Leasing a property starts by filing your formal application. Usually, filling out the necessary forms completes this part. After that, prepare for a thorough background check. It is going to be followed by a strict credit check. Eventually, the property manager should be ready to hand you the lease. Ready your checks. You should be able to cover for the security deposit and the rental payment for the first month. Before you affix your signature to the contract, go through the fine print first and read the provisions that govern your lease. Here are some pointers:
- Understand each word contained in your lease. Don’t just scan the conditions. Read each of them. See if they make sense. Double-check if they are consistent with what you have discussed earlier with the property manager. If you sign the contract, everything that has been written there is going to be sternly followed. So, be cautious. If there are discrepancies or inconsistencies, mark them. Bring them to the attention of the property manager in your next scheduled meeting. Appropriate changes should be made in due time.
- Schedule a visit to your unit. Coordinate with the property manager. Ask him to let you inspect the actual unit that you are hoping to lease. When you get to see your unit, go around. The property manager should tag along with you when you check out the nooks and crannies of your unit. Note and list the damages, if there are any. Before you end the meeting, require the property manager to countersign your list. Those damages should be repaired or remedied before you sign the lease. If you ignore this procedure, you may end up paying for those damages. Normally, the property manager can automatically deduct the damages that you have failed to report at the start of the lease.
- Interview some of the property residents. This is a lot easier when you know someone who is already residing in the property. Otherwise, you can simply rely on your confidence and personality. When you talk to a resident, find out if the management is able to maintain the property well. Ask if they are also able to quickly and effectively respond to the complaints. Inquire about the safety measures. See how noise is being controlled.
- Know who is actually running the property. Talk to the property manager. Get the complete name of the property owner and his contact information. This becomes useful when serious problem begin to arise. You can directly discuss matters with the property owner.
- Insure your property. Do this so you can readily protect your “personal” property. Meet an insurance agent and learn more about your choices. If you wish to guide yourself, you can check out some online references first before you set the appointment with an insurance agent.
When everything is order, sign the lease. After it has been notarized, photocopy it. Keep the lease in a safe place. Make sure that you can readily access it. The lease can give you the necessary protection when a dispute develops.