It’s important to know which questions to ask before you sign any contract, no matter what kind of agreement it is. Leases are one of the most common types of contracts you’ll encounter in life, and knowing what to look for in a lease is good practice for being a savvy contract negotiator in other life situations.
Five important questions to consider before signing the dotted line are:
Does the contract clearly state what you’ll be receiving?
If you owned a business, for example, and you were signing a contract to buy a certain product from a vendor, you’d want that contract to spell out all kinds of specific details like a delivery schedule, refund information, and most important of all, the price. Because a contract such as a lease is a legally-binding agreement between two parties, it’s very important that the language in that contract be specific.
While you may not “own” an apartment as a renter, you should still think of signing a lease as “buying” an apartment for a certain amount of time. When you sign a lease, what you’re receiving is a place to live and a certain set of amenities and services. So before you sign the dotted line, look over your lease to be sure that the terms you’re receiving are exactly what you expect.
Does the contract clearly state what you’ll be providing?
If you were signing a business contract, that contract would also detail what you’re responsible for -details like how much you’re paying for a product, when you’re obligated to make payments, and how often you’ll place orders. A lease contract is no different.
Before you sign a lease, make sure you can answer this question: “What am I responsible for providing as a tenant?” Your lease should clearly spell out your momentary obligations, as well as other responsibilities like requirements to keep the apartment reasonably clean, report maintenance requests, and keep noise levels to a minimum, among others.
Does the contract make reference to documents you haven’t seen?
Sometimes contracts come with addendums. When you rent an apartment, a common addendum might be a lead paint disclosure document, or a pet rental agreement. If you’re asked to sign a lease that says you’ve received these addendums, make sure you get a copy of them.
Does the contract use words you don’t understand?
Sometimes the most important questions you can ask when signing a contract might be questions that clarify the legal terminology. Do you know what “indemnity” means? How about “subordination” or “assessor”? These are all common contract terms in leases, and if you don’t understand them, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. It’s important you understand all details of a lease contract.
How does the contract end?
Another one of the most important lease questions you should ask involves the termination, or end, of a lease. Before you sign a lease, you should know the exact date your lease ends and what your obligations are when that time comes. For example, how are you required to give notice? if you break the lease early, what happens? These details are important to note as many contract disputes center around termination issues.
Now that you know which questions to ask, you’re better prepared to evaluate any contract life might throw at you- whether it’s an apartment lease, a job offer letter, or a service agreement with your plumber. Answering these five questions can help you make better decisions and protect your interests- no matter the situation!
To read more about questions that need to be asked before signing, please visit www.movingtoday.com
Greater Pensacola, FL Real Estate Experts – Making It Happen for Buyers and Sellers!
Grand Realty is a greater Pensacola real estate company that opened its doors in June of 2003. We strive to help all of our clients with their individual real estate needs, whether it’s buying a home in Pensacola FL and the surrounding area or selling their existing Pensacola property.
We have approximately 30 agents with a wide range of specialties that include:
Pensacola new home buyers
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Pensacola Investment properties
Pensacola commercial properties
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Grand Realty is also proud to say we have agents who are bilingual, Spanish and Chinese that are placed throughout a good majority of Northwest Florida including Pensacola, Milton, Pace, Navarre, Perdido Key, Jay, Cantonment, Gulf Breeze, and Navarre. The Broker of Grand Realty is also licensed in Alabama. Please feel free to email or give us a call, and from everyone at Grand Realty, thanks for your business!
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