Signing a lease might seem straightforward, but some things should be considered before the ink dries. Both the tenant and landlord must understand their rights and responsibilities to ensure everyone is on the same page. Both parties should be willing to negotiate what they feel is fair, including breaking a lease agreement or lessening rent payments when necessary. However, be aware of these five red flags before you sign because they can signal potential trouble down the line.
1. They can’t give you a number for utilities
If you are a tenant who has been looking around for a reputable landlord and you come across one which can’t give you an exact number for utilities, it might be time to walk away. Having the utilities put in your name first is essential so that the landlord does not start charging you for anything without your knowledge. This can include everything from cable bills to phone charges which may seem unrelated at first but could cause financial trouble if the landlord should charge you.
2. The owner is being investigated
A landlord is your most significant resource for rental properties; the last thing you want to run into is being investigated. If the landlord has been cited for anything, there must be a reason. There are numerous online resources that can list all of the legal issues brought against a person or corporation in their area. If you happen to come across a landlord’s name while looking through these websites, make it a point to ask them about it before you sign a lease agreement.
3. You can’t visit the property
This red flag should be examined before signing on the dotted line. The landlord has to make a statement regarding how many visits they would like you to complete in your lease agreement; making it so that you can’t visit the property for so many days will increase your rent dramatically. Some landlords want to see the tenant once a month, while others would like them to be there more often. Make sure you negotiate this with the landlord to work for both of you.
4. They want the tenant to sign an official document
A landlord should not be making any official documents without your approval or knowledge. If a landlord attempts to force someone to sign a document without letting them fully understand what is being asked, this could cause concern. If a landlord does this, it could also be a sign of trouble down the line since you may find yourself in a situation where your contract has been violated.
5. The late rent fee is unreasonable
If the rent fee is too high, then you should take the initiative to negotiate it. This will allow you to go with a landlord with reasonable rates willing to work with you on payments. Ensure your rent is always paid on time, or the landlord could request that you pay their late fees before they can even start paying you anything. Getting a good quality tenant is essential for any property owner, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
Signing a lease might seem like a simple thing to do, but some things should be considered. It is essential that both parties have to read each other’s contracts and make sure that they are understood. If you think you can work with the landlord, show them this article and offer your services.