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What are some tips for renters before signing a lease?

Asked by Trulia, San Francisco, CA Tue Mar 6, 2012

What are some things to be aware of? What are some tips when negotiating a lease?

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David Stafford’s answer
Leigh Jo's advice below is excellent and very timely! There are way too many scams out there, especially if you heard about the property through Craigslist. I would recommend you read the entire lease agreement and ask any questions that occur to you. If you have many questions, consult an attorney who is working for you for the answers. The market is competitive out there right now for renters. As a landlord, I can tell you things that make a candidate appealing to me: a complete and legible application, showing steady and verifiable employment; a history of staying in one place more than just a few months; a willingness to use auto bill pay or direct deposit to pay the rent; not a ton of pets and/or cars. Also, I am always open to being more negotiable if the tenant will advance pay rent. Since my properties are near our university, I occasionally get offers to pay for full semesters of rent with money from parents or student loans and that always goes a long way in helping me choose those tenants and even negotiating a small rent discount sometimes. Being flexible regarding move in dates and lease terms can also help your position too!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 6, 2012
IMPORTANT - Be sure to verify that the person leasing the property is the actual owner or is authorized to lease it.

If you haven't already heard, there are scams occurring by people who gain access to distressed properties. They take deposits and the monthly lease payments, then when the actual owner discovers what is going on, the scammed tenant has to move out, losing all the money they put up for the property.

Now, with that said. It's recommended that you have a real estate attorney review the terms of the lease. Be sure you completely understand the agreement because, you will be subject to these terms through the duration of the agreement.

Going back to my initial comment, if the deal is too good to be true, it probably is.

Leigh-Jo
Syan Real Estate
Call/Text: (505) 730-8181
Web Reference: http://www.Syan.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 6, 2012
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