Things to look out for while signing a lease for an apartment
Back in the days when apartment leases were made with verbal agreements, landlords and tenants faced many disputes. Stability and security were a myth. Now that more leases are being signed, as a tenant you must make sure your rights and preferences are being protected. The last thing anyone needs is a dispute regarding the place that you call home and where you find peace.
The following are the things you need to look out for while signing a lease for an apartment.
Purpose of the lease
The lease deed must mention the purpose of the lease; whether the apartment is going to be used as a residence or a place where the operations of a business will be conducted. If a lease is signed for an apartment as a residence and if it is used for something else then it will be a violation of the terms of the lease. Hence, the purpose should be mentioned, and if in the course of time the functions of the apartment change, the landlord must be notified accordingly.
Duration of the lease
While signing a lease for an apartment it is necessary to make sure the duration of the lease works for both parties. A long lease may become a big commitment. Hence, the duration must be set keeping the future plans of the signing parties.
Amount of rent and the method of payment
The amount of rent to be paid and the method of payment is one of the most crucial points to be considered while signing a lease. This is also a matter that hardly skips anyone's mind. Still, this part poses the risk of dispute.
During negotiation and signing the amount of rent must be specific and aligned. Vagueness in this part can make the whole lease redundant. Along with the amount, the deed must mention what interval the payment has to be made and whether the payment will be in cash or not.
The deed should mention measures to be taken, in case of delay. If the lease deed mentions a penalty for delay, then the details of the late fee must be mentioned.
If the lease of the apartment is for a long term, then the lease deed must mention the terms of hiking rent. The clause will specify in what interval the rent can be increased and the percentage must be specific as well.
As an example: Anwar is signing a lease for an apartment for 10 years, his lease deed mentions that every 30 months the flat rent amount will be increased by 10 per cent.
Every lease requires a security deposit. The deposit is usually kept safe with the landlord and when the lease will be over then that money can be used to pay off any damages caused to the property during occupancy. The deposit is usually set depending on the monthly rent and the purpose of the lease.
For example, if a flat is rented out for an office, then the security deposit will be equivalent to the rent of six months whereas for a residence it will be only equivalent to the rent of three months. Along with the amount the terms of deduction of the security deposit should be specific to avoid any confusion.
Clauses regarding common spaces
Every apartment complex has common spaces and amenities for the residences of that particular complex. The terms of using those amenities along with the rules and the regulation of those areas must be mentioned in the contract. In that way, the signing parties get to know about the amenities and know how those places are regulated.
Transferability of the lease
The lease deed must mention the transferability of the lease. If at any moment the tenants cannot continue living in the place, can they transfer the lease rights to someone else? If transferring the lease is allowed then the terms must be clarified in the deed.
Termination of the lease
The termination clause on a lease deed must be clear and agreed upon by the parties. If either party wants to terminate the contract before the tenure of the deed is over then, a fair notice period must be given to the other party or compensation or both.
As an example: A leased out an apartment to B. A's family is moving so he needs the apartment vacated, hence, A needs to notify B at least 3 months ago so he can manage other living arrangements, if A cannot allow the notice period, then A will have to pay B compensation. This clause usually applies vice versa.