Apartment Lease Agreement Lingo 101

New renter reviewing their apartment lease agreement with pen in handTalk about nerve wracking! Applying for an apartment and reading over the lease or rental agreement can definitely bring beads of sweat to your forehead. Lease agreements are contracts that define tenant-landlord relationships and often use confusing “legalese.” Even the simplest apartment leases can use some pretty uncommon terms and phrases. Do you really know what everything means? It may be good to double check your lease know-how before signing on the dotted line. Here are some quick and easy definitions for common lease terms to help you understand what you’re signing.

The basic lingo: What you need to know to get started

Landlord/Owner: Pretty straight forward. This is the person you are renting the apartment from. The owner of the property.

Lease Term: This is the length of time that the leasing agreement is in effect. Usually one year, but some landlords will agree to a short-term lease for six months, three months, or even month-to-month. Read more about different types of lease terms.

Premise: The property being leased in the agreement. In other words, the apartment, condo, duplex, studio, or bedroom you’re looking to call home!

Tenant: That’s you! The future resident of the property being leased.

Lessee: You again! The person signing the lease as the tenant.

Leasor: The person renting the apartment to you. It’s probably the same as the landlord, but it could also be a property manager or someone else in charge of leasing the apartment to renters.

Eviction: Oooo, this is a scary word. This means that your landlord is kicking you out of the apartment or ending your lease before the lease term is up. Your landlord typically has to notify you in writing before evicting you, and often only under certain circumstances such as failure to pay rent. Find out what the eviction laws are in your state.

Default: This is a failure to meet the requirements of the lease. For example, you might be in “default” if you fail to pay rent or if you try to move before the lease term is up.

Liability: Legalese for “problem.” You might have seen it on signs in locker rooms, waiting rooms, and parking lots that say things like, “Management is not liable for lost, stolen, or damaged property.” Translation: If your stuff gets messed up or stolen, it’s not their problem.

Speak fluent legalese: Know that lease agreement like the back of your hand

Possession: The lawful occupation and use of land. As a tenant, paying rent gives you “possession” of the land but not “ownership” of it.

Quiet Enjoyment: Quiet enjoyment means that tenants in possession of a property have the right to privacy. In other words, the landlord can’t come barging in whenever they want to check up on you.

Abatement of Rent: This basically means you don’t have to pay rent under certain conditions that make the premise unlivable, like if the roof caves in or there’s a fire.

Base Rent: This tricky little term means that there are certain conditions under which your landlord could raise the rent within the lease term. Usually, landlords have to wait for the lease to end before raising the rent. Make sure you are clear on when and how your landlord might increase the cost of your rent.

Arrears: Sounds like “a rear.” If you get behind on the rent, this is legal term for all the back rent you owe.

Parties to a Lease: Nope, this isn’t referring to the next seriously awesome bash you’re throwing. This term refers to anyone who agrees to a lease. This includes you, the landlord, the property management, and any roommates also living with you.

Waiver: Agreeing to give up something that you are entitled to according to the law.

Severability: This means that if part of the contract you are signing (in this case the lease) is later found to be illegal or invalid, the rest of the contract is still binding. Essentially, any invalid parts can be cut out without affecting the rest of the contract.

And the hunt begins! Time to apartment search like a pro

Now that you know how to read common terms found in lease agreements, you’re ready to look for your next home on ApartmentSearch.com. Start searching, save your favorite properties, and find your next apartment on ApartmentSearch.com. You could receive up to $200 in rewards. Seriously!

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

Tips for Finding Temporary Housing in a Pinch

Young man and woman lifting a moving box, getting ready to move into temporary furnished apartmentIn a perfect world, every decision would be rational. Before any decisions were made, there’d be a pro-con list and plenty of time to deliberate over a fresh peppermint mocha. Unfortunately, that world exists in the same reality as painless politics and calorie-free pizza. Bummer. If only the world were so logical and predictable! Sometimes, things just move fast. Maybe you just found out you’re being transferred for work, you nailed the internship of your dreams (across the country), or you need to take an out-of-town contract job. Whatever the case, read on to learn our top tips for finding temporary housing in a pinch!

Make sure you find what you need.

Yes, that walk-in closet may leave you pinching yourself, but does the apartment check off everything else that’s on your list? The things that are an absolute necessity? While it’s nice to find a place that strikes your fancy with swanky amenities, you need somewhere to live that meets your specific needs. Since you’re searching for short-term housing, stay focused by ruling out any unnecessary amenities. You’ll save both time and money.

So how do you go about finding that perfect place?

Figure out what your budget is. Conventional wisdom states you should spend less than 25-30% of your post-tax income on housing, but short-term leases and apartments sometimes run pricier than traditional rental situations. Start your search with places in your price range–after all, you don’t want to fall in love and then end up with sticker shock!

Pro-Tip: Take all costs into account, not just rent. Some locations will have utilities, parking, pet fees, etc. which need to be factored into the overall cost.

Once you’ve determined your price range, do a quick online search for apartments in your new area. To further narrow your search, determine what matters most to you in terms of location. Where will you be working? Do you need to be near public transportation? Will you be bringing your car with you?

With the short list established, you can finally start looking into practical amenities. If you would be paying for a gym or parking elsewhere, having them included in your rent is an awfully good perk, not to mention convenient! If you’re still stuck between options, now is the time to make a decision based upon little luxuries, like a big bath or a kitchen with tons of counter space.

Follow the right steps.

You’ve spotted the place you’d like to live for the next who-knows-how-long. After you’ve done your slightly embarrassing but oh-so-fun happy dance, get down to business. The place isn’t yours yet. Get materials ready for your application, a credit check, and lease negotiation. Be sure to get everything you and the leasing agent discuss in writing. Did they say pets are allowed at no extra cost? Write it in your contract. And they said they’ll take care of general repairs free of charge? Find out what “general” entails…and write it down. Whatever you discuss, get it signed and in writing. It may seem like a tedious process now, but you’ll thank yourself later if you and your landlord get into a dispute in the future.

Get ready to move in.

Once you’ve signed on the dotted line, you’ve still got work to do. You need to pay your security deposit. Do a walk through. Figure out furniture–whether that means hiring movers for old furniture, begging friends and family for castoffs, going on a shopping spree, or renting furniture from short-term housing pros like CORT. Beyond move-in logistics, also plan on checking out the local area before the big day. No one wants to finish a long day of moving feeling lonely and unattached. Even if it’s just a local theater or coffee shop, start getting ready to explore places that will make your new city feel like home.

Head to ApartmentSearch.com to find a short-term apartment that’s also furnished. Your move will be seriously easy! Simply select the listing that interests you most and then click on “Show Me Furnished Apartment Pricing.”

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

4 Reasons Furnished Apartments Are Better For Short-Term Leases

Person in sweatpants walking around cozy , stylish furnished apartmentIt’s a dilemma many people entering short-term housing situations face: How to make a space feel like home without investing too much time or money. Thankfully, you don’t need to worry about being stuck with a sparse or impersonal apartment. Furnished apartments could be the solution to your short-term lease AND decorating needs! Why do we think so?

1. There are only so many hours in a day.

Articles that try to convince you furnishing an apartment can be done on the cheap tend to gloss over a crucial point. You’ll need to run around to many different retailers to get everything you need and likely make multiple trips. But you’re preparing to relocate! THAT’S where you need to focus your energy! You likely don’t have time for full-scale bargain hunting. With the time you save, you can select a few inexpensive yet personal pieces to help your new place feel like home. (See #3.)

2. You only have so much money.

Realtor Magazine asked several designers about the expense associated with decorating spaces. The good news is that the rooms the designers worked on look great. The bad news is that you’ll need about $15,000 for the living room alone! That’s way more than you’ll spend furnishing a short-term apartment during your entire stay!

3. No one wants to make sacrifices … and you won’t have to.

Here’s where you can spend some of the time you saved with reason #1! You’ll probably need a security deposit for your short-term lease, but what you won’t need to sacrifice is your sense of style. There are many ways to personalize your short-term living space by:

  • Decorating with plants
  • Adding curtains to cover window treatments you don’t like
  • Putting up removable wallpaper
  • Using candles or scent sprays

4. It could not be easier.

Thanks to ApartmentSearch, finding a furnished apartment for your own short-term housing needs is amazingly simple. Here’s just how simple:

  1. Select “Short-Term” in the search box at the top of ApartmentSearch.com’s home page.
  2. Enter your search term (a zip code will do).
  3. Once you look at each property, scroll to the bottom of the page and look under the heading “Need It Furnished.”

Setting up a short-term housing situation should be easy, regardless of where and why you’re moving. ApartmentSearch.com makes it easy to search for short-term lease options AND furnished apartments at the same time. Give it a try today!

More Short-Term Housing Help

  • How to Be a Short-Term Housing Pro
  • Tips for Finding Temporary Housing in a Pinch
  • Hotel vs Furnished Apartment: How to Choose

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com