Trulia, Other/Just Looking in San Francisco, CA

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?

Help the community by answering this question:


Anton Seiss’ answer
Ask your realtor to make sure the place is not in foreclosure. The bank gives you 30 days to move out when they reposess the property. If it is in foreclosure and you are flexible you can get a great bargain. Negotiate the price down. If a condo or in a gated community, ask aboutb restrictions and rules you have to follow.
You can find rentals on my site yourself.
Good luck
Web Reference:
3 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 6, 2012

Make sure you understand the terms of the lease.

If the carpet is dirty, make sure your agent puts "carpets to be professionally cleaned prior to occupancy" into the contract to lease. This applies to any other defects the unit may have: torn screens, broken windows, painting that needs to be done, plumbing repairs, etc.

If you have a pet/or pets, disclose to the owner they number and type of pets you have. 1 dog, 2 cats, 3 birds, a boa constrictor, etc.

If you wish to make changes to the residence, make sure you have the owners permission.

The owner will have an asking price, you have the right to offer a lesser amount of money.

Ask your agent for advice if you have not done this before. The agent will get paid by the owner of the property.

Nadine Mauro
Highlight Realty
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 6, 2012
Make sure of the " Status and Conditions " involving the Rental you are considering
and the implications involved!
Be wary of any deal where you find adverse information or imminent changes have not
been fully disclosed to you .up-front!
NEVER rely on verbal assurances for repairs, future assistance, or Bank relocation credits
NEVER go against your "instincts " ! If you have reservations: look again before you "Leap"
There's more, but in general most state's Landlord -Tenant Laws give Landlords
Rights and Privileges that can be manipulated by those who are unscrupulous.- Renter
Beware ! Agent / Landlord reputation and integrity count for alot A lease is a binding
contract fair or not!! When in doubt - get good advice!

Practical Advice from Realtors, Legal advice from an Attorney or Legal Aid !

Web Reference:
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 6, 2012
Be sure to do a walk through and make your list of items you wish to have completed.Make this your final list. Nothing worries a landlord more than items trickling in about a property.

Be sure you understand the terms of the lease--dates, money, deposits.

Find out how many keys you will have, clickers, mail box keys, pool keys etc

Know the HOA rules and be comfortable with following them.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 6, 2012
I look for rentals that are not in foreclosure or a short sale for my clients. Its just not worth knowing anything can happen although you are supposedly protected.

Here in South Florida rentals are very competitive so there is not alot you can negotiate. If your credit score is high enough sometimes the owner will take first and security only and not also last month upfront.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 6, 2012
Get a professional Real estate agent's help. They can find out if the owner is on time on his payments and if the property is on the process to be foreclosure soon.
Also, inspect the property. If you see anything that you would like to be change, ask to be change in writing in the offer that you will submitt to the owner. Like defective appliances, dirty carpets, dirty walls, etc.

Best of Luck,

Maria Cipollone
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 15, 2012
Tip #1
Make sure that you have "diplomatic clause". Different markets call it different things, but ultimately this is the portion of the contract that spells out clearly what the terms are for both notice and cost for you to be able to get out of your lease early. Life change jobs, win the lottery, get married, get divorced, lose a job....or need to move because your just hate the place. Whatever happens, know ahead of time what it takes for you to break your lease and how much it will cost you to do so.

Tip #2
Ask them which floor plans they have in the greatest quantity. Most apartments keep track of which units are in shorter supply and adjust their pricing upwards as demand increases. They also lower prices when they have an abundance of a particular floor plan. You can find a great deal by asking about their current inventory!

If you like my answer, give me the "Thumbs Up" if you really liked it, honor me with awarding me the "Best Answer". I really do appreciate it!

Chris Schilling, ABR, CRS, GRI, GREEN
Turbo Realty
Cell: 832-607-8073
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 7, 2012
I'd like to add to the great answers given by my fellow REALTORs below. And that is to be sure your REALTOR agent checks to be sure the home is not in pre-foreclosure or foreclosure before you sign the lease. You should also ask you agent to periodically check to see if a Lis Pendens has been filed. You don't want your rent skimmed or the lessor running off with your security.

Broker Associate, GRI
Lang Realty
9858 Clint Moore Road
Boca Raton, FL
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 6, 2012
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer