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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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Nereida Figueroa’s answer
Verify if owner paying property mortgage on time and has no Les Pendens, check owner creditals too. What belong to tenant and what belong to the owner for repairs. Very important too is where the advance rent and security , bank account with or without interest. Premises, physicall condition of the property you are renting. Renting time, one year and a Walk Thru and the first and at the end of the Lease. All people in the deed need to sign Lease. All Lease pages signed and initialized, verify twice. What law govern, Landlord and Tenant Act, explain rights for owner and rights tor tenants too. Lead Base paint to signed. Tenant creditials, job, credit, paystubs to verify if working, policy report, Bapckground check. Who is going to paid association if any. Who paid for garbage. Who is paying property taxes. Another important, who paid for insurance liability. I suggest, tenant paid insurance for their and liability insurance. There are more..............
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 6, 2012
1) Make sure the person you're negotiating with has the right to lease out the property. If you work through a Realtor, we'll do that for you. If you go out on your own (through Craig's list, etc.) make sure the person actually has title to the property.

2) Assess the risk of the property going into foreclosure. Has it been recently purchased by an investor? Or owned for 20 years? (Again, a Realtor can check for a pending lien, but no one can guarantee there won't be a foreclosure).

3) Find a property that fits your lifestyle.

2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 6, 2012
When I think of moving into my first real home, I start to feel anxious because it's not an easy feat to accomplish. After reading your article, I feel a lot better, especially because you have a list here. You have pretty genius advice too. For example, you say load the largest items into the truck first to ensure they will fit and then start loading the heaviest boxes on the bottom.
Flag Mon Nov 24, 2014
Hello. As my colleague mentioned the best is to have a good estimate of your total move in fees. Here is a list:

1) First , last and security deposit to the owner (some associations need an extra months deposit)
2) Elevator fee for the day of move in, which is around $500 and usually refundable
3) Move in/out fee around $500 and non refundable unless a furnished unit
4) Application fee is around $100
5) Pet fee about $400 and sometimes refundable
6)Parking stickers or access fobs can be an extra $25-$50
7)Lastly, an extra parking space can be anywhere from $50-$200

If you are a foreigner with no credit or social, they may ask for more security deposit. Your agent should be able to assist you with that information.

If I can be of any help please let me know.

Thank you,

Elias Patsalos
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 6, 2012

I have a few tips listed on my blog for people moving into apartment buildings in Miami. These offer ways to set a budget and outline fees to be expected:

When you move to Miami whether it’s from out of the country, from out of state or from out of the city you may be surprised by the expense of moving into one of the many apartment buildings that decorate the Downtown Miami and Brickell skyline. As a Miami real estate agent I try to prepare my customers as much as possible in order to ensure smooth transactions. Below I outline the fees associated with renting an apartment in Miami (as well as post-purchase/move-in fees for new condominium owners).

Once you have decided on an amount that you would like to pay per month for your new apartment in Miami, multiply that times at least three, and sometimes four. As up-front payments, most landlords will require your first and last months’ rent plus a security deposit equal to one month’s rent. If your credit is less than desirable, you may be asked for an additional security deposit. However, the number of advance payments and security deposit required for move-in may be negotiated and are dependent on the length of your contract, your credit history, the specific unit owner’s financial needs…this list can go on.

Now we move on to the fees charged by the building association to tenants. Most building associations require a security deposit equal to one month’s rent. Some unit owners either have a security deposit already in place for their unit, or they allow what would have been their security deposit from the tenants to go to the association. This is open for negotiation between a landlord and tenant – or each of their respective real estate brokers.

Application Fees, approximately $100-$200 per resident of unit (apply to both tenant- and owner-occupants), may be discounted for married couples. Building associations require background checks for all residents. Applications collect personal information, employment history and previous rental references. This information is used to perform criminal background & credit history checks. If you have doubts about your credit, do not be put off by the possibility of being rejected. Being honest with your potential landlord and the association about your credit standing will work in your favor. If you have valid reason for blemishes on your credit, chances are it will not have an effect on the association approving your application (depending on the building). Certain tenants are put off by this process, but just keep in mind that everyone in the building has been put through the same process and this ensures the safety and security of every tenant and unit owner.

Move-in/Move-out fees, $200-$500 (apply to both tenant- and owner-occupants). This covers the reservation and exclusive use of the freight elevators for a specified number of hours. If you are moving into a furnished unit, this fee is usually waived – make sure you or your real estate agent makes the association aware.

Refundable move-in security deposit, $300-$1,000 (applies to both tenant- and owner-occupants). The dock master collects a check from the tenant prior to scheduled move-in date. Once the move is completed, the freight elevator and the common areas where your move took place are inspected. Once all is confirmed to be undamaged, the deposit is returned sometimes right away, other times you may need to wait a week or so. Same note from paragraph above regarding furnished units applies here.

Parking Pass and Common Area Key Pass, $25-$100 each. Unless the owner provides, you will need to purchase a parking garage pass/remote control and an elevator FOB (key pass for common areas). You may also need to purchase a parking sticker which costs around $25.

Hopefully this helps you to create a more accurate budget for your new apartment in Miami. If you’re anything like me, the only surprises you like include champagne!

Jenny Pimentel, Broker Associate 617.648.6627

Cervera Real Estate 1492 S. Miami Avenue, Miami, FL 33130
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 6, 2012
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