Before You Rent

Preview the Premises

If possible, arrange for a walk-through of the premises to identify any problems that should be fixed before signing a rental agreement. Take pictures or video or make notes of any questionable conditions and include provisions for repairs in the rental agreement or in a separate written document signed by both parties. 

Read Agreements Thoroughly

A tenant is an equal party with the landlord. You never have to agree to any rental arrangement. Before you sign, make sure you thoroughly understand the terms of the agreement. If you don’t understand, don’t sign the agreement. There is no grace period allowed for canceling a rental agreement so if you sign, you are bound to its terms. 

Be Aware of Nonrefundable Payments

A landlord has the discretion to collect various deposits, as well as some rent in advance. You should be careful about paying in advance unless you have decided to move into the unit. A tenant who pays in advance but then decides not to occupy the unit may not be entitled to a refund. It should be stated in the rental agreement if money paid in advance is nonrefundable.