For those who may be going out on their own for the first time, renting an apartment or home is certainly a big first step. Renting offers many advantages for those who are just starting out as they have a well maintained place to live. However, renting is considered an interim step towards eventually getting your own home.
For those who are new to renting a property, understanding the principles will help you navigate all the responsibilities that you will face.
What is Rent?
This is the money that you pay so you can fulfill the obligations of your lease. Rent is paid monthly, bi-weekly or weekly depending on the agreement that is made. The rent is paid either directly to the landlord, the owner or the managing company of the property. There are a number of ways that rent might be paid which includes direct deposit or debit, credit card, check or in person. If a direct debit method is to be used, the landlord must explain this before any rental agreement is signed.
Responsibilities in Paying the Rent
You are obligated to pay the rent under the terms of your lease agreement even when facing the following situations;
- You have given notice about leaving the property.
- You are in the last month of your rental agreement.
- The landlord will not repair or maintain the property.
- You have been given an eviction notice.
You are still obligated to pay the rent you owe under these circumstances. However, if the landlord does violate the terms of the lease agreement, then you have the grounds by which not to pay. Consult with an attorney however before you decide not to pay the rent. Otherwise, you could open yourself up to having your credit score reduced.
How Rent Payment in Advance Works
The rent you pay is really paying for the month ahead of your stay. Basically, if you are paying rent on a monthly basis, then when you pay at the first of the month it covers the rest of the month. However, if you are paying rent on a weekly basis, the landlord cannot ask for more than 14 days rent at the beginning of the lease agreement.
There are also rules about how much rent you pay and when it is to be paid that is covered by your local and state laws. Tenants do have certain rights while under a lease agreement which have to be respected. For example, if the rent is below a certain amount each week, the landlord cannot ask for more than one month in advance, otherwise they might be fined by the courts.
Overall, it pays to know your rights under the law as a tenant in terms of what laws, rules and regulations you have to follow under a lease agreement. You will want to discuss any lease agreement with parties that understand how renting properties work so that you are fully protected under the law. This does not mean you have to consult with an attorney, but you will want to check out the landlord and the property to understand its reputation and past behavior towards tenants.