What should I be looking for in my contract before I sign a lease?

Contractual agreements are quite common these days. From electronic to oral and written agreements, most purchases and sales are typically infiltrated through a transactional contract between two or more parties.

Are you clueless when it comes to signing a lease? Signing a piece of paper may cause anxiety is some, especially when you barely have a clue as to what you are agreeing to. However, when it comes to signing a piece a paper in exchange for a 12-month lease, contracts seem to be much less complex.

Prior to ending your search for Tallahassee apartments, it may be beneficial to have some insight as to what you should expect when signing a lease agreement. Most Tallahassee apartments, and apartment communities in general will use a standard form. These standard form contracts are most often approved by the state of Florida, Tallahassee or even the Florida Realtor Bar Association (FARBAR). If your community is using one of these forms, rest assured knowing that this agreement is beneficial towards both parties and less one sided. However, that still may not make it any easier to sign your rights away.

Lease contracts are normally your standard tenant/landlord agreements. The majority of these are know as term year contracts and last, on average, 12 months. When you first receive your contract, make sure that this information is spelled out in your contract. When first eye balling your lease agreement with the Leon County property, you want to quickly skim for three things; first, the duration of time you will spend in your unit; two the amount you will owe each month along with the rental due date; and three, the cancellation clause.

Despite the obvious that there is a high probability that the first two criteria will be met, it is often the third clause that have people worried. Questions will arise like, “can I get out of this lease?,” “what damages am I responsible for?,” “Can they really do that?” Before you sign your lease, I would strongly recommend reading this clause carefully and consider asking any and al questions that's are not spelled out clearly.

Most often, rental housing will accept a small fee in order to terminate the contract. If reading your contract you notice that the termination of your stay allots in more money than you would even pay to remain in the unit, chances are this is a biased contract and I would reconsider prior to signing. However, generally this will not occur.

Carefully look through your responsibility clause. What have you promised to do? Most lease agreements expect you to keep your home in order and allow you to make minimal damage. Remember a result of breach of contract can require you to pay specific performances such as pay additional fees in order to restore your unit or even loose out on your security deposit. Become familiar as to what actions trigger these types of consequences. Is there a privacy agreement within your contract? Do NOT overlook this! When and how can a leasing agent enter your home? Do you get a notice? Can they change the locks on you? Read this clause until you understand it. Although this area of the paper may be an easy read, you do not want any room for ambiguity here. However, do know that most complexes to require a notice prior to entering your home.

Although there will be several more clauses in your agreement, most lease contracts are relatively short and protect the leasee as much as it protects the leasor. If you do not understand a portion of your agreement, ask prior to signing. The worst thing you can do is get stuck in a year lease not knowing what you agreed to. Most apartments near Tallahassee are fairly used to this process and are trained to explain the wording of the document. Don't be afraid to ask.

These are the opinions of writers and not the opinions of RentTally.com or any of our advertising partners.