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What to look for in a favorable lease agreement

Securing a comfortable and secure living space involves more than just choosing the right apartment or house. It is extremely important to make sure that your lease agreement contains favorable terms before you sign.

As a tenant, understanding what to look for in a lease can save you from potential issues down the road.

Lease duration and terms

Begin by examining the lease duration and terms. Some leases may be month-to-month, while others require a fixed-term commitment. Consider your personal preferences and future plans to align with the lease duration that suits you best. Be sure to also carefully scrutinize the terms related to rent increases and renewal options to ensure predictability in your housing costs.

Clear rent payment details

Confirm the monthly rent amount, due date and acceptable payment methods. Be aware of any late fees and grace periods. Understanding these aspects ensures a smooth and stress-free rent payment process.

Maintenance and repairs

A well-crafted lease agreement outlines responsibilities for maintenance and repairs. Check whether the landlord is responsible for addressing structural issues and major repairs. Conversely, understand your responsibilities for minor repairs and upkeep. This clarity ensures a fair distribution of responsibilities, preventing disputes over maintenance concerns.

Notice periods for moving out

Before signing a lease, carefully review the notice periods required for moving out. Whether you plan to renew or relocate, knowing how much advance notice is necessary helps you plan your next steps smoothly.

The Maryland Affordable Housing Coalition reports that renters occupy around 1 in 3 homes in Maryland. With renting being such a common practice, it is important for renters to make sure they are not signing agreements that go against their own best interests.