Leasing An Apartment

Published on May 22nd, 2012

There are a few things to consider when leasing an apartment. This list should get you started.

Security Deposit Many apartments really want you to move in, right now! So they have done away with the huge security deposits. All they really want to know is has this person left another lease without paying. And then there are some who consider the deposit mini-landlord insurance. This deposit is equivalent to about one to two month’s rent and can cover anything from a broken window to stained carpet. At the end of your lease, the landlord will conduct an inspection and see whether or not he or she needs to use any of the money on anything damaged beyond the normal “wear and tear” during your stay. State law may only use the security deposit for three purposes: unpaid rent, damages and for cleaning stains or any excessively dirty area. The landlord cannot use it to repaint the apartment to make it look more inviting for the next tenants. (That’s illegal). If you only paid a small deposit, you may owe for damages or carpet cleaning when you leave.

Cleaning Fee Since landlords cannot legally use your security deposit for basic cleaning purposes, some of them choose to include a cleaning fee in your lease.

Last Month of Rent As I said before, most apartments don’t ask for so much upfront, this may apply more to renting a house from an individual landlord. Some landlords ask for the last month’s rent in advance. This way, if you break your lease without first consulting your landlord, he or she has 30 days to find a new tenant before he or she needs another rent payment. If you’re a good tenant, and don’t break your lease, then you’ll save yourself the trouble of having to worry about getting together your last month of rent. (This can be really helpful when you have to deal with all the costs of moving out!) Unlike the security deposit, this charge is non-refundable.

Pet Deposit This, too, is a form of mini-landlord insurance typically running somewhere around $300.00. The pet deposit is used to cover any wear and tear caused by your pets. Some landlords also ask for a ‘pet fee’ once a month ($20-$50) to cover the cost and inconvenience of the lovely pooper-scooping duties. Many landlords make all or part of the pet deposit non-refundable. This is an important issue if you have pets. You don’t want to get caught with a pet without giving the apartment the deposit, they can fine you or remove the pet. Check your lease.

Renter’s Insurance You aren’t required to get insurance, but it is HIGHLY recommended. If something should happen like a fire or flood, the apartment complex is covered by their insurance, but your contents are not.  Renters insurance is usually very inexpensive and will cover you in case of theft, water damage or fire.

Parking You might not always catch that prime parking space, and depending on where your apartment complex is, this could mean parking on the street. If you’re living in the arts district in Downtown Dallas, you might need to feed the parking meter monster or pay for a secured parking lot. Keep this in mind when you yearn for that artsy loft. Many apartment complexes offer covered parking. This can be worth the extra money each month and it keeps your car out of the hot Texas sun in the summer and allows you to be out of the rain when getting in and out of your car. And you might also ask your leasing agent about garages on site. If you have the extra money, this is great, you can park your car and have someplace to keep extra things like your ice chest.

Regardless of how many of the deposits and fees the landlord asks you for, make sure these are all outlined in the lease.  Your apartment lease should cover everything, but just in case you rent from an individual who has a duplex or even a house, make sure everything is written down, signed by all parties, and everybody has a copy.

Recreated from this article.

We hope your apartment leasing goes smoothly.

And when you are ready to move home or office, we would love to help!  Get a free online quote today.

Comments Off on Leasing An Apartment


Comments are closed.

Certified Woman Owned Business Texas Self Storage Association Texas HUB - Historically Underutilized Business Program
Unpakt - compare moving companies