6 Things to Look for In a Lease Contract
by Ice Artificio
Apr 02, 2018
It’s hard to go through the fine print of contracts. They’re not easy to digest and oftentimes are peppered with words non-lawyers would have difficulty understanding.
These documents are made to protect parties in an agreement. They’re legal, binding, and could be used in court or to eject tenants. This means that even if it is a complex document, every renter- old or new should ALWAYS review their contracts thoroughly.
So, what’s the best way to thoroughly understand your contract? Divide and conquer. Breakdown the clauses depending on what matters to you as a possible renter, then go through the rest.
Here are some highlights in your contract that you can first look for to help you decide whether the conditions set by your lessor is amenable and fit your needs:
1. Contract Duration
You need to find how long the contract will be effective. Most long-term apartments create one-year contracts, with stipulation on what to expect upon renewal.
2. Payment Scheme
1 month to 2 months advance plus two months deposit are the usual initial payment schemes for many low to medium end properties. Some luxury condominiums can require up to a year advance plus deposit. Others include a year of monthly dues. The charges vary from place to place which makes it important to look for this specific clause in your contract.
3. Rental Increase
The Rent Control Act limits increases in rent to up to 7% annually. Unfortunately, this only covers residential units that do not cost more than PHP10,000 per month and most of our units are above that bracket. This means, at a given time, the rent or monthly dues may increase for whatever reason. Some lessors demand rental increase annually, while others don’t.
4. Grounds for Eviction
While we have laws protecting tenants from immediate eviction, the landlord can set ground rules or a list of things they do not allow in their unit. “You cannot house more than X number of people”, “You must not change the paint”, “You cannot have pets”. To some these may sound like small demands that do not warrant ejection. But if it is in your contract and the lessor follow proper eviction procedure, you can be taken out of the unit.
5. Pets Allowed?
Pets have played an important role in many renters. Some condominiums only allow certain pets of a certain species, size or breed. They would also require owners to have the dogs inoculated or may require proper training..
Look for internet connection options to be specific. A decent internet connection has become a necessity in many households. I have encountered a property that requires tenants to shoulder the “right of way” when having service providers lay down internet connection lines. Many condominiums have already sorted that problem for their would-be renters, while others may have exclusive providers for their buildings.
Highlight everything in your contract that you feel uneasy with or do not understand with your broker or leasing department contact, or landlord.
Rentpad encourages all renters to always thoroughly go through their leasing contracts before signing to help minimize fraud or even bad experiences due to missed or confused clauses in contracts.
A good lessor makes it a point to fully understand the fine print of the contract and how flexible they can be to accommodate the needs of the renter.
Do you know of any other important items to look for in a lease contract? let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Happy renting! :)