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Get A Head Start Lease Smart. The Lease A lease is a legally binding contract. Whether or not you understand the lease, a court will require you (and.

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Presentation on theme: "Get A Head Start Lease Smart. The Lease A lease is a legally binding contract. Whether or not you understand the lease, a court will require you (and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Get A Head Start Lease Smart

2 The Lease A lease is a legally binding contract. Whether or not you understand the lease, a court will require you (and your landlord) to follow the terms if you signed it. Any verbal promises made may NOT be legally binding.

3 Read the Lease For: Names: Renter(s)’ name(s) and landlord’s (or management company’s) Description of unit and the rent owed How you can pay your rent, when it’s due, when it’s considered late, and the penalty What to do if you must leave before your lease is up Who pays utilities Rules and regulations

4 What to Expect When You Apply On the Application –Your Social Security number or Driver’s License Number –Employment and income history –Rental history A guarantee form if your parents are paying the rent A credit report, background check, and rental history check Expect to pay at least one month’s rent and a deposit equal to one month’s rent.

5 What is a Good Credit Score? Over 700 = GREAT = Average The higher the better!

6 How to Obtain Your Credit Report Access one free credit report a year from each credit bureau at You must contact the individual credit bureaus for the other two free reports. –EQUIFAX: –EXPERIAN: –TRANS UNION:

7 What About Deposits and Fees? A deposit can be refunded; a fee can’t. –You may pay fees for ending your lease early, pets, or parking. The most common deposit is a security deposit. –It protects the landlord if you don’t pay rent or if you damage the unit. –If you tell your landlord you’re moving out and don’t owe any money for rent or damage, the landlord must return the security deposit within 30 days.

8 When Can the Landlord Keep Your Security Deposit? If you move out without paying the rent. If you (or your guests) are responsible for damages other than ordinary wear and tear.

9 How Can You Get Back All of Your Security Deposit? When you move in: –Agree with the landlord about the condition of your unit. While you live there: –Keep the unit in good condition. –Report damages to the landlord and arrange for repairs. When you move out: –Agree with the landlord about the condition of your unit. –Be sure your landlord has your address!

10 More About Repairs and Maintenance It’s YOUR responsibility: –To repair damages you or your guests or pets cause –Not to “substantially change” the unit without permission It’s your landlord’s responsibility to: –Make and pay for repairs to the unit that you/your guest/your pets didn’t cause –Keep the building structure and mechanics working

11 What If I Need to Leave Before My Lease Is Up? Most leases spell out what to do: –A written notice to the landlord –Pay an early termination fee –Forfeit the security deposit Could you sublease? –Check your lease or ask the landlord –Get it in writing –Whose name will be on the lease?

12 What About Roommates? All persons who sign a lease are responsible for the total rent. Put all agreements about who pays what into a written signed document. Try to have all roommates sign on as responsible for all utilities.

13 To Sum Up… Read the lease before signing it. Ask questions. Inspect the unit before you move in. Document damages. Take care of your unit. Report damages and needed repairs to the landlord. If you have roommates, make a written agreement about sharing costs and responsibilities. Document the condition of your unit when you move out. Get your security deposit back!

14 For individual help contact: The Peer Financial Counseling Program (insert web address, phone number, and/or )

15 Special Thanks to...


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