When you’ve narrowed down your rental choice to that one perfect apartment, you’re not done yet. You’ve got a lease to sign. Caveat emptor—“Let the buyer beware”—isn’t a well-known phrase for nothing. You may not be buying the place, but you still need to proceed with caution. The lease-negotiation process is slanted in favor of the landlord since they dictate the lease’s terms. So it’s important to do your homework. No matter how big that stack of paper is, read it—every word! Ask questions and take your time. Also, it’s critical that you understand the terminology you’ll find in the lease so you’ll be better able to negotiate terms that work for you and your lifestyle. With that in mind, here are 10 important terms that you need to know before you sign on the dotted line.
A document that legally defines all of the rules that a renter and landlord agree to before you move in, like how long you will rent the property (typically a year), what services are included in the rent (water, electric, pest control, trash pickup, etc.) and whether or not you can have pets or run a business from the property. Check whether the lease automatically renews when it expires—most must be renegotiated at that time (and heads-up: the rent may be increased at that point).
2. Rental Agreement
A written agreement typically defining a short-term rental period (usually 30 days) and is automatically renewed upon expiration.
3. Security Deposit
Landlords usually require money to be held for the duration of your lease to protect them from loss. This is their insurance against any damage you may make to the property or if you fail to pay. The deposit is typically equal to one month’s rent. Some leases allow the renter to apply the security deposit to their last month’s rent. Make sure to get in writing how (and when) the deposit will be returned to you.
4. Grace Period
How many days your rent can be paid past the due date before you will be charged a fee.
5. Renter’s Insurance
An insurance policy that provides the funds you’ll need to recover from a flood, fire, burglary or other emergency when the property itself (or your beloved speaker system) is damaged. The policy is often required by the landlord but is purchased by the tenant.
6. Amenity Fees
That gorgeous swimming pool and workout room aren’t necessarily included in the rent and might require you to pay a separate fee every month for access. The same goes for parking.
Note in the lease whether the landlord intends to make periodic inspections of the property and how much notice they must give you before the date they intend to show up for a look-see.
8. Broker’s Fee
Some apartment-finder services or real estate brokers will charge a fee if they help you find a place to rent or negotiate terms of the lease with the landlord on your behalf. The shoe can be on the other foot, however, when the landlord pays a broker to find you!
This means “to divide proportionately.” Landlords will often prorate the amount of rent to be paid based on the day you move in or out of the property.
Rent is $900 for 30 days in April ($900 divided by 30 days = $30 per day).
You move in on April 5, so you’re only renting for 25 days in April.
Your rent for April is $30/day x 25 days = $750.
10. Notice to Quit
This is a term used when a landlord instructs a tenant to leave the property permanently either because rent has not been paid or the tenant has broken the rules of the lease.
Why Corporate Housing is Safer Than a Hotel
By TP Corporate Lodging
When you travel somewhere for an extended stay, you generally have several options as to lodging. The two most common options? You can book a room in a hotel (even an extended stay hotel) or you can stay in a furnished apartment through a corporate housing agency. Among these options, not only is corporate housing usually less expensive than the others, but it’s also a safer choice. Let’s explore the options and see why corporate housing may be safer than a hotel.
Hotel Safety Issues
Hotels usually do their best to keep their guests as secure as possible; however, as a business open to the public, with people coming in and out for meetings and lodging, there’s only so much they can do. Specifically, here are some of the potential risks:
Entry to your room: Virtually all hotel staff have access to enter your room—and not all of them are honest.
Sanitation: Cleaning staff sometimes cut corners in sanitation practices, and bedding in particular doesn’t always get as clean as it should.
Predators: Even with secured entries, as a public facility, a hotel often attracts predatory people who wait in the wings to steal or to cause harm.
How Corporate Housing Is Safer
Extended-stay corporate housing resolves almost all of the safety issues that accompany the other options. For example:
The apartments are private. A corporate housing agency leases and furnishes actual apartments in real residential complexes, often with secure entrances—much like living in your own home or apartment.
Limited access. The only people with access to your unit are you and the management company—the same as if you lived in the apartment.
Carefully vetted for location and amenities. The agency only works with the best residential communities to provide optimal, safe housing.
Whether your extended stay is personal or business-related, you deserve to stay in housing where you feel comfortable and safe. For more information, visit tpcorporatelodging.com or call (800) 428-9997.