When you’re renting your first apartment, you might have a lot of questions about what’s about to happen after you move in: How do you enter a lease? What rules do you have to follow? Can I have visitors? ABODO help to make your life as a renter easy, so here are the top 25 questions commonly asked by first-time — or simply curious — renters!
Can a landlord raise my rent?
Landlords can raise the rent once the lease has expired. In case you decide to stay in the same apartment next year, read your new lease carefully and make sure the rates haven’t gone up. If you are renting a month-to-month apartment, then rent increases are more likely to occur. In this case, landlords can raise the rent every month if they wish. But it’s important to note that many states require a 30 day notice before the rent is officially raised. This will give you time to find a new place if you cannot afford the new rent price.
What is my security deposit for and can I get it back?
The security deposit is a set amount of money that the landlord takes from you as collateral for the structural integrity and cleanliness of the house. This money is set aside by the landlord to inspire tenants to take good care of their rental property, and if you don’t, it gives them the opportunity to recoup those losses. If you do not damage the property in any way then you will receive the security deposit back once the lease has expired and you move out.
I want to sublet my place. Is this allowed?
Always check your lease for subletting clauses. Some landlords welcome sublets and others do not. In some areas, regardless of what is in your lease, your landlord cannot forbid you from subletting. If you have any questions, be sure to ask your landlord. If you find someone to sublet your room/apartment, be sure to inform your landlord of the tenant change. Keeping open communication is essential on this issue.
Are landlords required to make repairs?
Landlords are required to make routine repairs in a timely fashion. If your landlord does not respond to your first request, then send a second request with a repair deadline. As a tenant, you are entitled to a clean, functioning household. If major repairs go ignored for more than five days, contact your local tenant union to discuss your options.
When is a landlord allowed to enter my home?
Landlords must generally stay out of a property as long as tenants are paying rent. The only exceptions are in the case of an emergency, a repair, or a house showing for potential tenants in the future. Most laws require a landlord to give 24-hour notice before entering the unit, but that, too, can vary by city.
How do I deal with noisy neighbors?
Every tenant has the right to enjoy peace and quiet in your home. If you live in an apartment complex, it is most certainly your landlord’s problem. If you live in a house, report them to the local police station. Before you go to any higher authorities, sometimes it’s just easier to knock on your neighbor’s door and politely ask them to be a bit quieter.
I need to move out early and break the terms of my lease. How does this work?
Regardless of the reason, breaking the terms of a lease is never an ideal situation. Often a lease will include an early-release clause, which requests one or two months’ rent from the tenant after they vacate. If there are no terms, you’ll need to negotiate with your landlord. Always be straightforward with your landlord about your situation, respectful of their needs, and apologetic. Sometimes a little kindness really does go a long way.
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Written By: Matt Lawler
Matt Lawler is a lifestyle blogger, Internet marketing specialist and a graduate of Arizona State University. When he isn’t writing, Matt likes to enjoy the outdoors. He can often be found hiking, cycling or finding new ways to explore his home state of Arizona.