Before You Sign a Lease

Make sure that your rental agreement is in writing. Take your time and read through the whole lease. Remember that you can negotiate the lease and you should make sure all of your needs and concerns are addressed. Be sure to ask any lingering questions.

Subleasing and Re-letting

Subleasing and re-letting are both methods of renting a property where a third party enters the original lease between a landlord or property management company and a tenant. Subleasing is when the initial tenant rents a portion or all of a property to another. The new tenant must pay rent and comply with the lease terms, but the initial tenant is ultimately responsible for the lease. Re-letting is when a new tenant signs a lease with the landlord and the original tenant's lease is voided.

Before you sign a lease, ensure that your rental is safe and has adequate locks on all doors and windows. Research the landlord or property management company's reputability and check if the landlord has been cited for any building code or fire violations. It can also be helpful to visit a number of potential rentals in order to choose the property that is right for you.

Potential Questions

Application

  • Is there a fee to apply?
  • Is the fee refundable?
  • Do you need a reference?
  • Is guardian involvement/permission required?

Rent

  • What is the cost of rent and when is it due each month?
  • Is there a penalty for late rent?
  • When is the first payment due?
  • How much is the first payment prorated?

Security Deposit

  • How much is the security deposit and when is it due?
  • What are the conditions for return of the security deposit?
  • When will the security deposit be returned?

Time of Occupancy

  • When are the move-in and move-out dates?
  • How much time is required to renew my lease?
  • How much time is required for notice of moving out?

Roommates/Sublease

  • What is the maximum number of roommates?
  • Do additional roommates sign a separate lease?
  • Is subletting allowed? If so, does it require approval?
  • Is there a fee to sublet?

Right of Entry/Inspections

  • How much notice will be given prior to entering and/or inspecting the property?
  • Who else will be allowed to enter the property?

Repairs

  • Have you completed a move in checklist?
  • Are needed repairs promised in writing?

Parking

  • Is there parking available? If so, where?
  • How many spaces are available?
  • Are decal/permits required?
  • Where do guests park?

Laundry

  • Are laundry machines provided on the premises?
  • Is there an additional fee for laundry machines?