What a tenant should know before they sign the lease.

Mike's picture

Since I have owned my property management company I have found the largest issue that tenants face when entering into a lease with a company or an individual is they don’t do their homework before they sign the lease. Most leases have an “as is” clause that say, “Resident accepts the Premises in the current “AS IS’ and in good condition.
What exactly does this mean? It means that when you sign the lease you are agreeing to take the property the way you have seen it. In other words, you have inspected the property and are agreeing that everything is fine. You are agreeing that the paint is fine, the carpet is fine, the flooring is fine, the fixtures are fine, and most of all you are happy with the cleanliness of the property. Once you sign the lease you can no longer call the property management or owner and complain because you don’t like the paint or blinds, etc. You have agreed that you are 100% happy with the condition both inside and out. Is this a trick put in to keep the owner from fixing things? NO. It is a red flag to the tenant to make sure they have gone through the property and everything is fixed before the lease is signed and you move in.

So as a tenant how do I protect myself?

Tenants don’t realize they can negotiate before they sign a lease. If there are issues with the home, now is the time to bring it up to have it fixed or have rent discount for the issue. Most tenants rush into a lease for many different reasons but if you are about to commit to a home and spend thousands of dollars you need to slow down. Most people wouldn’t just go and buy a car without driving it first and negotiating the price, right? So why are people so quick to sign a lease without making sure all their concerns are addressed?
Make sure you thoroughly inspect the home and address issues prior to signing. The owner or management company will address not all issues but at lease when you move in, you know that you have gotten some issues resolved or rent discounts made.

Written by Michael Ovitt
Owner/Broker
All County First Choice Largo Florida 727-614-0076
All County Associates Serving North Pinellas County 727-614-0076