Familiarize yourself with all of the parts of a lease, before signing one.
A Lease Agreement is usually a one year "legally binding" contract stating that you are allowed to live in a rental property owned by a landlord and promise to not only pay rent, but also follow any rules set forth by the landlord. Yet, while the Lease Agreement is written by the landlord and is to ensure that all of his/her terms are met, it is also a place for you to see up front what those terms are and ask for any clarification before signing.
A Security Deposit is usually also covered, when going over a Lease Agreement. It is usually due before move-in and covers any damages that occurs after move-in and if a tenant leaves an apartment owing rent.
A Security Deposit cannot, by law, exceed one month's rent. When paying your Security Deposit, be sure to get a receipt that includes the amount you paid, the date, the bank name of where it is going and the account number.
At move-out, you, as the tenant, are owed your full deposit plus interest, if no damage occurred, within 30 days of the end of the Lease Agreement.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Residence Life Policies