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A property lease is an agreement under which a landlord agrees to rent a property to another interested party, considering the outlined terms and conditions. It assures the lessee(tenant) use of the property and the lessor(landlord) regular payments for a specific period. Before signing a property lease, it is recommended that one should review the contract carefully. Doing this lets the tenant know everything associated with the property and its rules. Thus, this leads the tenant to follow the rules outlined in the contract. It is to be noted that the rules do not apply to the tenant alone as the owner is connected too. If one of the two parties fails to uphold values, both will face consequences.

Obligations of Landlords in a Property Lease

The obligations of a landlord make up an important part of a property lease. Before putting an apartment out for rent, an inspection must be done. However, it should be done when the current tenant vacates or near the end of the current tenant’s occupancy. Checking for damages must be done as it will ensure that the property is in good repair. As a landlord, you are to have the local Board of Health verify that the property meets the State Sanitary Code. You must conduct a health checkup on your property regularly. This will ensure that major issues are solved. Furthermore, make sure to get a sign-off by the inspector of the Board of Health after the inspection.

Below stated are the obligations of landlords:

  • Repairing the Property: Repairing and maintaining the property as a landlord is your prime responsibility. Furthermore, doing this will ensure that you are in touch with your property, thus serving the tenants to the best of your ability. However, you cannot do this when the tenant leases all of the property. This is because the tenant will then be in charge of the property.
  • Insuring the Property: Insuring the property is a must as it will provide relief in times of distress. Therefore, make sure you research insurance well. This will help you choose the best insurance and reap its benefits.
  • Providing Tenants with a Valid Termination Notice: As a landlord, you value fairness. Therefore, it is important to provide tenants with a valid termination notice. Please ensure that the notice is in writing and contains your signature.
  • Ensuring Enjoyment of a Good Tenant: A good tenant is rare but not impossible to find. Thus, make sure that when you get one, you relish them and make them enjoy their stay. This does not mean that you will have to throw away huge properties. Sometimes, the best gift is a calm atmosphere; therefore, make sure to give that to your tenant.

Therefore, these are the obligations of a landlord. It is to be noted that a landlord cannot charge a finder's fee to a prospective tenant. Only a licensed broker reserves the right to do so. Furthermore, ensuring credit checks and a check of the tenant's prior rental history is very useful. Therefore, do everything that is required of you as a landlord.

Obligations of Tenants in a Property Lease

As a tenant, whether you are moving to your first rental property or your second, knowing how to protect yourself is a must. Therefore, you must understand everything about renting, renter's rights, tenant notices, etc. Make sure that you go through the rules and regulations steadily. This will ensure that you understand and know your roles and responsibilities as a tenant, too.

Below stated are the obligations of tenants:

  • Ensuring Timely Payments: Your prime responsibility as a tenant is to make timely payments. Although 60% of U.S. renters pay their rent online, 69% prefer to do so. Therefore, pay your rent, taxes, etc., as agreed upon in the property lease.
  • Maintaining Good Order: Maintaining good order of the property is the tenant's responsibility. This will lead to you getting a good credit score in the end. Please note that you shall compensate for any mishap you brought forward to the property.
  • Communicating with the Landlord: It is good for a tenant to keep communication open-ended with the landlord. This will allow you to tell the landlord about repairs. Ensure that you do it on a timely basis and let the landlord know where to work.
  • Giving Access: Tenants have a right to privacy. This is also further ensured during a credit check due to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. However, to ensure inspection checks are done, you must give your landlord access. This will let him conduct inspection checks and rectify anything if necessary.
  • Asking for Consent: The tenant must get the landlord's consent before attempting to make any alteration. You must, under no circumstances, bring in changes without the landlord's notice. Even if it is something you think will make your landlord, you must always seek his permission.

Other than following the obligations as a tenant, make sure that you follow your rights, too. No amount of obligation demands a sacrifice of your basic rights. Hence, it’s essential to know your rights. You must keep the necessary documents when communicating with your landlord. Doing this will ensure that you have proof of interactions if your ethics are ever questioned.

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Things to Look Out for Before Signing a Property Lease

Whether you are new to the States or not, renting is something you may need anytime. Therefore, you can now understand that a rental business is on top. 52% of the American renters live in an apartment, followed by 29% living in a single-family detached house. This indicates that it is indeed a true need contemporarily, and you might need one soon, too. However, every rental business has a property lease. Therefore, you must look out for certain things before signing a property lease, as given below:

  • Get a Written Agreement. Make sure you have a written agreement on all the procedures stated by the landlord. Remember that nothing should be accounted for verbally. Therefore, the property owner considers a request for a written agreement for a minute.
  • Inquire about the Associated Fees. Get to know details about the associated fees related to the property. This will let you know of a grace period until after the third or fifth of the month. Thus, be very wary of this before you sign a property lease.
  • Account for Utilities. Look for any utilities accounted for in the property lease. Sometimes, they are added to the rent or excluded. Whatever the case, make sure it is specified in the lease.
  • Discuss with the Landlord. Any changes you would want to implement should be discussed thoroughly before signing the lease. A written agreement will be obtained supporting the action if the permit is achieved. Thus, keep all paths of communication open with your landlord.
  • Conduct Research. Keep your prospects open. Therefore, conduct plenty of research and look into other apartments. Broadening your choices is never wrong. Therefore, keep exploring and observing thoroughly.
  • Ask about the Location of the Landlord. The landlord’s location must be known to you as a tenant. Whether the landlord will be there immediately or not during a problem is something you should know. This will lead you to take preventive measures and keep the required documents.
  • Avoid Deductions from Your Security Deposit. Before signing the property lease, make sure to take a look at the area. This will influence your decision to move in. Furthermore, this will avoid deductions from your security deposit if you spot any damages.

These are some of the things you must look out for before signing a property lease. Make sure that you observe thoroughly and ask questions whenever necessary. This will help you make a better decision about renting an apartment. You can learn more about the cost of the property lease agreement.

Key Terms for Property Leases

  • Client Money Protection (CMP): This is a scheme that provides compensation for landlords, tenants, and other clients when agents misuse their funds.
  • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC): All private residential properties must have an EPC, which reports energy performance.
  • First-tier Tribunal (Scotland): It was formed to deal with rent or repair issues in private-sector housing, replacing the Private Rented Housing Panel (PRHP) and the Homeowner Housing Panel (HOHP).
  • Furnished: It is a property that is left with all the furnishings a tenant would need to live comfortably.
  • Furnishings: The contents of the property are included as part of the rent.

Final Thoughts on Property Leases

Therefore, you must keep these things in mind regarding a property lease. Make sure you go through the contents of the property lease thoroughly. Above all, get a written document for every condition stated by the landlord. This will make you more aware and help you save additional costs.

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ContractsCounsel is not a law firm, and this post should not be considered and does not contain legal advice. To ensure the information and advice in this post are correct, sufficient, and appropriate for your situation, please consult a licensed attorney. Also, using or accessing ContractsCounsel's site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and ContractsCounsel.

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