Signing an Apartment Rental Agreement

Do not Sign Apartment Rental Agreement before You Fully Understand

The apartment rental agreement is a legal contract between the landlord and the tenant that binds both the parties for what the agreement document states. You should also understand very well that if you try to ignore any of the contents of the agreement after signing, then you might invite serious troubles. It is a normally accepted trend that landlord prepares the apartment rental agreement, so that the tenants must go through the document and make sure that none of its contents are unfair. If you sign the agreement without scrutinizing it properly, you might get in to trouble later, as the landlord naturally tend to write the documents in their favor.

Apartment Rental Agreement – Get a Copy in Advance
Best thing to do to avoid any inconvenience later is to get a copy of the apartment rental agreement from the landlord well in advance. This way you will get enough time to analyze the contents of the agreement thoroughly and carefully. You can sit quietly and verify that there are no discrepancies in the verbal conditions stated by the landlord and the written conditions in the apartment rental agreement. You will also be able to find if there are any hidden clauses that may cause you problems in the future.

Apartment Rental Agreement – Hire an Experienced Attorney if Required
Alternatively, you may hire an attorney to help you in this regard. This is not at all a costly affair as most of the experienced attorneys can do it in less then one hour. Even if you do not get the copy of the agreement in advance, you need not to panic. You can always take an attorney with you at the time of signing and he will make sure that nothing unfair is in the agreement.

Apartment Rental Agreement – Do Your Homework Properly
How good of a deal you get in the end, depends on the amount of homework and research you do in the beginning. Equip yourself with as much information as you can about the landlord. For example, methods of negotiating with a corporate landlord with hundreds of units will be very different from the person with only one property. However, keep in mind that you cannot discuss and win on every single point. The best way is to pick the most important or troubling points to negotiate.

However, only picking the points is not sufficient enough for negotiating with the landlord. You should go with enough preparation that you can put effective counter arguments before the landlord.

Apartment Rental Agreement – Negotiate With the Competent Authority Only
Another important tip is that you should talk to the landlord directly. Talking with a person who is not authorized to make changes in the document is a waste of time. Similarly, you should not negotiate with your landlord much in advance. On the contrary, negotiations performed on the day of signing produce more results, because by that time landlord prepares his mind to accept you as the tenant.