A lot of recent graduates are preparing to go off to college, which means that a large number of people are getting ready to move out of the house. Some will move into dorms while others will be renting a place of their own. If you are about to sign your first lease, here are three things you need to consider before you affix your John Hancock to a new lease.

At Least Read the Main Points

Make sure you understand what you are agreeing to before you sign a lease. Once your signature is on that page, you are bound to the rules of the landlord. If you have a pet that is over the size requirement, make sure an addendum is added, or if you plan to sublet the place in the summer you need to make sure that is allowed. Nothing that is agreed to verbally counts if it isn’t on the lease. Similarly, the landlord doesn’t have to tell you everything because he or she expects you to read about it in the lease.

Use the Inspection Checklist

Before you move anything into the home, make sure you go through and inspect everything. If there is a large paint spot on the wall, write it down on the list. If one of the eyes on the stove doesn’t work, record that. You need to make sure everything looks good and that it works before you take it over, because once you move in, anything not written down will count as something that happened while you lived there.

Make sure you keep a copy of the list for yourself. One thing you can do is scan your final copy of the check-in list and load it into PIMYU with a copy of your deposit check. That way you have it all in one place when it is time to leave.

Plan Ahead

You may be moving in now, but at some point you are going to move out. You need to take this into consideration right from the beginning. You are renting, not buying the place, so you know there is a finite amount of time that you will live in this place. When you decorate, make sure that you don’t make substantial changes that will cost you the deposit later. When you want to make improvements, get the ok in writing before you begin. All of these help you move out with the maximum amount of deposit.

Moving into a rental place may not involve as much paperwork or money, but it still requires a considerably amount of planning and time. You want to make sure you understand what you are getting in to, how much it will cost, and have an exit plan before you even set foot into your rental place for the first time.

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