Don’t Rush! Choosing the perfect rental and who you are going to share it with is a big decision. You will likely be asked to sign a lease agreement. The lease you sign is a BINDING CONTRACT. Your signature on the lease obligates you to its terms.
Once you find the property that you want to rent the Landlord may ask for a “holding deposit” to take the property off the market and reserve it for you. Before you pay a holding deposit make sure that you are certain you want to rent the property OR check to see if the deposit is refundable in the event you decide not to rent the unit.
Choose your roommates wisely – you may be responsible for the full monthly rent, even if your roommate doesn’t return to Ann Arbor. You cannot terminate your lease just because you and your roommate no longer want to live together. Most leases require “joint and several” liability. This means that each of the tenants is responsible for all of the rent. If one tenant doesn’t pay, the other tenants are still fully responsible to the Landlord. Consider a roommate agreement to help address potential problems.
Before you sign a lease have an attorney review it with you!
READ THE LEASE CAREFULLY - It is important to carefully read all of the provisions in your lease before you sign it. Some important things to review include, but are not limited to:
Duration of the lease; Rental amount (when the rent is due, how is it to be paid, if there are any late fees); Security deposit required (make sure the amount you paid is specified in the lease); Number of people that can live in the property; Make sure any promises made by the Landlord for repairs or improvements are written into the lease; Utilities – who is responsible for payment of gas, water, electricity;
GET AND KEEP A COPY OF THE LEASE SIGNED BY ALL PARTIES.
TO SPEAK WITH AN ATTORNEY IN OUR OFFICE, PLEASE CALL US: Student Legal Services 734.763.9920
You may also be interested in the Top 10 Tips for Staying Safe in Your Rental Housing.