After getting a residence to rent, you will be most likely be required to sign the lease agreement immediately. But don’t, as the deal favors the landlord most of the time. Take your time, do due diligence to ensure you will be legally protected in the transaction. Though tedious, it’s worth it.
By taking your time, you can learn and take the necessary steps to avoid any problems that can come along. In addition, it will give you the confidence that you are entering into a fair lease agreement. Read further to learn the warning signs of a residential lease agreement.
Giving the Landlord Unlimited Access
As a tenant, you deserve to have the peace of mind of knowing that you are protected from harassment by your landlord. Never sign a lease where the landlord has unrestricted access to the property.
The landlord should give notice before they enter your property and can not enter without a valid reason. Examples of a good reason include:
- Pre-arranged appointment with the tenant
- Following an emergency, like fire or burst water pipe
- After receiving consent from the tenant to view for any future repairs or maintenance
Landlords should never use their access as a bargaining chip to force tenants to abide by their wishes.
A Non-Refundable Security Deposit
No lease requires a security deposit, but a landlord may ask a tenant to pay one in some circumstances. Some states regulate the use of this type of deposit.
In general, there might not be a clause that explicitly explains that your security is non-refundable, but there may be language that indicates it is. Having an attorney for interpretation is essential.
Renewal Clause Without a Specified Amount
A clause indicating that the landlord will state the new amount is detrimental to the tenant, making them feel trapped in their lease agreement. You must know precisely the amount you will be paying for your future rent, or else; you can get stuck with a clause like this.
The Tenant is Responsible for all the Maintenance
It’s the role of the landlord to keep the property in good condition. It includes plumbing, electrical, the roof, and the heating system. While the tenant is accountable for the upkeep of the property, if something breaks, the landlord must fix it, not the tenant.
Giving up Your Right to Sue the Landlord
You contractually agree to resolve any future problems with the landlord through arbitration. Unfortunately, many landlords try to take advantage of this by presenting less-than-legitimate reasons for evicting tenants who have not violated their leases in any way. Any lease that excludes the landlord from legal liability should be handled with extreme caution.
In the end, you need to be sure that your lease agreement is written in a way that protects you and not the landlord. If it’s not, then there may be some legal issues down the road if anything unforeseen happens with your house or apartment. You may download a commercial lease agreement for office or a residential lease agreement for your house here for free.