What You Should Know About Your Apartment Lease Agreement

Looking to rent an apartment but aren’t sure about what the lease entails? There are many things to know before signing a lease during your apartment rental search. A lease is a legal agreement between you and your landlord that identifies what is expected, what is permitted and what is your responsibility as a tenant. It is important to know what the contents of your lease are before leasing a Garden Communities FL apartment

The motive of a lease agreement is to create a transparent understanding between landlord and tenant at the start of the rental period so you can avoid any potential issues that may arise. The important thing is that you read your lease thoroughly before signing and making a long-term commitment.

Finances First 

close-up image of 3 credit cards

How good does your credit have to be to lease an apartment?  Regardless of whether you’re renting for the first time or you’re are a seasoned renter, a good credit score is necessary. In order to move into a new apartment, a credit check is a requirement in Florida. Passing a credit check solidifies that you’re financially responsible. This is important to your landlord so that they are confident you will be able to pay your rental fees. If you do not pass the credit check, you will not be permitted to lease an apartment. Poor credit? Don’t fret as there are many ways to improve your credit score so you can rent that apartment of your dreams.

What Should Your Lease List? 

Leasing Office at The Landings At Cypress Meadows
Leasing Office at The Landings At Cypress Meadows

If you sign without reading your lease, you may be agreeing to terms you can’t uphold. It is essential to read your lease thoroughly before committing. In doing so, be sure to understand the basic information along with the details and small print. There are plenty of moving resources that can help! Keep reading to see the standard items that should be included. 

The Basics

A man signing paperwork with a pen

The beginning and end of your lease include the basic information you need to know as you are intending to lease your apartment. The basic information includes the primary information about the property and terms of your lease. It is important to understand the basic terms as well as the detailed information included.

Start of lease 

  • Property location 
  • Who is renting it, from whom (generally the names on the lease are the responsible parties, this would include roommates, if any) 
  • The length of the lease (most are one year)
  • The amount of the rent (per month) 
  • When rent is due (generally the 1st or 15th of each month) 
  • What happens when rent is late (what is considered late? Are there penalties?)
  • The security deposit amount to be paid, and the requirements for refund 

End of Lease 

  • Is there an automatic lease renewal at the end of your term? 
  • Do you keep the original lease terms? 
  • How much notice is required to break the lease? (30 days or 60 days written notice is typical) 
  • What are your options as a tenant if you must break the lease? (is there a penalty?  Can you sublet your apartment?) 

The Details

Every location and every landlord will have details specific to their lease.  Read them carefully! 

  • Who is responsible for repairs? Is it different for a major or a minor job? What is the procedure for requesting a repair? Is there a time limit?
  • Are utilities included in the rent? 
  • Are pets allowed? Is there a type, breed, size or other limit? Is there a pet deposit? 
  • Can you make modifications to your property? (painting or other decorating) Is there a penalty for unauthorized modification? 
  • Are there fees associated with any of the amenities in your community? (Fitness Center, Computer Center ETC…) 

Ask Before You Lease 

Outside view of the volleyball court at the Harvard Apartments in Brevard County
Harvard Apartments in Brevard County

Renting an apartment is a commitment that you want to think through thoroughly. Before putting your John Hancock signature on a lease make sure you determine what your needs are and if the place that you’re interested in meets those needs. From state to state, complex to complex, owner to owner, leases can have their quirks. The best thing you can do is carefully read your lease, ask questions before signing a lease and do not sign until you are certain you understand what is expected of you as a tenant.

Pet Friendly 

A couple sitting on the couch with a poodle and a cat

When leasing an apartment with your furry best friend, it’s important to know what the lease says about pets. The good news? Garden Communities Florida have all pet-friendly apartment rentals! If this is your first time renting with a pet, there are some pet-friendly rental tips you should know before signing your lease, such as community rules, pet fees, and restrictions. 

Now that you understand the ins and outs of your apartment lease a bit more. It’s time to sign and get moving!