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Questions to Ask Before you Sign a Lease

By: Jennifer Lowe - Updated: 9 Oct 2014 | comments*Discuss
Questions To Ask Before You Sign A Lease

When you are about to move into a new house or apartment, you mind will no doubt be full of things to do - none of which will include checking over your lease before you sign it.

Here is a quick checklist to make sure that, with all the stress and mess of moving day, you won't forget something.

First of all you need to check the essentials, such as when your rent is due and where, or who, you should pay it to. You should also find out thee exact amount that you will need for a deposit and when this deposit will be returned to you.

When it comes to discussing the deposit, you will need to find out how you can lose it - the landlord should be able to outline what percentage of your deposit will be used for professional cleaning for example, or how much you will be charged for breaking a table.

And, don't forget to ask when your deposit will be returned - some landlords return it immediately and others keep it until all the final bills have been cleared.

Sharing the apartment

If you think that you might like a roommate at some point in the future then you will need to find out what the rules surrounding this are.

Most landlords won't mind if you need to take in a roommate at some point in the future, but they will usually have their own requirements to keep it all above board.

Your landlord will no doubt have a policy on adding an extra person to the lease, so make sure you find out about this before you put pen to paper.

All inclusive

Every landlord has different rules when it comes to utilities, sometimes you will be required to pay for them yourself and other times the cost is included in the rent.

Now, the advantage to having it included is that you don't have to worry about sorting out final bills or late payments while you are in the apartment and when you decide to leave.

However, there is the disadvantage of not being able to shop around for the best deal. If you are responsible for the utility bills then you will be able to find the deal that best suits your needs and, possibly save money.

Having the household bills in your name will also help with your personal credit rating - if you don't fall behind on the payments that is.

Before you move in, you should also check which appliances are included in the rental agreement.

Depending on the type of building, your rent may also include a service charge. This money is used to take care of the communal areas and any facilities, such as a gym, car park or concierge.

Moving out

Even if it seems a long way away now, you will eventually want to move on and, obviously, your landlord will need some notice to allow time to find new tenants to take over the lease.

This period is usually a month, but it can vary so you should find this out before you sign.

And, don't forget to get a copy of your contract and a receipt for any deposit you pay.

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