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Understanding Leases: When Lawyers are Crucial

6 December 2017 No Comment

A lease is essentially a contract to pay for the use of a property over a certain amount of time. In the world of apartments and condominiums, these leases can last 12 months or up to 3 years. Leases protect both the landlord and tenant from any misunderstandings. However, it’s important to know what is being promised within the paperwork. Get to know why a lawyer might be necessary in these leasing instances so that you’re protected during a permanent move.

Deciphering the Fine Print

Although you may be leasing a studio apartment for one year, the paperwork volume can be enormous. It’s easy to skip the reading and sign on the dotted line. Ideally, ask to take the paperwork home with you so that reading it can be prioritized. You don’t want to be hurried during this process. There can be several line items that are alarming from your perspective. Highlight them for further discussion with the landlord.

If you don’t understand some of the language, ask for a lawyer’s opinion. These professionals will often charge minimal fees to translate a document for you. This consultation might be the most valuable one to have before committing to a lease.

Signing the Paperwork

The paperwork that you read should be the same documents for signing purposes. If the leasing party hands you a new stack of papers, they might be altered in some manner. Bring your lawyer with you to the document signing as a way to support yourself. With someone backing up your side, you’ll feel confident about signing the lease.

Sign the same papers that you took home. You should receive a copy of the final paperwork with both party’s signatures on the dotted lines. Keep this paperwork handy as you pay deposits and monthly payments. There should be no changes from the agreed-upon amounts.

Renewing the Lease

As the lease approaches its expiration date, you may want to renew it. In these cases, a new set of documents is drawn up to cover the new time frame. Perform the same reading process as before. It’s possible that certain charges, such as monthly fees, have increased from your previous lease. After one year or longer, increased monthly fees are relatively standard. You simply need to agree to the amount. If the amount is outrageous, such as doubling the charge, discuss the situation with your lawyer. There might be some legal recourse to keep you at the property without paying an exorbitant amount.

Your Rights After Terminating a Lease

It’s time to move out, and you’re not renewing the lease. The landlord should look over the property after you’ve moved out to verify that it’s in good shape. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, your cleaning deposit should be returned to you. If you receive a partial reimbursement, it normally has an explanation of the charges. You have a right to question any extra charges after moving out because most of the costs should be covered by your initial deposits.

Hiring a lawyer might be out of your budget, but there are choices in the marketplace. Consider free legal consulation in Oakland so that you’re confident about any leasing paperwork. At the end of the day, your rights will be upheld with the help of a legal professional.

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