A lease is a legally binding contract between you and properties owner. When you sign a lease, you are obligated to pay the landlord
monthly rent for the duration of the lease. Most leases are for 9 or 12 months,
and it is usually difficult to break or alter a lease. Make sure that you are
happy with all the terms of the lease for the
duration of the lease before you sign.
Never sign a lease unless you are completely satisfied with all of the property. Sign when you understand all the terms of the
lease and agree with them.
When you sign a lease, you will
usually have to pay a "security deposit." This amount is usually the equivalent
of at least one month's rent. You pay it when you pay the first month's rent.
The security deposit will be returned to you when you
move out. The only reason it wouldn't be is if you don't leave the apartment in good condition.
Then the property owner will use your security deposit to fix up the apartment
apartments come with basic appliances such as stove and refrigerator,
but you may need to purchase or rent furniture, and other items to make your
"house" a home. Most times you will also need to pay for your telephone service water, electricity, and gas.
Especially if you're planning to live off-campus you should consider protecting your
belongings with renter's insurance. With renter's insurance, the insurance
company will compensate you if your personal belongings are stolen or destroyed.
Renter's checklist -
Source: Duquesne University
- Does the building have a fire escape? If not, where is the nearest emergency
- Whom do you call for emergency repairs?
- Are there laundry facilities in the building or nearby?
- Is parking available? If so, is it free? If not, where will you park your
- Is the apartment located near public transportation?
- How, where, and when do you dispose of trash?
- Who pays for electricity, gas, and water?
- What are the requirements for full refund of the security deposit?