What To Ask Before Signing The Lease…
The location is ideal, the price seems right, and the contract is drawn up. But before you sign your name on the line, there are some questions you should ask a property manager. The worst that can happen is that you don’t get the answers that you wanted.
What is Included?
It’s best to not to presume that the price given is inclusive of all amenities, appliances, and services. Inquire about amenities like grills, gyms, printing, and TVs; appliances like dishwashers, dryers, microwaves, refrigerators, stovetops, and ovens; and services like air conditioning, cable TV, electricity, heating, waste, and water. Inquiring about these criteria will allow you to know what rent includes, so you can better assess whether this is the place for you. If it is, you can then begin budgeting for whatever isn’t included in the base rent. Depending on the establishment, you should be able to ask what upgrade packages they offer to cover some of the necessary criteria that they may not be originally offering.
Can I Design or Make Improvements to the Place?
Ask the property manager about their stance on renovating the rental space. See if the property manager would be okay with renovations like adding a new doorbell system, new lighting, painting, and putting nails in the wall or would they see it as property damage. It is seldom that the dealbreaker is in whether you can make your rental space feel like it’s yours or not.
What About Neighbors/Other Tenants?
This question will provide you with the insight of your potential surroundings. Although discussing the terms of the contract for the confines of your space is important, the circumstances of your surroundings are just as important. This will give you the opportunity to get the property manager’s opinion of the environment prior to signing the contract. As a follow-up, you should also consider speaking with neighbors or other tenants that are already there, so you can get multiple perspectives.
Does the Contract Automatically Renew?
This question is major. The important takeaway from this question is that each property management will likely have their own way of handling contracts after the first year. Some contracts automatically renew after the first year. Some require a notarized agreement to extend the contract. Some become a month by month after the first year. Take the time to inquire exactly when the contract will end and what steps or notice you’ll have prior to it ending, so you don’t get caught by surprise.
Are All the Details for the Contract Going to Be Written in The Contract?
This is where many people reach an impasse with their property managers. While you may have negotiated benefits or discounts in verbal discussions, ultimately, they will not hold up legally if they aren’t in the signed written contract. If it seems like all the details won’t be written in the contract, insist that the property manager puts it in the fine print before you agree to sign the contract. A contract is legally binding so they’ll have no choice but to stand by whatever is written in the written contract long term.
These are just some of many you should consider asking a property manager before you sign on the line. Once you feel satisfied with all the answers and negotiations that you’ve gotten, sign the contract with the assurance that you’re fully covered.