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Before Signing the Lease (Rent Agreement)

Ready to sign the lease and move in? Here are a few things you should know before signing the rental agreement for your ideal apartment-


Once your rental application is approved, the landlord will ask you to come and sign the lease. This is the time when you should bring up any concern you have about that Shreveport apartments as well as negotiate for better terms.

Make sure you have enough money in your account to cover the security deposit and first month’s rent. It is pretty common that your landlord asks for it. In case you terminate the lease early or leave the apartment in disrepair, the landlord will use the security deposit to cover those costs. But, if no repair is needed, you can get your security deposit back.

Since the rental agreement is for short time period and lease is for a long period, if you know that you will only be in the Shreveport Louisiana apartments for a long time, as landlord to prepare lease.

Always read the lease or rental agreement before signing. Never sign anything until you read through the lease line-by-line. You must know what you are getting into when you agree to rent from a landlord. Make note of anything you cannot agree on and ask questions about what you do not understand.

Here are some questions you can ask your landlord before signing the lease-

How much is rent?

How much is the security deposit and how can you get it back?

What’s the term of the tenancy? Month-to-month? Nine months? One year?

What happens at the end of the lease? When the term of the lease is up, what do you have to do to renew it? How much will the landlord increase your rent by?

What happens if you terminate your lease early?

This an important provision to check. Sure, you may plan to stay in your apartment in Shreveport for a year, but plans can change and you’ll have to terminate your lease early. Most apartments ask for 30 to 60 days’ notice. So, ask upfront if there are any termination fees. Under the law in most states, you are legally responsible to pay the landlord only for the actual loss in rent that your early termination caused.

If you are singing the lease with a roommate, check the lease if you are jointly and severally liable. Generally, when you sign a lease with a roommate the lease will state that each co-signer is jointly and severally liable. It means if your roommate doesn’t pay his share, you are still on the hook for the full rent amount.

Where, how, and when is rent paid and what happens if you’re late on rent?

Which utilities are you responsible for?

Is subletting allowed? Let’s say you take a three-month trip during the summer. You have a friend who needs a place to stay during that same three-month period. Instead of leaving your apartment vacant for three months, you offer to let your friend stay in your place as long as he pays you the amount of monthly rent so that you can pay the landlord.

Are you responsible for minor repairs or is your landlord?

Are pets allowed, and if so, do you have to pay an extra fee for having one?

Is smoking allowed?

If the landlord made any promises verbally to you while you were looking at the Shreveport Louisiana apartment, get those promises written in the lease.

Feel free to negotiate and eliminate any of these terms. If you see any terms you don’t like, ask to have them modified. Also, feel free to negotiate the rent amount or security deposit. Before you and the landlord sign the lease, anything is fair game to change in the contract.

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