When you sign a lease for a property, you take on a legal responsibility. You are bound by contract to follow the stipulations of the lease. In other words, you have to take care of the property and your duties to the homeowner.
Leases usually outline multiple responsibilities on the part of the renter. If you don’t follow them, you could wind up violating the lease terms. This could give the landlord grounds to levy fines, penalties or even evict you. So, how do you avoid violating your lease?
1. Pay on time, every time
Most renters know that one of the most important parts of the lease is your financial obligation. Leases will tell you what you owe in rent and other fees, as well as payment due dates. The leases will also usually spell out the penalties you will face should you miss payments.
Note all expected payments, penalties and due dates before signing the lease. You can often negotiate certain portions of the lease in some cases. Make sure you have the ability to make payments in the most responsible way.
2. Follow insurance requirements
Many landlords require renters insurance. It can provide liability coverage for renters who cause harm to others on their property. Policies also usually cover a renter’s personal possessions housed in the property. As a result, they are valuable protection for both renters and the landlords.
3. Do you have occupancy limits?
Most properties have limits on how many people can live there. For example, a one-bedroom apartment usually only allows two to three residents.
When you plan to move someone else into the property, tell the landlord. They might have a right to adjust the lease, including rental costs, when you change occupancy. Don’t forget to let them know about any new pets as well. Landlords frequently have a right to say if renters can own pets.
4. Obey written notice requirements
Most leases require renters to give written notice of changes to the property. For example, when the renter plans to move, they usually have to notify the landlord. When you decide to make a significant change in your living situation, let your landlord know. He or she can help you appropriately terminate the lease as needed.
Whenever you face questions about your lease agreement, go to the document itself. You also usually have a right to discuss it with your landlord, realtor or legal counsel. Don’t let any confusion about your responsibilities lead to trouble in your rented home.
Also Read: Increasing Your Personal Possessions Coverage in Your Rental