreement before receiving all of the important information. Always remember that it is better to ask a lot of questions and be comfortable with the decision than sign a contract and regret it later.