Renting an apartment is not something to be hurried about. Many issues need to be resolved and doubts-clarified before signing a rental lease agreement in Pennsylvania. Here are the key issues.
1. Lease Terms
It’s good to discuss the lease term in detail with the landlord about the duration of the lease and extensions afterward. However, the details should be offered in writing. Lease terms are agreed upon by both parties, so it needs more than the verbal confirmation.
2. First Month Rent Payment
In most leases, rent becomes due on the first day of the month. But if you are moving in on another date, the rent is pro-rated for the first month. It means you’ll pay only for the days that you are going to be there. The same rule applies in the last month when the lease term ends. It is a commonplace to offer pro-rated rent for the first and the last month. It’s better to be clear about these things and if it’s not, ensure that the rent is pro-rated for these periods.
3. Terms for Breaking the Lease Early
Typically, tenants are not renting an apartment with the expectation that you are going to need to break the lease early. But life situations may change and demand an early exit or before the end of the lease term. It is good to know what the policies for breaking the lease early before signing it. Find out whether it is allowed and what the penalties are. In most cases, the early release of the lease if necessary, there may be a fine attached or the security deposit may be forfeited.
4. Rules for Non-Tenant Access
Once the tenant rents the property, the landlord, and service providers need to access the rented property. But they need to notify the tenant so they should be able to come and go as they please. Check the lease offers some amount of notice is required before they access the apartment. Every state has a law to clarify how much notice is required. Refer to the laws and then put it in the lease.
5. Guest Visits
Tenants have visitors to come to the rented property to meet them. But it is better to discuss the details with the landlord. In some lease agreements, guests are not allowed to stay overnight or for more than the specified time. Instead of risking the penalties for breaking the terms or lease, read the terms concerning guest-visits before signing the dotted line.
6. Rent Payment
Every landlord has its way to accept the rent payments. In most cases, the landlord will accept online payments. However, there are circumstances when the tenant has to mail the rent check to the landlord.
7. Payment Due Date
Most rent payments become due on the first date of every month unless there is a special requirement that is mentioned in the lease agreement. Or when the tenant has to mail the rent check. Look out for the grace period on the rent payments like the three or five days from the first month. While the rent will be due on the first day itself, some room will not cause any harm.
8. Renters Insurance
It’s good to have whether the landlord needs it or not. It’s good to find out what the lease terms say. If it is required in the lease, the tenant should have a proof of it.
Read the Pennsylvania residential lease agreement word by word. Be clear about the security deposit, customization, maintenance requests, and livability of the property before signing it.