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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Dirk Gould, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Mar 6, 2012
My best advice is to know your rights as a renter. If you are looking to rent in Cook County, the Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance gives tenants a good summary of their rights and also offers remedies when a landlord does not abide by the terms of the lease. It is a powerful tool. Read it and keep a copy. A summary of it should be attached to your lease. You should also take photos of the condition of the unit prior to moving in. Finally, hire a broker/attorney who can guide you through the whole process at no cost to the renter.
2 votes
Bill J Delig…, Agent, Naperville, IL
Tue Mar 6, 2012
Make sure it is affordable
Inspect the unit and sign off on its condition before move in
Does it have the amenities/location you want?
Provide accurate information on your application.
Sometimes they ask for 2 months security deposit - if possible give them more future rent and less security deposit
How much notice must you give before moving out?
Can they show unit while you still live there?
1 vote
Deborah Smith, Agent, Oak Forest, IL
Tue Mar 6, 2012
Have a real estate attorney review the lease and also go into the property's records to see that if there are a
foreclosure or short sale proceeding that is going to happen within the time of your lease. Check out the property
for flooding problems and mold, there should be smoke and carbon moxide detectors installed on the premise.
Debbie Bergthold-Smith Classic Real Estate
1 vote
Deborah Smith, Agent, Oak Forest, IL
Sat Apr 14, 2012
Have the lease reviewed by an experienced attorney. Make sure the building is not in foreclosure or a short sale or for sale status. Come there at different times to observe noise and parking status. Security deposit return policy and option to renew or cancelled the lease should be reviewed and secured in the lease before signing. Also review the rentals pricing in the area's market. Debbie Bergthold-Smith Classic Real Estate 708-267-5552
0 votes
Michael Vrie…, Agent, Chicago, IL
Sat Apr 14, 2012
Based on recent rental market conditions, the most critical thing might be understanding how fast rentals are going and how competitive the market is. Doing your homework in advance on areas, buildings and rental rates could help you move quickly when you do locate the right match.
0 votes
Seth Captain, Agent, Chicago, IL
Thu Mar 8, 2012
Does the landlord have a penchant for walking around in his ripped underwear and opening doors to check in on his tenants?

Are mousetraps provided by management or do you have to procure your own?

Always check for cameras above the showerhead.

See if the owner will include a free Bally's membership with monogrammed towel if you sign a longer than one year lease.

Definitely negotiate housekeeping services.

Is the building in the process of foreclosure (short sale, intent to sell, active lis pendens)?
0 votes
Matt Laricy, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Mar 6, 2012
Right now, there isnt much you can negotiate with price! lol. Rentals are flying off the shelves. I would just say look for something that is going to work for you and when you find it, submit a lease right then and there or be left behind.
0 votes
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