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What to Look For Before Signing Your Lease

Allegheny Attorneys at Law, P.C. Oct. 19, 2017

Moving into a new place in Pittsburgh or throughout Allegheny County can be exciting. There’s always the feeling of starting something fresh, with a new apartment and new surroundings. However, it can be very easy to overlook important details before signing on the dotted line. This can happen to anyone—novices and veterans alike. Here are a few things to consider before signing your lease.

Do Not Rush

It’s always good to have specific criteria for your new place. Price, neighborhood, accessibility to shopping and public transportation are just a few factors worth considering. Therefore, it’s always important to take your time and evaluate everything. If you make a decision too quickly or out of desperation, there is a higher chance of overlooking something that may have required your attention. Many people have rushed into signing leases, only for them to notice a thing or two that they didn’t like, wouldn’t tolerate, or couldn’t stand about their new accommodations.

Read Everything

Yes, everything—including the fine print. There’s usually a lot of documentation involved, and this can be overwhelming, especially considering that most of it is in “legalese.” However, it is important to go through every single detail to avoid further problems. For instance, you might want to double check the length of the lease; it’s not common for people to think that they signed up for a few months, only to realize that they actually signed on for a whole year. Also make sure you understand the termination policies, including how much it would cost to end your lease early. Usually, landlords can demand as much as three months’ worth of rent. Other things to watch for when reading your lease include rules regarding pets, subletting, and making alterations to the property rented. If you are unsure about these legal terms, you should contact a Pittsburgh landlord-tenant attorney for clarification.

Make Sure the Lease Is Detailed and In Writing

In some cases, the landlord might be okay with nothing more than a few words and a handshake. However, that should not be okay with you. Get all promises and everything that has been discussed in writing. That way, you are protected against any contradictions. For instance, if the landlord allows small dogs, and it is documented, you can use the document as evidence months later if he objects to your poodle.

If you feel your tenant rights are being violated, reaching out to an attorney is the best decision you can make. Ensure that your rights are being protected by contacting the landlord-tenant lawyers of Allegheny Attorneys At Law. The experienced team at AAAL will help you understand the obligations defined by your lease and protect you against any unexpected surprises you may encounter along the way. Let the legal team at Allegheny Attorneys help you. Contact us today!