MISC: New Lease, same worries

Things to check before you sign the lease


  • What utility bills are included in the rent: heat, hot water? (most likey you will be responsible for are telephone, cable, gas and electricity.)
    • What are typical bill amounts in different seasons?
  • Does the building have a super or some sort of arrangement for repairs? Does it cost extra?
    • Do the windows open? Does the fridge/freezer work? stove/oven? * What is the condition of the floors/walls?
    • How is the water pressure?
    • Is there cable TV hookup?
    • Does the building have laundry facilities?
    • What sort of security does the building have? * Are there problems with roaches, ants, rats, or feral midgets?

If you decide to take an apartment

  • Landlord: Does he live on-site and does he fix any problems with the apartment? Who will be responsible for property maintenance?
  • What kind of neighbors you would have? (25 years old or 105 years old?)
  • If the current tenants of the apartment are around while you're looking at the place, you might try to ask them some questions: how did they enjoy living there? Why are they moving out? Where do they do laundry? Shop for groceries? How soundproof are the walls?
  • Ask the broker: if there's one thing that you don't like about this apartment, what would it be?
  • If you notice beat-up cabinets or a semi-functional faucet, have the landlord write the defects on the lease agreement so you aren't later held responsible for the damage.
  • Must you install your own apartment door locks? Does anyone else have keys to the apartment?
  • Will the apartment be painted? Can you paint the walls or make ther decorating changes?
  • Do you need special permission to make superficial changes, e.g., painting or hanging pictures?


  • Make sure the lease covers the basic terms of your tenancy
    • the amount of rent
    • payment terms: can you pay by credit card? Due dates, late fees, grace periods and penalties?
    • the period of time for the lease (such as 1 year, 6 months or month-to-month), and
    • the option to renew.
  • Security deposit: Are there provisions for getting it back?
  • Know your options
    • What is the policy on subletting the place (if you go away?)
    • What are the conditions if you have to move out before the lease expires?
    • Are you allowed to share your unit with roommates / guests?

Category: C++ Quant > Random Walk

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