Understand What You Sign
October 16, 2014
When you rent an apartment with McKenzie Apartment Company, you and your Property Manager will sign a lease. This document gives you the right to occupy your new home for as long as the lease remains in effect. Before you sign a lease, you might wonder what the best lease option is, how much you’ll owe, who else might need to sign the lease, etc.
Read before you sign! Never assume a lease agreement is exactly how you want it. Once you sign and the Property Manager signs, it is a legal binding contract and will be enforced as such. It is especially important to understand and abide by the rules. Your signature implies that you understand and agree to everything contained within that document.
Fixed-term lease versus month-to-month rental agreement. The majority of our leases are the standard one year lease. When the lease is nearing expiration, both parties can agree to renew the lease for another fixed term or you can agree to amend the lease term. This is something that should be agreed to before the Lease Renewal is signed. A short-term rental agreement, or adding in out 75/60 Clause, offers greater flexibility but it does come at a price. The McKenzie Apartment Company charges an additional fee of $75 each month to have a lease shorter than the standard one year, or to have the option of terminating your lease with 60 days written notice. Again, all options should be discussed with your Property Manager at the time of lease signing or renewal.
What you owe at lease signing. Be prepared to pay your security deposit at the time of signing your lease. Your first month’s rent, or prorated rent amount if you’re moving in mid-month, will be due to us when you pick up your keys on move-in day.
Unfair lease rules. Often enough, residents believe that a certain lease requirement is unfair. As an apartment resident, keep in mind that a rule violation can put you at risk of losing your home. You might take issue with a certain rule in your lease and want to persuade your Property Manager that the rule is unfair or that it shouldn’t apply to you. While we do not change the rules from one resident to another, we will take the time to explain to you why certain rules are in place. Property Managers do not make rules just to be mean. Typically when a rule is in place, it is there for safety, liability, cleanliness, noise reduction, or because residents have previously engaged in activity that required this new rule to be put into place.
Breaking your lease. Residents may find themselves wanting to end their lease early. Some common reasons are when a resident decides to buy a home, accept a new job in a different area, or they want to move in with a boyfriend/girlfriend. Not all apartment communities allow residents to “break” their lease… not even for a fee. The McKenzie Apartment Company is one of those. Our leases do not have a lease break option. You would need to find a subletter, or continue to pay the rent and utilities even if you move out prior to your lease expiration. If a situation arises that would require you to move, have a sit-down with your Property Manager. Sometimes it is possible to work something out, but be prepared to fulfill your legal contract.
You should never have to say the words “Well I didn’t know!” to your Property Manager if they come to you with a reminder of something you agreed to and signed in your lease. When you sign your name on the dotted line, it is implied that you have read each and every word. If you have questions… ask. That’s what we’re here for!