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Watch Out For These 12 Signs That Point Towards A Bad Lease

  • March 8, 2022
  • Property Manager
  • Category: Real Estate

You’re not the only one looking to rent an apartment or home at this stage in your life. Many people prefer to rent over buying. That’s why it is important to understand what your lease covers before signing it. Especially bad lease is something that a renter should always know. 

This article shares some warning signs renters often overlook when signing leases. These signs will help you avoid falling for bad leases.

12 Signs That Point Towards A Bad Lease

12 Signs That Point Towards A Bad Lease

  • The Landlord is Demanding Cash

Real experts state that it is a red flag if you are asked to wire money or pay cash. It is because the cash you give to a legitimate business would be checked for counterfeit currency. In addition, cash payments remove the paper trail, which is precisely what a fraudster would like.

  • Lease with a No Buy-Out Clause

In the event that plans change or the lease expires, ensure there is a reasonable and pre-determined buy-out clause. For example, it is reasonable to allow a lease termination upon 60 days’ notice and payment of two months’ rent.

  • Additional Form of Contact is Not Given

Real estate experts cautioned about the ease of searching for an apartment listing. The concierge can give you the key and pose as a realtor to show potential tenants the property.

You should verify that the person who shows you the apartment is a representative of the company that placed it on the market. It’s possible that a listing agent is operating on their own.

  • Clauses Present in the Lease That Give Leverage to Others

Do not assume that the lease agreement is “standard language.” You need to understand the terms and what happens if you fail to perform your duties. You never know what might happen and how it could impact you. You can’t let random lease clauses give the other party leverage over you.

  • Issues in the House Are Yet to be fixed

You should have a plan in place for when the air conditioner will be repaired if you arrive at an apartment with a broken one. If the landlord won’t give you time, state in your contract that you will receive a rent discount every month it is out of service. If you haven’t signed a contract, don’t assume it will be fixed when you move in.

  • No Remedies in Case of Landlord Defaults

Many leases have provisions that protect the landlord in case the tenant violates the terms of the lease. For example, tenants can default by not paying rent on time, storing prohibited items, or having pets. Tenant actions can lead to default. However, landlords may also default by failing to make repairs. As a tenant, you should have rights in the event of default by a landlord.

  • Unclear Requirements of Lease-Break

Unclear Requirements of Lease-Break

Renters will benefit greatly from taking the time to read and understand all terms. It is important to carefully review lease terms before signing any contract. Details can be complex and vary from one state to the next. The lease-break requirement is a major source of confusion. Renters who don’t know how to give the notice to vacate can face costly consequences. Communication is essential!

  • Visiting the Property is Not Allowed before Signing the Lease

It’s a red flag if a landlord refuses to allow you to see the rental before you sign the lease.

Most real estate experts state that an owner or manager who prevents tenants from seeing the property may be concealed damage that could be significant to you but not enough for you to end the lease. For example, unseen units could have a terrible paint job, stains all over, bad smells, or other unsightly nuisances.

You are obligated to follow the terms of the lease once you sign it unless the landlord gives you a different property or other issues.

You must inspect the property before you sign the lease. Send someone to represent you if you are moving from another state. Find another apartment if the landlord refuses to rent you one.

  • The Landlord Resides Overseas or Out of State

If the owner of the property is not a resident in your state, it could cause problems if there are legal issues.

You should verify that the lease is signed by a local property manager or company if the landlord is located out of state.

  • There’s No Damage Checklist Has Been Provided By the Landlord

There's No Damage Checklist Has Been Provided By the Landlord

It is crucial to do a walkthrough of the rental property before you sign a lease or move in. These issues could be blamed by the landlord later on, and they may require you to pay for them.

  • There’s an Investigation Going on for the Owner

If you give your information to a landlord, they will interview you to ensure that you are a responsible tenant. It’s fine to interview them back. You can always do an internet search to find out their name and verify it with the Better Business Bureau. They may have a long list of former clients with formal complaints. However, they might also have many former clients who have never filed a complaint. This one is for you if there’s even a footnote about the owner.

  • Vague Security Deposit Terms

If there is a scratch on the floor, will your landlord withhold your security deposits? Unfortunately, many other legitimate landlords aren’t interested in ever returning your security deposit. To protect yourself from this, take dated photos when you get your first place.