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 Things to Consider
 Signing the Lease
 Rent vs. Buy
 Things to Consider
 Cost of Ownership
 The Buying Process
 Real Estate Agents
 Mortgage Loans
 Types of Loans
 Before You Sign
 The Contract
 On The Move
 Decision Factors
 Young Cities

Signing - Agreements between you and your potential landlord can take several shapes. A simple verbal agreement can be used to signify a contract; however, you are heavily exposed to the integrity and honesty of the landlord.  More commonly, you will sign a written lease that details the obligations of the landlord and yourself. A lease is a legal document that will stand up in court; therefore, make sure you know exactly what you are signing. A typically lease should contain the following:

  • The names and dated signatures of all parties involved

  • The start and end dates of the lease

  • The amount and timing of rent payments, including late fees

  • Both parties duties and obligations

  • Inserted clause stating broken lease charges

  • The amount and conditions surrounding the return of  the security deposit

  • The tenant's right to sublet (renting the dwelling to someone else while still under the lease)

The following are illegal elements of a lease (verify against local statutes for validity):

  • Letting the landlord hold your personal property in absent of rent payments.

  • Obligating you to be at fault  in any dispute arising between yourself and the landlord.

  • Holding back a security deposit when there has been no damage done to the premises.

  • Retaliation by the landlord due to complaints/lawsuits including: shutting off water, lights, air, other utilities, or locking you out of the premises. 


Other Things To Consider

Breaking Lease- Breaking a lease will usually result in extra out of pocket expenses. If you voluntary break the lease, you may be responsible for the balance of the lease due or any penalties indicated in the leasing agreement. Even if you receive a job in another town, you may still be penalized for lease infringement; however, talk to your landlord and they may dismiss the remainder of the rental payments if they feel it was done for a valid reason. Also if you know you are going to have to break the lease, try subletting to someone who is  willing to stay through the terms of the lease( caution you may be held responsible for the actions of the sublessor).

Eviction- Eviction is a legal process, which end result is the landlord forcing the tenant to vacate the premises. The first step of an eviction is a written 'notice to quit'. Although not forcing you to move, this notice serves as a warning for eviction if the situation in question is not corrected (we suggest seeking legal advise). Next, the landlord can summons you to court, where a judge will hear the case. In order to be evicted, you must be in violation of the lease agreement. You cannot be evicted because of your race, religion, or sexual preference. Importantly, you cannot be legally forced from your apartment without going through the courts.

Roommates- Beware, some of the bitterest enemies started out the closest of friends. When deciding to roommate with another person, keep in mind you may be adversely affected or legally responsible for their damages or unpaid rent under the leasing agreement. It is important to ask the landlord about your responsibility for your roommate's unmet obligations before signing any leasing agreement.

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