What to Do Before Signing a Rental Agreement: 4 Things to Know

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Signing Your Lease

Moving into a new house can be exciting but you have to do due diligence before you sign the lease papers. You need to inspect the property and check for damages or pests. If you find them, you have to request the landlord to fix it or call pest control for cockroaches in homes before you move in. 

4 Critical Things to Do Before Moving-In 

Inspect the Property Carefully

Here is a checklist of all the things you must inspect in the property before signing the lease. 

  • Surroundings of the apartment: Make sure the area around the apartment is safe, calm and has access to shops. Check out the area at night as well to see it is as safe as night as it is in the morning. 
  • Pests: Make sure there are no pests such as rats or cockroach infestations in the house. If there are pests, intimate the owner who can call a pest and cockroach control to clear the infestation. The landlord can hold you responsible for the infestation if you do not report it first and find pests later.
  • Power Outlets: Plug your cell phone into all the power outlets to check if they all are working or not. Ensure the electrical work is in good condition.
  • Alterations: Check with the landlord if you can make any alterations in the house like painting a room, putting a nail in the wall or planting shrubs. Alterations can be considered as damage to property and you can be held accountable.
  • Construction: Ensure the basic construction is in good condition. This includes walls, paintwork, switchboards, flooring, plumbing, etc. 

Confirm Pet Rules 

If you have a pet, check with the landlord if it is a pet-friendly place or not. Many landlords put restrictions on pets, especially if they are big dogs. Even if pets are allowed, some might have weight and breed restrictions. 

Be upfront with them so that you don’t face any issues in the future. At the same time, check the suitability of the place for the pet, if they are allowed in the building. 

Ask About Services You Would be Responsible For 

Discuss with the landlord about the utilities and services each of you would be responsible for. Generally, the landlord is only responsible for things mentioned in the lease. If you want to add anything to that list of services, negotiate it before signing the lease. 

These may include utilities, lawn maintenance, residential pest control, snow removal, and repair work. The most common conflicts between the tenants and the landlords are about who is responsible for pest control. So be proactive and ask all the questions you have before signing the lease. There is often a dollar threshold over which the landlord will pay, but below which will be your responsibility. 

Take Renter’s Insurance 

Every item you move into the house with you will not be covered by the landlord’s insurance. If there is a fire or burglary, you have to use your insurance. If you have to vacate the house due to any damage to the house like water flooding, the landlord doesn’t have to help you find new accommodation. This is why you must take a renter’s insurance to protect yourself from these situations. 

Read the terms within the agreement of the lease and understand everything that is expected from you. This ensures you won’t get any unpleasant surprises down the road.