If you have ever had to install any programs on your computer, then you may be familiar with the screens that ask you to read a wall of text called the “Terms of Agreement.” With how long some of these pages can get, it is not a surprise that a lot of people do not actually read what is written. Instead, you may even be guilty of being one of those users who skip several paragraphs of important text so that they can quickly click on the checkbox next toS “I have read and agreed to the terms of conditions” and move on to the next part of an installation.
However, you must not treat your lease as if it is just another document to skip. In this article, we will discuss why you should always carefully read your lease, and what you should do if something bothers you about its contents.
Why You Should Not Sign without Reading a Lease
If you have a habit of skimming over several pages of legal documents and skipping straight to the part that requires your signature, then you are in danger of being fooled into signing a contract that is actually illegal or completely disadvantageous to you as the renter. If the person leasing property to you asks you to not read the lease and points you directly to where you have to sign, then that is a red flag that they may be hiding something important from you.
In fact, this bad habit of skipping important legal documents might actually put you in a lot of hot water because it can make you fall victim to a lot of things you would not have known you had to account for. These could be in terms of who would pay for any repairs or maintenance fees for the unit, how much you can expect to pay as a deposit, and even how early you can end your lease.
Read the Entire Lease in Full
According to Wise Bread, you should check every part of your contract and see if you will be able to work with it. For instance, if the contract says that you must be responsible for any and all repairs or repainting done to the apartment after you move out, will you be able to cover that responsibility financially? Imagine how much damage that could have done to your bank account if you had not foreseen it and automatically assumed that the lessor would pay for those because that is how most apartment rentals do it.
If you cannot see yourself being able to or wanting to cover those additional and possibly hidden costs, then you should move on to the next apartment in your list.
Ask for Everything to be Put into Writing
Many times, when we discuss any kind of business transaction, most of the details are shared via spoken words so that it is easier to confirm or correct any misinformation. Though some courts may consider verbal agreements as binding, most people find it harder to believe anything that was only said rather than written down in a clear contract.
According to My First Apartment, some of the most crucial details that you should ask to include in your written contract include:
- how long you will be leasing the apartment
- how much you have to pay each month for your rent
- when you are expected to pay your monthly rent
- how early you have to notify your lessor about any intent to terminate your lease.
Make Sure to Ask Questions
When discussing your lease with the owner of the property, do not just take in what the lessor tells you. At the same time, do not just read the contract and accept it as-is. While you may think that it would save you more time to just leave and go find a different place to rent if you find anything suspicious in your contract, it would not hurt to at least try asking your lessor about certain things in the lease that you are not sure about. Some lessors may be doing this for the first time and may have forgotten to include some important details without intending to.
Now that you know why it is so important to read your lease and record any and all discussions in writing, make sure not to forget to do these two important things the next time you go hunting for a new place to live in. Whether you are looking for a new apartment on a site such as PropertyGuru Singapore, or asking your friends through word-of-mouth, keep these tips in mind so that you can protect yourself from any unwanted surprises, especially when it is that time of the month where you have to pay the rent.