What should I know before I sign my Daytona apartment or Melbourne apartment lease?

Before you sign your name to the dotted line, you need to make sure you know what you are agreeing to. Signing a lease can be intimidating, especially if this is your first time renting.  If you ask questions and know what exactly you are getting into, signing a lease for your Daytona or Melbourne apartment shouldn't be too difficult. 

One thing you want to make sure you find out if about what improvements you are allowed to make to your apartment in Daytona or your apartment in Melbourne.  Are you allowed to paint?  Can you put nails in the walls to hang up pictures?  Can you add ceiling fans to rooms that don't have them?  Can you add a water filter to your sink?

Find out how much your rent is and what day it is due.  You want to also see if there is a grace period on paying your rent.  We all know life happens but make sure you find out if your Daytona or Melbourne apartment allows a grace period, and if so, are there any late fees associated with late payment.  You need to also find out how you can pay your rent.  Does your apartment in Daytona or apartment in Melbourne have an online rent payment system, or must you pay by credit card or check each month?  Also find out if your lease term is.  Are you agreeing to a 6 month, 12 month, or longer lease term?  Is there a penalty for moving out early?  How much is your security deposit and how much of it is refundable?  This part of your Daytona or Melbourne apartment lease is very important to understand.

Do you have friends or family you want to live with you?  You need to find out if anyone else that moves into your Daytona or Melbourne apartment with you is also required to sign a lease or pay a security deposit. Are they just a guest?  Make sure to find out how long a guest can stay before they are considered an additional tenant.  Find out if you can sublease your apartment.  Some apartments in Daytona and apartments in Melbourne will even find roommates for you.

Make sure you understand the pet policy before bringing in any type of pet.  Does the apartment allow fish tanks?  What about other pets that live in cages, such as mice, hamsters, lizards, or even snakes?  What about dogs or cats?  If so, what breeds are allowed for dogs?  Find out what the pet security deposit is.  Also, ask and make sure you fully understand what condition your apartment must be left in when you move out in order to receive your pet security deposit back.  It is better to understand the rules now instead of being fined for breaking one. 

Make sure you understand the maintenance policies within your lease.  What about emergency maintenance?  What does your apartment in Daytona or your apartment in Melbourne constitute as an emergency?  What types of maintenance problems will you be held responsible for and what will the apartment complex take care of?  Does your Daytona apartment or Melbourne apartment complex change the filters in your air conditioner regularly or are you responsible for this?  If it is your responsibility, does the apartment provide the filters or must you buy them?  If it is your responsibility, make sure you know exactly what filter to buy. Failing to change these regularly can result in costly air conditioning issues that you will be responsible to pay.

What is the moving out policy?  How much notice must you give the apartment manage when wanting to move out of your apartment in Daytona or your apartment in Melbourne?  What happens if you want to terminate your lease early?  What is the penalty for doing that?  Also, make sure you ask if your lease will automatically renew at the end of the period or are you expected to sign a new lease? What will you be responsible for when moving out?  Do you clean the apartment?  Do you clean the carpets?  Must you repaint the walls?  Asking these questions, will help to ensure you receive your security deposit back at the end of your lease period.

One thing to always remember when signing a lease, just because you didn't know it was in the lease, doesn't mean you aren't responsible for it.  It is your responsibility to know everything in your lease before you sign because, once you sign it, it is a binding contract and you are responsible for every word that is printed on it.  Be careful.  Read carefully.  Ask questions.  Fully understand what you are signing before you sign.  Don't worry about asking too many questions.  It is much better to ask questions than sign something you don't understand!

These are the opinions of writers and not the opinions of SunStateApartments.com or any of our advertising partners.