Sunday, September 29, 2013

How Arrangement Negotiating Your Lease

Moving into a new residence, Canadian renters can either have a periodic month-to-month, or a fixed term rental agreement. A lease is a fixed term tenancy agreement, in which a term is set for the time that you will be residing in the premises. Typical leases are for a one year period, and have specific beginning and end dates.

There are some advantages to either arrangement. When you have a need to remain unattached, monthly agreements will likely be the most beneficial way to go. An annual fixed term agreement is best for people who are looking to secure a home for a long period of time at a set rate for rental prices.

Most landlords will have a form to sign for the tenancy, which stipulates certain terms. Items covered on the tenancy agreement form include:

The amount of time the tenancy is for; rental payment due dates; what's included in the rent; how utilities will be paid; smoking or pet related policies; if there is a security deposit, and how much; how often rent increases are expected; also, rules on ending the tenancy, landlord access to the suite, and responsibilities for both landlord and tenants when it comes to maintenance and repairs of the rental unit.

 Before signing, what should I look for?

You are agreeing to stay for a while when you sign a fixed term agreement. Be sure you understand, and agree to, all the terms laid out in the agreement. Some considerations you definitely need to make before you sign the agreement:

Functionality of the unit: Make sure that everything is in working condition, and suits your needs! Check that the faucets all work, examine the door locks, and open and close the windows and cabinets. Use a tape measure to be sure that you can fit your furniture inside the unit. Take the time to carefully examine your appliances and the laundry room in the building.

Existing damage: Take photos of any existing damage, such as, broken tiles or blinds, stains on the carpet, nicks in the walls. These things should be listed in the rental agreement, so you don't get charged on when you move out. 

Items included: Inquire and document what is included for the cost of renting the unit. Find out if you have parking included, utilities like cable or electricity, and laundry. Having bills you didn't expect could put you in a tough situation.

Altering the unit itself: The landlord will likely have rules about this, so ask before you make any major changes. The landlord could look at your paint job or alterations as damage to the unit, and if this is the case, your damage deposit may not be returned to you.

Pet policy: When a pet is coming with you, ask right away about their policy on your kind of pet. Many places have a restriction on the size and type of pets allowed, if any. Landlords could cancel your lease if you break the policy, so be honest and don't take a pet in without telling them. If you can't move again, you may have to give your pet away.

Termination clause: What if you have to move before your lease is up? Possibly you are getting married and need a bigger home, you could want to buy a home of your own, or you could get a new job that is located far away. Penalties could apply for moving out early, so ask about how much that would be, so you know. When you're staying until the lease is finished, ask how much notice is required.

Make sure you read the tenancy agreement thoroughly before you sign. Get the landlord's promises in writing on the rental agreement about issues like modifying the unit, or about your pets.


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