Know What to Expect Before you Sign a Lease

Are you new to renting an apartment in Melbourne or Daytona? It can be a scary process signing long leases, writing huge checks, and giving out personal information to people you've just met. Keep reading to learn about the whole signing and leasing process from beginning to end.

What is covered in the Lease?

Your lease is a legally binding contract between you and the owner or property manager of the property. It allows you to take possession of the property and specifies the date of move in, the amount of rent, the deposit amount, and requirements for living in the community.

Read the Fine Print

Make sure you read your lease in its entirety before you sign. Yes, it is long and the wording may be difficult to understand. Make sure you read it anyways. You don't want to be surprised down the line because you didn't know what you were signing. Here is a few things to look for:

  • How much notice will the office provide before entering your home?
  • Is there a limit on the number of days you can have a guest stay at your apartment?
  • Where are you required to park and where are guests permitted to park?
  • When is the rent due and where do you submit payments? What are the late charges if you are late?
  • What happens when the lease expires? You may be asked to resign a few months before the end of your lease or be required to vacate.
  • What time do the amenities such as the pool, gym, and clubhouse close each night?
  • What happens if you break the lease? You may forfeit your deposit, or you could be required to pay for the months remaining on your lease.

Do You Need Renter's Insurance?

On moving day theft, fire, and natural disasters are probably far from your thoughts. But these things do happen and you risk losing everything. The apartment's insurance only covers the owner’s property, which means the actual building. Your furniture, clothes, electronics, books, personal and house hold items will not be covered. You would have to replace everything you own out of your pocket.

But there is some good news! You can easily purchase renter's insurance to protect yourself and your possessions. Most policies will protect you against fire, theft, natural disasters including flooding and water damage. If you have expensive jewelry, rare art, or very expensive electronics you may need to purchase additional insurance.

Some Melbourne and Daytona apartment communities may require you to protect yourself with renter's insurance. If this is the case, make sure you research different companies to find a competitive rate. Find out how much coverage you will get and how high the deductible will be.

If you purchase a policy, be sure you document all of your belongings. This is easy to do with a cheap digital camera. Make sure you capture any serial numbers and store the photos out of your apartment. This information will ensure that you are repaid for all of your possessions.

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