October 4, 2021 at 1:03 pm
Justin Becker ·
Comments Off on What to Know for First Time Apartment Renters
Finally, you’ve decided to move out of your parent’s house, or maybe leave your dorm room days behind, in search of your very own apartment. It’s exciting, right?
With that said, one question keeps ringing in your head, what next?
Just the fact that you’re doing something for the first time is enough to raise your blood pressure.
When you realize that all responsibilities that come with moving out to an apartment for the first time suddenly fall on you, it is easy to feel completely and utterly overwhelmed.
Luckily, you’re not alone in this challenging endeavor. Many people went through the same quest and overcame what, to you, now seems like a nightmare.
To make the transition as smooth as possible, we put together a checklist, along with everything you need to know about how to rent your first apartment for a successful move.
What to Know for First Time Apartment Renters
Becoming a first time apartment renter is a big step in life, perhaps even the most exciting time in your life.
Even though renting an apartment for the first time comes with a set of responsibilities, you get to enjoy the freedom to pick and choose the perfect place for you.
Apartments have their fair share of challenges. For example, as a first time apartment renter, you might have to deal with unreasonable landlords or neighbors, high rents, poor quality, pet policies, and much more.
It’s one of those parts of life that no one prepares you for, but luckily reading other’s experiences will give you a glimpse of what to expect.
Now, where do you start? Let’s find out!
Tips for First Time Apartment Renters
Why is an apartment such a good option?
First of all, you’re on your own. It makes no sense to rent a house.
A house comes with a much bigger responsibility than an apartment. If renting an apartment can be overwhelming, renting a home can be much worse.
The difference in maintenance and utility cost are just some things that position apartment renting as the ideal choice for a first time renter.
Here is a list of the most important things to look for when renting an apartment for the first time.
Determine Your Budget
It is easy to overestimate how much you can spend on rent, and other necessities, as a first time renter. Bottom line is, figure out the rent you can afford.
The general recommendation is to spend about 30% of your gross monthly income (before taxes) on rent. If you earn $5,000 per month, your rent should be $5,000 x 0.3, or about $1,500.
This will help you manage your finances and avoid defaulting on your rent. However, this isn’t always the case in cities like New York, Boston, or San Francisco. Often, these cities have a high cost of living.
A regular apartment within your budget, could double or triple in San Francisco, New York, and Boston. As such, aim to keep your housing expenses to 30% or under.
A wise thing to do is to team up with a roommate to offset apartment costs. This will ease the burden and give you room to focus on other important stuff.
Perhaps, using a rent calculator will give you a better idea of how much you can spend on the apartment for rent.
All you need to do is fill in your desired location, number of rooms, and your monthly gross income, and the rent calculator will do the rest.
Decide if You Need a Roommate
With a tight budget, it can be overwhelming to rent an apartment on your own. With that said, things can be easier if you have a roommate to share the cost with and save money.
If the housing expenses run over the recommended 30%, consider finding a stellar roommate. However, before jumping to find one, consider the pros and cons of having a roommate. If you’re satisfied with the decision, go ahead and search for one.
Before settling for a roommate, it is essential to establish what makes a compatible roommate.
Here are some ideas on how to go about it:
- Do you care if a roommate comes with a pet? Will you need a pet-friendly apartment?
- How long can guests stay, and how often?
- Whose name will the utilities be in, and how will you collect payment from the other?
- Who will buy the furniture, and who will take it with them if someone moves out?
While you will want to focus on yourself, it is crucial to find out what makes your roommate happy, and what doesn’t. That will go a long way to striking a long-term friendship of understanding.
Choose Your Apartment Community
Choosing your apartment community is probably one of the most important things as a first time apartment renter.
Your apartment complex location will affect so many things. For example, it will determine how much you will spend on transportation to and from work.
Here are few tips to consider when choosing your apartment community;
- Pick a location that is close to your workplace
- Consider the distance to shopping centers, recreational places, among other things
- Is the place safe for you? What’s the crime rate in the neighborhood?
- Is your dream location more expensive than surrounding neighborhoods?
- Are you going to use public transportation?
Asking for recommendations will also go a long way to helping you find the perfect neighborhood. You also want a place where you can access public transportation easily.
Think About Amenities
When searching for an apartment, as a first time renter, you may believe that your search criteria will initially boil down to the number of bedrooms and monthly rent. Well, that’s not all.
When you are on an apartment hunt, prioritize the amenities that are most relevant to your lifestyle. Consider what will make your apartment more pleasant, and what isn’t worth the extra rent money or facility fees. These are things you need to worry about.
If you love working out, a gym in the building would be a significant asset to you. If that’s not your thing, but a weekend swim is, a rooftop swimming pool would be far more appealing.
Apart from the shared amenities, think about the amenities you want inside the apartment. An updated kitchen, outdoor space, like a balcony, oversized bathroom off the master bedroom, and large closet space are all worthwhile amenities to consider.
Give Yourself Time to Search
Apartment hunting is not a walk in the park. Give yourself time to find the perfect apartment. If you’re in a hurry, you’ll be a potential victim of a leasing scam.
Many ask: how long does it take before finding a suitable apartment?
Well, there’s no exact answer to that question. You can spend a day and spot an apartment that has everything you need. Love at first sight!
You could also take days, weeks, or even months before finding what you are looking for. In other words, how long it takes depends on your set of preferences, among other factors.
If you are planning a move to a new city and don’t have time to make a trip to apartment hunt in person, worry not! Nowadays, renting an apartment sight unseen is entirely possible, thanks to virtual 3D tours.
Know How to Spot Apartment Leasing Scams
An estimated 43.1 percent of renters have encountered a listing they suspected was fraudulent, and 5.2 million U.S. renters have lost money from leasing fraud.
Statistics suggest that first time apartment renters are more likely to experience leasing fraud, with 9.1 percent of 18 to 29-year old renters having lost money on a leasing scam, compared to 6.4 percent of all other renters.
An estimated 88.3 percent of renters who have lost money from leasing fraud changed their search approach for rentals. For example, some conduct additional research, and others make sure to visit properties before paying.
You need to worry about leasing scams. Always be on the lookout to avoid falling victim to leasing fraud.
Budget for All Upfront Costs
A first time apartment renter doesn’t always realize the full scope of all upfront costs. For this reason, you will want to budget ahead of time.
Typically, you’ll need a security deposit, first and last months’ rent, and an apartment application fee.
For the apartment application, landlords often charge an application fee so they can run a background and credit check on you.
If you have a pet, then consider budgeting for that as well. Most apartments will ask for a one-time upfront fee, plus a monthly pet leasing fee.
It is important always to read the pet policy so you get the full scope of the apartment regulations. For example, how many pets are accepted?
Utility Cost and Other Expenses
Paying a security deposit, along with first and last month’s rent, is not the end of the cost. Consider other expenses, such as pet rent, utilities, parking, repairs, and new furniture.
Utility bills can vary, based on location and the season. You should also factor in any subscriptions, the cost of transportation or gas, food, gym memberships, and any other ongoing expenses.
Your goal is to find an apartment for rent with utilities included, at the best prices.
Space and Storage
Most apartments have less space than family houses. As such, you need to get creative in order to get all of your stuff stored neatly.
Utilize all the nooks, get a bed with drawers, and consider a minimalist design. Minimalism in apartments is trending. Getting so much from so little is incredibly satisfying.
Not only will your open-floor apartment look modern and stylish, but it will cleverly camouflage your storage.
Sometimes the unthinkable happens! Suppose it does and you didn’t have a plan, you’re likely to be in big trouble.
For this reason, it is essential to have renters insurance. It’s a lifesaver.
With a tenant’s insurance policy, you will not worry about your belongings should the worst happen.
In some apartments, this renter’s insurance may come as a requirement. If so, you need to budget for insurance as well to avoid surprises.
What Landlord Will Look For
Landlords often conduct a thorough screening process to establish the right tenant to rent their apartment.
Expect to be asked things like employment history, rental history, credit check, and so on.
On top of the list will be rent payment. A property manager wants to be sure that prospects can comfortably afford the rent, 100%.
- Why do they have to ask all of these even though you have money to jump straight in?
Renting an apartment is a business; they will want to get the best candidate with minimal risk.
- What does a tenant with minimal risk mean?
Everyone has a unique financial situation. Some people may be recovering from bankruptcy, while others may be repairing a bad bill that plummeted their score.
A bad credit score often indicates the tenant is at high risk, and are likely to default their monthly rent. That said, the landlord will typically choose the tenant with a high credit score, since they paint a picture of an individual with great financial management skills.
- What score do you need to rent an apartment?
Generally, you need a good credit score if you want to rent an apartment. A higher score will boost your chances of getting accepted by the property managers.
As a first time renter, you may not have a credit history. If this is the case, now what?
How to Convince Your Potential Landlord to Rent an Apartment
You’re not the only one looking for an apartment. As such, you need to put together a good submission that will convince the property manager you’re the right candidate.
Here are things you will want to include in your rental application:
Highlight Your Income
If you’re earning three, four, or five times the leasing fee, this is the right place to flex it. The property manager will be more at ease if they know your rent payment will be nothing to worry about, having proved a higher income.
As such, you will stand a chance of getting the apartment. You may even want to offer to pay two or three months rent in advance, if you can.
If your income is not that convincing, you will want to find other alternatives. Let’s on to the next!
Include a Co-signer in Your Application
A co-signer is someone who will assume your leasing responsibility in the event you’re unable to pay.
As a first time renter, using a co-signer will boost your chances of getting that apartment.
A Roommate May Boost Your Chances
A property manager will be more likely to approve your application if you have a roommate to share the leasing expenses.
Include Plenty of References
Many landlords are meticulous when it comes to tenants screening. They go as far as hiring external agencies to screen potential tenants. As such, it is essential to include credible references.
The previous landlord will be one of the best references to include in the application. However, since you’re a first time renter, you should not have one. As such, you will want to use your friends and bosses who can vouch for you.
A credible reference will go towards helping get that apartment as soon as possible.
When is the Right Time to Look for an Apartment?
Ideally, you should begin to look for an apartment 30 to 60 days before you plan to move. For example, if you want to move in February, the best time to start your apartment search is December or January.
You want to give yourself enough time to find an apartment, while still searching at the most strategic time.
What is the Best Month to Look for an Apartment?
You want to search for an apartment during months when leasing rates are at their lowest.
The lowest leasing rates are usually found between October and April, particularly after the December holiday season.
During this period, fewer people are interested in moving. For instance, the weather’s bad, schools are in session, and so on; so moving out is not preferable for many people during this time.
Individuals renting between December and March typically find the best leasing bargains.
Besides, it’s easy to move during warm weather. It’s less stressful loading and unloading boxes and furniture when it is nice out.
Renting an Apartment During the Winter Months
Moving during winter might give you a better chance to find an apartment at its lowest rate, since not so many people are moving. With that said, have you considered the drawbacks of moving during this time?
From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve, it’s no secret that you’ll be busy chasing down all the delicacies, spending time with your loved ones, and, most probably, visiting their homes.
Finding time to move during winter time can prove difficult.
That said, you will want to think about pushing your move until February, when things have died down a bit.
There will be pros and cons to every season; as such, do your research and establish the best time for you.
You could still compare leasing rates, within the location you want, during any season. It’s one way to find the best apartment while minding costs.
What You Need to Know About the Leasing Agreement
Signing a lease is the last stage before moving into your apartment.
As a first time apartment renter, expect to receive a bunch of documents for signing. Whatever you get from the property manager as a signing agreement can be classified as a leasing agreement.
So, what is a lease or rental agreement?
Here’s everything you need to know about leasing agreements:
What is a Rental Agreement?
A rental agreement is a contract between the renter and the property manager. It clarifies responsibilities and terms over a set time period.
Both tenants and landlords should protect themselves with a legally binding lease that obligates each party to set terms.
Sometimes the landlords can be casual and easy-going. However, a handshake or word of mouth is not a leasing agreement.
What’s the Purpose of the Leasing Agreement
A leasing agreement is a binding document that protects both the tenant and the landlord. It outlines the responsibilities of each party.
Here are some examples of responsibilities by each party:
Providing safe living conditions
- Pest control
- Major repairs
- Payment dates
- Penalties for breaking the leasing agreement
- Responsibility for specific damage to the apartment
Before signing and renting your first apartment, you should have a clear picture of your responsibilities and the landlords.
If you feel unsatisfied with some clauses of the lease, ask questions to clarify from the property manager or landlord.
Whether you’re a first time apartment renter or an experienced renter, reading and understanding all clauses of the agreement are necessary. Anything in the contract can be used in legal settings or when resolving disputes.
What’s the Difference Between a Lease Agreement and a Rental Agreement?
Many people use lease and rental agreements interchangeably. It may sound the same, but the meaning is different.
The main difference between the two lies in the length of the agreement.
Leases are a long-term, contractually binding agreement. They’re typically six months or 12 months, but they may be even longer.
The lease agreement has its perks and drawbacks. For example, once you sign a lease agreement, a landlord can’t decide to suddenly raise your rent or decide you can’t have a pet after all.
Among the drawbacks, as a renter, are that you can’t just up and move without paying the penalty. In this case, the landlord will recoup some money.
If you’re looking for a month-to-month lease, you should probably sign a rental agreement. A standard leasing agreement can also be changed every month, as the landlord sees fit.
With a month-to-month lease, you’ll have the flexibility to move whenever you want, at the end of the month. However, the rental agreement also gives the landlord the window to raise the rental fee.
Even though the leasing agreement gives you the freedom to move at the end of the month, it’s still necessary to give notice. Typically, a 30-day notice is required from either party in case of any changes (moving out, changing lease terms, etc.).
Unlike a lease, a rental agreement usually renews automatically at the end of 30 days.
Things to Look for in Your Leasing Agreement
Lease agreements can vary, based on the apartment. However, there are some key things that you might want to look out for.
Here are some of the things to check out:
Lease Length and Monthly Rent
The monthly rent and lease length are some of the most critical pieces of information in an agreement.
You will want to find the part that provides some guidance on how to break a leasing agreement. It’s normal to find a job elsewhere while in the middle of a lease term.
If you think you may need to move suddenly, for any reason, a month-to-month leasing agreement may be a better choice.
Security Deposit Details
A security deposit is mandatory, and such information is found in the lease. It is your first apartment, but there will come a day you will need to move out again.
With that said, it is wise to find information that offers guidance on how to get your security deposit back.
Read about the circumstances when the deposit becomes non-refundable.
As an animal lover, finding a pet-friendly environment can be challenging at times. Even though the new apartment accepts pets, reading their pet policy is wise so you familiarize yourself with it.
Find out about the pet rent and pet deposit as well.
When leasing your first apartment, you need to get everything right with the utilities.
Your leasing agreement will outline all the utilities you’re responsible for, along with which utilities the property manager will take care of.
Renting your first apartment comes with a lot of responsibilities. It’s only fair to say you need adequate preparation to have a smooth transition.
From figuring out the location, to how much rent to pay, to logistics, and the leasing agreement, you need to be aware of everything before making that final step of signing the contract.
September 13, 2021 at 1:53 pm
Justin Becker ·
Comments Off on What is a Security Deposit for an Apartment?
There are different payments and fees that you may be aware of relating to apartment renting. These can include payments for utilities, rent, or even sometimes parking space.
With that said, there is one major expenditure that you might not be aware of, and that’s a security deposit.
How much is a security deposit, and what is it? What is the payment used for, and when are you required to pay it? Here, we’ll answer all of the questions you have relating to the security deposit.
What is a Security Deposit for an Apartment?
A security deposit involves money that a tenant pays a landlord before moving into a rental unit. It acts as a form of insurance for the owners or property managers to protect their apartments from damage by tenants.
Even though the security deposit amount varies per property or state, it’s equal to the monthly rent in most cases.
The property manager or landlord holds the security payments for the period of the lease. After the lease expires, the tenant returns the money in full after the apartment inspection meets the standards. This can only happen if you have paid your last month’s rent in full.
If some fees or damages need covering, that amount will be deducted from the security payment.
Let’s consider more information about the security deposit:
Where is the Security Deposit Paid?
You normally pay the security deposit to either the property manager or landlord before you’re allowed to move-in. In most cases, tenants must pay the security payment together with their first month’s rent, and any other move-in costs.
Depending on the regulations of the location, you can pay your payment by cash, money order, electronic (ACH) payment, or check.
How Much is a Security Deposit?
The security deposit is typically equal to one to two month’s worth of rent, depending on the state laws and the criteria of the community.
For instance, if your one month‘s rent is $500 and the landlord requires a one month‘s rent deposit, you should deposit a security payment of $500.
Your credit score can also determine the payment that you put down. A low credit score will usually require a higher security deposit amount, while a higher credit score might translate into a low-security deposit required.
Other factors determining the amount of the security deposit include state laws, local market rates, rental quality & type, and rental application (employment history, criminal records, landlord verification, etc.).
Why Landlords Collect Security Deposits
Even though not all property managers or landlords collect a security deposit, it’s standard practice.
Landlords collect deposits as financial security to protect their apartments from damage by tenants. Below are some things that security deposits would cover, if your property owner requires them:
Accidents normally occur during the course of the lease. For instance, you might bang up the drywall or scuff the floor. Since such things result from the tenant’s fault, the repairs are typically paid for from the security deposit.
Knowing that their deposits are at stake if they damage any part of the apartment or house should make the tenants more careful in avoiding these damages.
The security deposit is also used to cover rent or fees that haven’t been paid after the lease elapses. For instance, if you haven’t paid your last month’s rent by the time your lease expires, the money will be subtracted from the security payment.
If you own a pet in your apartment, the property owner may require that you make deposits for them. This payment will cover any itemized list of damages that the pet is at fault for, such as tearing of carpets or defecating in the unit. Some landlords even charge pet rent on top of the deposits.
What Does the Property Owner Do with the Security Deposit?
The property owner will do nothing with the payments unless something needs to be covered by it. The money is kept in a bank account separate from the landlord’s business bank account during the lease period.
Security deposits might, therefore, accumulate some interest at times. In some states, the property owner retains the interest, while in others the tenant is entitled to the earnings from the interest. This is something that you must confirm with your landlord before you sign the lease.
Under What Conditions can Landlords Deduct Money from the Security Deposit?
Since a deposit is a protective measure, there are certain situations under which your landlord may deduct money from it.
When Damages Happen Beyond Normal Wear and Tear
Wear and tear are considered normal things that the property owner should fix, free of charge, when they occur. However, there are abnormal damages that might become the tenant’s responsibility to fix. The cost of fixing such damages could come from your deposit.
In most states, provisions are in place to prevent the landlord from deducting unnecessary and unreasonable fees from the deposit. For instance, the landlord can’t withhold the deposit to pay for things that the renter didn’t wreck in the state of California.
You Owe Unpaid Fees or Rent
If you owe your landlord unpaid rent or late fees at the end of the lease, this money owed can be deducted from the deposit.
The property owner can also deduct money from the payment if you break your lease without giving adequate notice. You should, therefore, avoid breaking your lease unless it’s absolutely necessary.
You Leave the Apartment in Worst Condition than You Found It
The property owner is allowed to deduct money from your deposit if you leave your apartment unit a mess after vacating. This is because they might be required to hire a cleaning service to clean up the unit.
It’s, therefore, a wise idea to clean your unit before moving out. Ensure that the unit is as clean as you found it when you moved in.
How Long Does it Take to Get My Security Deposit Back?
The time it takes for you to get your deposit back varies from state to state. However, in most cases, you’ll get your deposit back between 30 to 60 days after the lease expires and you’ve moved out.
Since you’ll receive the deposit back in the form of a check by mail, you should notify the landlord of your new forwarding address to guarantee prompt delivery.
What if You Don’t Receive Your Security Deposit Back?
If you don’t receive your full payment back, it might be because your property manager had to make deductions. However, if you disagree with the deductions, there are actions that you need to take.
First, you can write a letter to your landlord explaining why you deserve the full payment. Ensure you keep a copy of the dispute letter.
If you fail to reach a satisfactory agreement with your landlord, file a lawsuit in a small claims court. You can also consider approaching a professional mediator.
Alternatives to Security Deposits
There are several efficient and cost-effective alternatives to the deposit:
Landlords and property managers are now exploring lease insurance options, such as LeaseLock, to do away with security deposits from apartment proceedings.
Here, the landlord or tenant pays a small fee of at least $19 each month for coverage against hundreds and thousands of dollars in property damage.
Instead of charging tenants a large amount of money as a deposit, landlords opt for billing tenants for damages on a case-by-case basis.
Here, the landlord isn’t allowed to overcharge tenants, and they can only charge up to the maximum amount allowed for a traditional deposit.
Surety bonds will allow you to pay only a small percentage of the security bond to the property manager or landlord. They are facilitated through third-party bonding and management companies.
Since the bonding companies guarantee that tenants will abide by the bond terms, landlords can accept small deposits.
Do Security Deposit Laws Change by State?
Security deposits vary from one state to another. Some states don’t have statutory limits, meaning they don’t specify what a property manager can charge for a deposit.
With that said, other states have a cap limit to what a property manager or landlord can charge. There are also strict laws concerning when the deposits have to be returned to the tenants.
The security deposit is the best way available to protect the interest and property of the landlord. If you abide by the lease terms and leave nothing damaged, you’ll get your payment back without question.
You can also opt for other options that offer similar benefits to a security deposit, at an affordable cost.
If your landlord or property manager refuses to return your security deposit, there are legal avenues that you can explore.
Always do your best to ensure that you get your security deposit back when you move out of an apartment.
August 30, 2021 at 12:21 pm
Justin Becker ·
Comments Off on Cass Lake Shore Club Apartments vs. Cass Lake Front Apartments
If you are one of the people that enjoy lake living, Cass Lake Shore Club Apartments will be a considerable attraction for you. Cass Lake is the largest lake in all of Oakland County, Michigan, and boasts beautiful scenery.
The lake for which the city of Cass Lake is named was called Red Cedar Lake, after the trees growing on Cedar Island.
The name was later changed to Cass Lake in honor of the Governor of the Territory of Michigan, who traveled to this area in 1818 and named the lake the Mississippi River source.
Cass Lake Shore Club
Cass Lake Shore Club Apartments is located at 3530 Denise Ct, Waterford, MI 48328. This apartment community was built in 1975 and has three stories, with a total of 565 units.
If you have ever been to the Apartment Club, Cass Lake Shore Club area, you’ll agree that the apartments stand out, in almost every aspect, from the rest.
When it comes to pricing, the apartments in Cass Lake Shore Club are affordable. For instance, expect to pay a monthly rent of about $740-$1,240, on average. Meaning Shore Club Apartments, Cass Lake units are below the national average.
Cass Lake Shore Club offers different floor plans. There are four floor plan options, ranging from 1 to 2 Bedrooms. So, decide on the type of floor plan you want before searching for an apartment.
You can visit or call the leasing office to get more details on the floor plan options. It is incredibly important to know floor plan details before selecting and moving into a unit.
Some of the features you will like at Cass Lake Shore Club Apartments include boat docks available, Cass Lake access, large balconies, and more.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of Cass lake Shore vs. Cass Lake Front Apartments’ community living.
The Pros of Living in Cass Lake Shore Club Apartments
The Cass Lake Shore Club Apartments provide many benefits for its residents. Shore Club Apartments has boat dock rentals, classic Michigan ambiance, and it just may be one of the county’s best kept secrets.
Let’s take a look at some of the perks of living in Cass Lake Shore Club Apartments:
● Lakefront Living
● Availability of Amenities
● Strategic Location
● Maintenance Free Life
While everyone has their taste in the style of living, we can all agree that the lakefront view has a unique flavor and attraction.
The beauty of lakefront living is worth every penny you pay to your landlord. Apart from the incredible view you get for living in such a place; it also offers a serene and relaxing setting.
Many of us are drawn to the water, finding peace and pleasure in tranquil lakes, flowing rivers, and ocean waves. Simply put, being near water makes us happier. As such, it boosts the physical and mental health of our bodies.
With stress and anxiety on the rise, we’re starting to wake up to how beneficial nature can be for our mental health.
Even looking at photos of green spaces can help lower stress levels. With that said, even beyond the tranquility of trees and fields, further analysis shows that natural blue spaces bring us more pleasure than natural green spaces.
Availability of Amenities
Amenities are just one of the many items that will be on your list when looking for an apartment, right?
Let’s be honest, if you don’t know what to look for when renting an apartment, you could be forking over your hard-earned money for the bare minimum — as such, paying rent will be painful if you don’t feel like you’re getting your money’s worth.
The Cass Lake Club Community provides amenities to improve residents’ quality of life. On-site amenities will usually offer a convenience that saves you time, money, or even both.
There are select units at the Shore Club Apartments that let you enjoy washer/dryer hookups, relax in a swimming pool, and work out in a fitness center.
Apart from the amenities, the management promotes community living. They regularly organize social events where you can meet and mingle with your neighbors while enjoying some good entertainment.
You can also enjoy storage units, washer/dryer connections, trees, and green grass.
We all want to live in a strategic location where we can access all the essential amenities without overspending. Living in Cass Lake Shore Club Apartments gives you exactly that.
In Cass Lake Shore Club Apartments, you’re close enough to quality schools. As such, schooling won’t be a concern when you decide to settle at Cass Lake Shore Club Apartments.
You’ll find quality schools around the 3530 Denise Ct., Waterford, MI 48328 location. For example, Oakland Community College, Baker College of Auburn Hills, and Roosevelt Elementary School are very nearby, just to mention a few.
When it comes to transportation, it’s pretty easy since roads are well designed for cars or bikes. The fact that it’s an open place makes it easier to see the Cass Lake sign for directions. For example, you’ll see a lake sign: Cass Lake Shore Club pointing to where the lake is.
Apart from being in a perfect location that is minutes from everything you need, and amenities that speak to its livability, boat dock space is available to rent, and select apartments have washer/dryer hookups.
Maintenance Free Life
Not just Shore Club Apartments, but generally, choosing apartments for renting over buying homes give you one benefit, a maintenance-free life. You’ll never have to worry about maintenance during your stay.
If anything goes wrong, all you need is to let the professional staff at Shore Club Apartments know of it, and you’ll get taken care of.
Technically, if you buy a home, you’ll have to consider the maintenance cost that could run hundreds of dollars every month. Primarily, the bigger the house, the more likely to pay more for maintenance.
Besides, property taxes will be knocking at your door.
Unique Features of Cass Lake Shore Club Apartments
- Boat Docks available
- Cass Lake Access
- Large Balconies
- Lots of trees and green grass to enjoy
- Storage Units
- Washer/Dryer connections in select units
Community Features of Shore Club
- Laundry Facilities
- Maintenance on-site
- Site Renters Insurance Program
- Storage Space
- Lake Access
- Boat Docks
- Fitness Center
If you want to join Shore Club, let the staff give you a personal tour, call today. It’s crucial to note that the Shore Clubs’ website doesn’t reflect actual availability, please contact community directly to get more details.
The Cons of Living in Cass Lake Shore Club Apartments
Even though Shore Club Apartments, located at 3530 Denise Ct, Waterford, MI 48328, offers great perks for its residents, the community has some drawbacks.
Here are some of the cons of living in this community:
If you love pets, you’re likely to find it hard a little in Shore Club Apartments. For example, Shore Club has a pet policy limit of two. If you have a dog, then the maximum allowed number is two, and so on.
The community also reserves the right to reject your pet for any reason. Sometimes that can be harsh for someone that shares a close relationship with a pet. Simply inseparable!
Here is the breakdown of the policy in the Shore Club Apartment.
You’ll also be required to pay a pet fee every month.
Pet Policy for Dogs
All dog owners must provide proof of Breed and Immunization Records from a licensed veterinarian. Please contact the leasing office for a complete description of the policy.
- $50 Monthly Pet Rent
- $200 Fee
- 50 lb. Weight Limit
- 2 Pet Limit
Pet Policy for Cats
Two pet limit. $200 pet fee. $20 monthly pet rent, breed restrictions apply, call the leasing office for a full description of the pet policy. They will also give you a personal tour, call today!
- $50 Monthly Pet Rent
- $200 Fee
- 25 lb. Weight Limit
- 2 Pet Limit
Maintenance is a must
If you’ve got a boat or a dock, both will need to be properly maintained to keep them in tip-top shape. Of course, you can utilize the dock and keep your boat safely stored at the Shore Club.
The Pros of Living in Cass Front Apartments
Cass Lake Front Apartments is an apartment complex in Keego Harbor, Michigan, that offers luxury apartments for rent at affordable prices.
If you’re looking for an apartment for rent, look no further than the Cass Lake Front Apartments complex.
● Affordable Housing
● Easy Access to Amenities
● Luxury Apartments
● Community Amenities
Typically, renting an apartment is cheaper than buying a house. For instance, homes go for $365,000 to $2,200,000, at an average of $360 per sq. ft.
Cass Lake Front Apartments, on the other hand, are affordable as far as pricing is concerned. For example, One-bedroom units here go for about $825, while two-bedroom units go for about $1,000. This is way below the national average.
Here, you will find a 750-950 sq. ft. apartment in Keego Harbor, in zip code 48320. For instance, you can find 1-Bedroom – Cass Lake Front Apartments Size: 750 sq. ft. Rent: $825/mo., or 2 Beds/1 Bath, 950 sq. ft. at $950/mo.
Unlike Shore Club Apartments, these apartments offer a pet-friendly environment for its residents.
If you love pets, this community is created just for that. Whether you have multiple pets or a large dog, this is the place for you. Dog waste stations are located everywhere in the community.
You can contact the leasing office for more details on the pet policy.
Easy Access to Amenities
You’ll be a few minutes from the vibrant downtown area when you live in these apartments.
You’ll have easy access to art galleries, boutiques, restaurants, and museums. The apartments are also just 10 minutes from I-75, and five minutes from US-24.
On top of all of that, you’ll have access to recreational sports and hiking activities. There are parks to frequent, such as Webb Park and Sunset Park, very nearby.
The lake is perched between Keego Harbor, West Bloomfield Township, Waterford Township, and Orchard Lake Village. This makes living at these apartments incredibly convenient since you can easily access any of the four towns.
If you want a taste of luxury, then you’re in the right place. Cass Lake Front Apartments are designed with the taste of luxury in mind.
For example, each unit boasts high-end appliances, a pub-style granite countertop, a walk-in closet, and modern and contemporary cabinetry.
One downside of apartment living always has to do with space. Everyone wants to have a spacious room.
You’ll also be surprised to find out that these apartments are incredibly spacious.
These apartments work towards making your life stress-free with the availability of several community amenities to save both time and money, as well.
For example, the on-site laundry facilities, covered carport parking, and comfortable outdoor areas will make your life worth living, within this community.
If you have more household items, then storage units are available to keep them, and help keep your unit bulk-free. Renting storage units closer will also help you access your items easier than storing them a distance away from your community.
When it comes to maintenance, the management at these apartments has 24/7 on-call maintenance support that will take care of your needs, whenever problems may arise.
The Cons of Living in Cass Lake Front Apartments
Even though this apartment community is a great place, there are some drawbacks associated with it, compared to Shore Club Apartments.
Here are some of the drawbacks:
Higher Pet Fees
While you’ll pay a $200 pet fee for both dogs and cats in Shore Club Apartments, at Cass Lake Apartments, you’ll fork out a non-refundable pet fee of $250 for pets under 30 lbs, and a $500 non-refundable fee for dogs over 30 lbs.
Cost of Living in Keego Harbor
Keego Harbor has grocery prices that are 4% higher than the national average. Therefore, you’re likely to spend more on groceries in Keego Harbor than in other cities in the United States.
Step-by-Step Guide Through the Rental Application Process
You’ll go through a series of processes before your new landlord accepts you into the community. No matter if it’s an apartment for rent or mobile homes for rent, the procedure may differ a little, but the basics remain the same throughout.
Here is a guide through the process of the rental application process:
1. Fill out a rental application
2. Pay the apartment application fee
3. Expect credit and background checks
4. Prove you can pay rent
5. Figure out if you need a co-signer
6. Show them that you are an agreeable renter
7. Sign the lease
Fill out a rental application
After you find the property you like to lease, the next step is to reach out to the property manager on-site by filling out a rental application.
It’s best to have the necessary information readily available when you take the first steps to rent an apartment.
A typical rental application requires the following information:
- Photo ID
- Phone Number(s)
- Employment and Income Information
- Previous Address
- Pets (if applicable)
- Emergency Contacts
- Background Information
- Landlord References
- Personal or Professional References
Pay the apartment application fee
Most apartments will require you to pay an application fee. Often, the application fee funds the credit and background checks that are done on potential renters. It essentially covers the screening cost of the applicant.
For easy understanding, it’s essential to ask your future property manager about all of the applicable fees associated with the application process for the property you’re interested in.
Expect credit and background checks
It’s nearly impossible for you to skip the background check step. Every apartment community wants its residents to be safe, and, therefore, such rules are enforced as safety measures.
The management may go as far back in the past as a landlord deems necessary, and they will usually focus on criminal history.
They will also check your credit history to establish how financially responsible a potential tenant is.
It’s important to mention if you have bad credit or are still recovering from past medical bills.
Prove you can pay rent
Just because there’s a vacancy doesn’t mean the management wants to fill it with just anyone available. Every community wants a tenant that’s able to pay their bills without confrontations.
The most important part of the application process is to provide proof of employment or income.
You may also be asked to provide recent bank statements, copies of client contracts, or copies of one or two W-2 forms, if need be.
Figure out if you need a cosigner
It’s crucial to figure out if you need a cosigner. A cosigner is a person, with good credit, who acts as a willing guarantor.
Usually, this happens if you have bad credit, they take the legal responsibility of paying your rent in case you won’t.
Either way, having a cosigner might strengthen your application and improve your chances of approval.
Show them that you are an agreeable renter
Most landlords will want to know what type of tenant you are. As such, they may ask you to provide the contact details of your previous landlord as part of the screening process.
Although typically not required, you might want to think about attaching a landlord reference to the application as another way to improve your chances of approval or simply to set yourself apart from other applicants.
Have good personal references
Good personal references will make a significant impression on your new landlord, especially if you don’t have much of a rental history.
Personal references may come from a friend or colleague who knows you and can attest to your integrity.
Even though the application process might seem like a lot of work, it’s all worth it in the end.
If everything goes well, the final step will be to sign the lease agreement.
Sign the lease
Once your application is accepted, and you’ve decided on the floor plan, inspected the premises, checked for parking space, made a quick note of the neighbors, and went through your checklist of essential things you must do before you commit to a new apartment, you may proceed to sign the lease.
Ask all about the upfront costs like the security deposit and any additional fees. Most landlords will ask for the equivalent of one one and a half months’ rent for a security deposit if you fall back on rent payments, so bring a bank check and ask for receipts.
Cass Lake Shore Club Apartments at 3530 Denise Ct, Waterford, MI 48328 has a classic Michigan ambiance.
Before searching for an apartment for rent, it’s crucial to know the sq. ft. of the unit you want. Do you want a 750 sq. ft. or 950 sq. ft. apartment?
Based on the above pros and cons, we can ultimately conclude that Cass Lake Front Apartments is the better option.
Lastly, if you’re looking for lakefront living, boat dock rentals and a nice place to call home, the Cass Lake area is the right place for you and your loved ones.
December 23, 2020 at 5:02 am
Justin Becker ·
Comments Off on The Best Cass Lake Apartments in Michigan
Michigan is known for its top-rated school systems, beautiful natural surroundings, delicious local restaurants, and growing job opportunities, so it is no surprise that many people are planning to move here and settle down. Many major employers have their headquarters and branches here, promising a better future economy as well.
What Area of Michigan is the Best One?
While the whole state of Michigan is a great place to live, some places are just naturally better than others. There are a few examples of especially desirable neighborhoods, where one can expect great views, excellent schooling, and so much more. Of all these, however, the vicinity of Cass Lake, Michigan might be among the most tempting destinations yet!
Cass Lake is the deepest and largest lake in Michigan, making it a great spot for recreational activities as well as relaxation. If you want a waterfront property in the state, this lake is probably going to offer the best views as well. There are also several cities nearby, so residents here will have easy access to large hospitals, shopping centers, and more.
Finding the Right Cass Lake Apartments in Michigan
Even when you are sure about settling down in Cass Lake, Michigan, finding a suitable apartment to rent can be challenging. Different apartment seekers have different requirements; some may just want affordable apartments, while others may want a combination of the following factors:
● A friendly apartment community
● Easy access to communal spaces
● A balcony/patio porch
● Nearby shopping centers
● A fitness center
● A community clubhouse
● A responsible site property manager
● A reputable and safe location
● Wi-Fi services without misconfigured or infected devices
● Outdoor pool
● Spacious bedrooms
● Balcony space
The list above might vary according to an individual’s requirements. Of course, most people want the best value they can get for the most reasonable rent rate.
Cass Lake Apartments
Without further ado, let’s get to discussing the top-rated apartments you can find around Cass Lake.
1. Cass Lake Front Apartments: The Best Choice Overall
Located between Orchard Village and West Bloomfield Township, Cass Lake Front Apartments has one of the most reputed apartment locations in the state. Here, you can get luxury apartments at a fairly affordable rate. These pet-friendly apartments in Michigan also have on-site amenities that make for a comfortable everyday lifestyle. You get a large open living space, internet-ready units without misconfigured or infected devices, and exclusive access to communal areas as well.
Perks to Expect When Living in Cass Lake Front Apartments
Here are the main factors that make these apartments worth considering above all other options in the area:
● The rent here is cheaper than the mortgage payments on a house
● A pet-friendly environment, with dog waste stations at several points
● Residents enjoy exclusive access to a high-speed internet connection; they can also ask the network administrator to resolve any issues
● Close proximity to shopping centers, such as the Great Lakes Crossing shopping mall
● Highly-rated Waterford Public Schools nearby
● Luxurious touches, such as a nearby fitness center, lakefront views, dock access, nearby swimming pool, washer/dryer on-site, and ample closet space
● 24-hour on-call maintenance support to deal with any repairs or other issues
While this apartment community should cover all the bases, there are still some drawbacks to considering before signing a lease. For one, you may just have a choice between 1-bedroom apartments for rent in Keego Harbor, MI and 2-bedroom apartments for rent in Keego Harbor, MI. Anything larger may not be easily available. The pet fees are also higher than most other places (see their apartment pet policy), while the cost of living is also slightly more in Keego Harbor. To avoid confusion, check out our comparison of Cass Lake Apartments in Waterford vs. those in Keego Harbor.
2. Cass Lake Shore Club Apartments: Outstanding in Many Aspects
Located at 3530 Denise Ct. Waterford, MI 48328, Cass Lake Shore Club Apartments provide an amazing experience in most aspects. For now, their rental rates are below the country’s national average, while the unit sizes remain fairly ample. The main attraction here will be the location, with a classic Michigan atmosphere and gorgeous surroundings.
Perks to Expect When Living in Cass Lake Shore Club Apartments
Here are the main perks we can expect to have while residing in the Cass Lake Shore Club apartment complex:
- Washer/dryer hookups
- Swimming pool
- An updated and modern fitness center
- Temporary access to boat dock spaces
- White Formica countertops with matching white appliances
- Designated dining area
- Oversized windows
- Community clubhouse
- Internet access through an office or shared network (contact the Cass Lake Shore Club Apartments manager in the case of any misconfigured or infected devices)
- Private patio
- Easy access to shopping centers, the Chrysler World Headquarters, and Pontiac General Hospital
If you are on the lookout for a maintenance-fee schedule, Cass Lake Shore Club Apartments are an excellent choice. You might want to compare Cass Lake Front and Cass Lake Shore Club Apartments before signing off on any choice.
It is true that you will never have a lack of excellent schooling options when living in Cass Lake Shore Club Apartments. However, do remember that the policy here restricts pets to a maximum of two, while also having strict breed restrictions in place. There are also maintenance responsibilities when you own a dock or boat at Cass Lake Shore Club.
Some people may also want to consider living in this area while they are on vacation. If you fall into this category, check out this Cass Lake, Michigan vacation rentals vs. apartments discussion.
3. Elizabeth Lake Estates: Top-Notch in Security, Safety, and Convenience
Elizabeth Lake Estates is another top-rated apartment complex that you can find in Michigan around Cass Lake. The security and safety checks here are top priority, so this is the place to stay if that is a major concern. The M-59 and I-75 expressways are very nearby, making it easy to access other places while you enjoy your life by the lake.
Perks to Expect When Living in Elizabeth Lake Estates
- You get a wide range of choice with one, two, and three bedroom apartment units
- All the rooms are air-conditioned
- Modern finishings, such as plush carpeting and big closets
- Complete kitchen with all the necessary appliances
- Communal amenities, such as a rec room, covered parking, sundeck, tennis court, basketball court, BBQ area, and a swimming pool
- On-site property manager for providing assistance and support as needed
With so much to offer, it does seem like Elizabeth Lake Estates could be the top Cass Lake apartment options available. However, we do have to keep in mind that they have a no-pets policy for now; this could be a dealbreaker for many families.
If you want to have pets without any restrictions, having your own house might be a better option. Before deciding, have a look at our discussion on homes for sale on Cass Lake, MI vs. apartments for rent on Cass Lake.
4. Holiday by Atria Senior Living: Suitable for Retirees and Senior Citizens
While Cass Lake Shore Club is a delightful option, it may not be suited for people with certain needs. If you want amenities comparable to Cass Lake Shore Club, but with a focus on senior citizens, Holiday by Atria Senior Living is your best bet. Here, you get senior apartments with ample space, all within a thriving apartment community.
Perks to Expect While Living in Holiday by Atria Senior Living
Here is what we can find in this apartment option:
- Choice between a two bedroom, one bedroom, or studio apartment
- Internet access on an office or shared network with an attentive network administrator to deal with any error code
- Trained staff for meeting all senior needs
- Basic cable
- Balcony or patio
- Controls for air and heating
- Housekeeping, linen, and other maintenance services on-site
5. Pine Lake Manor Apartments: Convenient without Compromise
With a convenient location at Orchard Lake Road, these apartments are in the affordable range. The community is also a prestigious one, with all the amenities you want for a comfortable life. Pay a visit to get temporary access and see for yourself!
Perks to Expect When Living in Pine Lake Manor Apartments
The following are the main features on offer here:
- 24-hour emergency maintenance
- Central air conditioning
- Window coverings
- Administrator to deal with any error code on the office or shared network
- Proximity to the top places to shop in Keego Harbor
- Full washer/dryer installations in every unit
Many communities on this list, including Cass Lake Shore Club Apartments, give you the option of a virtual apartment tour before visiting the actual location. This is a great way to check out the area without having to go through the hassle of traveling or taking time out from your busy schedule. If there is an error code while registering, make sure to contact your network administrator.
When you have shortlisted the most likely options, make sure to pay a visit in person and request temporary access to one or two units. If applicable, make sure to ask about max rent beds and any other apartment related info that comes to mind. Overall, it seems like Cass Lake Front Apartments are the best choice, though Cass Lake Shore Club is a close second. Make your list of priorities and choose wisely!
November 2, 2020 at 1:35 pm
Justin Becker ·
Comments Off on How to Keep Apartment Warm in Winter
If you are a fan of the TV series Game of Thrones, you are probably familiar with the saying “winter is coming.” With that said, when you hear “winter,” you know it is time to get your home in order.
Let’s face it, most landlords do not invest heavily in insulation, which can break your apartment living experience. This is why we have taken the time to go over some pointers to help you stay cozy during the winter months.
How to Keep Apartment Warm in Winter
The good news is that with a little DIY work, you can still keep your place warm. Some of these may take a little time and necessitate some purchases, but you can get them done for as little as $10.
Let’s look at some tips you can use to keep your apartment warm during winter:
Change Your HVAC Filters
Did you know that replacing your HVAC filters every month can save you money? As time goes on, the air inside your rental becomes more and more polluted with dirt, dust particles, and allergens. Learn more on how to reduce dust in an apartment here.
These particles also build up on your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning filters, reducing the unit’s ability to heat your home efficiently due to needing to work harder to do the job. Keeping a clean filter can help keep your heating bills down and make sure that your apartment is warm.
Check for Air Leaks
Cracks in doors and windows can greatly impact your heating bill. The air conditioning or heating system can not keep up with the air leaking from these cracks. During winter, cold air leaks under the door and window frame, which may cause your apartment to lose up to 30% of heat inside (heat loss).
If you notice any cracks that can lead to air leaks, it is best to seal them up as soon as possible. Energy-efficient windows will trap warm air inside, hence keeping the apartment warm. This is also the time to check your window air conditioner, if you have one, is sealed properly.
A common method of sealing air gaps around windows and doors is to use weather stripping, which you can find at any local hardware store. A door sweep is useful here too, and can also help to dampen the sound of banging doors.
Apply Window Insulator Film
Every year, the average household spends about $1,500 on energy bills. This can be a significant amount of money for those with families. The majority of this figure is frequently attributed to heat loss. Learn more on how to keep utility bills low in an apartment.
Poorly insulated windows are one of the top reasons for this high cost. Window insulation kits are easy enough for even a novice handyperson to install, and can significantly reduce these monthly fees.
Let the Sun Shine
During the winter months, we spend a lot of time indoors. What if we could use the sunlight to help us stay warm, even when it’s freezing outside?
On a sunny day, open up your curtains and let some light in. By opening the curtains during the day, you can enjoy natural sunlight that will keep your apartment feeling warmer.
Close the Curtains at Night
Opening your curtains during the day is a great way to let natural light into your house. With that said, if you are going to leave them open at night, it will start freezing again soon!
These curtains will absorb the heat during the day and release it at night, trapping it inside your home. With that said, find some heavy curtains or thermal curtains for your windows and doors during the winter.
Purchase a few Area Rugs
The winter months can be tough on people with a bare floor. The cold air seeps into the room and under your floorboards, making your apartment feel draftier. A quick way to warm up a room is by putting down some rugs – you will be surprised how much of a difference it makes!
Thes rugs help to insulate your home and keep the heat in. They also add texture to a room and make it feel cozier.
Keep the Bathroom Door Open when You Shower
A bathroom is already a humid place. When you take a hot shower, the steam rises and enters the hallway of your home or cold room. Leaving the bathroom door open will help warm air in your home or apartment.
Leave the Oven Door Open after Cooking
The kitchen can be a hot and humid place, especially after you have been cooking in the oven. A great way to utilize this heat is to leave the oven door open after you have finished cooking. This will allow the stagnant warm air to escape and enter other rooms in your home, which can naturally make them more comfortable.
Warm Your Bed with a Hot Water Bottle
You may have heard this tip before, but you should definitely try it if you haven’t! It is from the old-school days and is not really talked about much nowadays due to the inventions of electric blankets and heated mattress pads. However, when the weather gets cold, a hot water bottle can be your best friend.
How does it work? Heat a small amount of water to the boiling point, then pour it into a bottle. Place it at the end of your bed. That way, the heat is wrapped around to keep your feet warm while you are resting.
Buy an Energy–Efficient Space Heater
When you catch a cold, plenty of remedies will help you get well soon. One of them is to turn up the heat in your home and make your apartment feel warmer, thus, more comfortable.
Given the fact that space heaters are infamous for being inefficient, strive to choose a space heater that is both energy-efficient and capable of heating a greater area with its warm air/hot air.
Boil a Pot of Water
There is nothing like a hot cup of tea to warm up on a chilly day, but how do you get the water boiling? Whether you use an electric kettle or an open pot, it does not matter – as long as it is boiling! Not only will your kitchen be warmer, but also your living area.
Nothing beats coming home to warm air in a comfortable apartment when you live in a cold area. Keeping your apartment warm can be as simple as following the suggestions mentioned above. Some techniques may even assist you in avoiding a massive increase in your heating bills.
September 28, 2020 at 2:04 pm
Justin Becker ·
Comments Off on Apartment Lease Agreement: Everything You Need to Know
We all want to be independent, but doing so sometimes is easier said than done.
Imagine this, you have finally saved enough money to get your very own first apartment and get rid of your roommate or move out of your parents’ house, and all that is left is to sign the residential lease agreement provided by your new landlord.
This agreement usually lays out your responsibilities, as well as the landlords. It also outlines the conditions of your term and the proper use of the communal shared spaces.
The idea of apartment leases is not new. Leases have been around for a long time, and you probably have one for your car or something else.
The most important thing to remember before signing on the dotted line is to fully comprehend what you are signing. You do not want to be stuck in a rental unit because you did not read the residential lease agreement carefully. Learn how to read an apartment lease here.
With that in mind, we have put together a list of everything you need to know about residential lease agreements. So let’s look at what you can anticipate when you sign one.
What is a Lease Agreement?
A residential lease agreement is a legal contract that defines the relationship between a landlord and tenant. It sets out both parties’ respective rights, obligations, and responsibilities throughout the rental term. In addition, it protects the interests of landlords and tenants alike.
What is more important is that it clearly sets out how much rent is paid and when it should be paid. It also includes provisions for late rent payments, along with the penalties for damages to property and nonpayment of rent.
All of this is why it is absolutely crucial that you need to read the document carefully and comprehend every detail.
Who Needs a Rental or Lease Agreement?
Both the landlord and tenant must sign a residential lease agreement in order to establish that both parties agree to their responsibilities, as well as how they will interact with one another.
As a renter, you should know what your landlord can and will do for you while you are under their supervision. This is because the lease conditions are legally binding and can be used in a court of law, so you must understand each provision.
What Should a Lease Agreement Include?
A standard residential lease agreement should include addresses of both the tenant and the landlord, the amount of rent due, and each party’s responsibilities. To put it another way, the agreement should address everything that impacts the two parties’ relationship. This will help lessen the likelihood of conflicts and simplify their resolution.
With that said, let’s check out some of the elements or provisions you should anticipate in a standard residential lease agreement.
Types of Lease Agreements
The type of lease you sign could affect your apartment living experience. You need to understand the type of lease you are offered by your landlord. If you are unsure about which type of lease is being offered and you are thinking you should have a lawyer review your apartment lease, visit a law firm (you can simply chat online and request their services) and hire an attorney to provide legal advice.
So, let’s check out the types of lease agreements.
Fixed Term Lease
Fixed term leases are a common type of lease in apartment communities because it guarantees your tenancy for a certain period. The most common lengths are six months, a year, or two years.
One benefit of this type of lease is that you won’t have to worry about an increase in rent price because your rate is locked for the entirety of the lease. Find out when your landlord can increase rent here.
This is also another common type of lease in apartment communities. It usually renews (automatically renews) itself until one of the parties decides to end the lease, which typically requires formal notice.
This is a type of leasing that allows you to sublet your unit during your time of tenancy. Under this type of lease, you agree that you will be subletting the unit and the new tenant will be paying rent, as well as taking care of the property on your behalf. Before committing to one of these, make sure your landlord accepts subleasing, because not all do.
Length of Lease Term
A leasing term is the length of time you can rent an apartment before the agreement expires. For many people, the lease term is a crucial part of the document because if you move out before your lease is up and you don’t have a good reason, there may be penalties due to breaking your residential lease agreement. Learn how to break a lease without penalty here.
With that said, the length of the apartment lease term should be a consideration when renting a residential property. The shorter the apartment lease, the more flexibility and mobility for the tenant, but it usually comes with a higher rental rate. If you are looking to stay in your space for a longer period, then a two year lease may be the better option for you, and you can take advantage of lower rates, too.
One of the top items on your standard residential lease agreement is the monthly rent amount. This is obviously an important detail because it determines how much you need to pay every month. Also, you will find the security deposit that you need to pay, which is typically required prior to moving in, along with the first month’s rent.
So, before signing any agreement, make sure to compare the rent prices of different properties to ensure you are getting a fair deal. In addition, make sure you are signing what you agreed on.
The landlord has the obligation of providing the property details to all tenants. For example, if the apartment was built before 1978, the landlord must provide a lead based paint disclosure to all new tenants in Michigan.
Utility Costs: Are Utilities Included?
The residential lease agreement will also include the utility cost. For instance, it is important to know if the water is included in the base rent or not, as an increase in water rates could result in a rent increase due to increased utility costs for the property owner. Get tips on how to keep utility bills low in an apartment here.
Learn what expenses you will be accountable for and what the landlord will cover.
If you have a pet, it is important to know if there are provisions in the standard residential lease agreement, such as a pet deposit and pet rent. There may also be additional costs associated with any damage your pet may cause to the property.
To avoid any conflicts with the landlord, familiarize yourself with the apartment pet policy, especially when it comes to breed restrictions.
Noise complaints are a common thing in many apartments. If you are someone who loves parties, you may want to take a look at this provision to understand the quiet hours within the building complex. This will keep you out of trouble with your next-door neighbors as well as the property manager. Learn how to deal with noisy apartment neighbors here.
The Obligations of Each Party
The lease will stipulate the responsibilities of you and the landlord. The cost of rent, what maintenance costs you are responsible for, and any other fees will be outlined in your rental contract.
Some examples of obligations for each party may include:
- Handle major apartment repairs
- Ensuring safety of all residents
- Pay rent on time
- Take care of the property
- Handle assigned repairs by the landlord
Personal and Contact Information of the Tenant
There is a section where you will be asked to give personal information, such as your contact information, driver’s license number, and bank account information, among other things. This is all typically collected during the application process, but it could also be asked for in the move-in packet.
If you are a first time apartment renter, do not be surprised if you are requested to submit all of these details. It is usually the routine policy to ensure your safety as well as the protection of other residents. All of this information is not only used to make sure that you as a tenant passes all of the screening policies in order to live in the community, but also god forbid there is an emergency of any kind during your tenancy.
Please note that all of your credit details and related documents are protected under federal law. The Fair Credit Reporting Act, for example, governs how a landlord might use your credit history to screen you.
Contact Information of the Landlord
Similarly, the landlord will provide contact information and a phone number where you can reach them. They also typically provide information on who to call if what is considered emergency maintenance in an apartment arises.
Early Termination Clause
This is a very important part that many people fail to recognize before signing their rental contract. If your job requires you to move from place to place, consider paying attention to this section.
Determine how much it will cost you to break your lease before it ends (early termination). If you are not sure where you will be in the following six months, consider a shorter term lease or a month-to-month lease agreement (periodic leases) whereby you will only have to submit a move-out request 30-days ahead of schedule.
If you are on a fixed-term lease and you move out early, you may be obligated to pay for the remaining months, even if you are not going to stay in the apartment.
Generally, if the landlord or tenant decides to terminate the lease before it expires, both must show reasonable efforts and serve a 30-day notice prior to vacancy. With that said, there are circumstances where you could break your lease without incurring any penalties, such as domestic violence, discrimination, or the failure of the landlord to provide a livable apartment condition.
Additional Fees Associated with the Rent
Establish how much it will cost you (additional rent) for a late rent payment. Late payment of rent can have a serious impact on your credit score, in addition to the late fees charged by most landlords.
Typically, most apartments have a grace period of 3-days before you are considered to be in arrears. If this occurs, you will be sent a notice by mail. The next step is an eviction notice if you do not come up with the money before the timeline stipulated in your lease.
Is renters insurance required in Michigan? That depends on what your landlord requires.
Almost every apartment will require that you have renters insurance before they move forward with the lease. This type of insurance covers your belongings if they happen to be destroyed or damaged by water or in the event of a fire. Make sure you check out such provisions so you can include them in your budget.
Alterations to the Rental Property
Apartment living comes with a set of rules that must be followed. Landlords often create strict guidelines on how to decorate the space and what changes can be made to the property. Violating these guidelines may lead to high costs in repairs or even eviction, so it is important to read up on the rules before making any changes. Also, you should only make alterations if the landlord agrees.
In addition, some apartments include tenant responsibility clauses in their leases that dictate what tenants are expected to repair when it comes to damages caused by themselves or their guests during occupancy.
At the end of the lease, typically the landlord will examine the apartment and establish whether the damage to the property is out of the tenant’s negligence and, thus, using the security deposit for reimbursement. Make sure you take care of the property if you want to get your security deposit back.
Can You Have a Verbal Lease Agreement?
Yes, it is possible to have a verbal agreement, but that has huge legal ramifications during a dispute.
It is tough to resolve a disagreement with verbal agreement since your comments will be used against you by the landlords. So, whether the landlord agrees to a verbal agreement or not, always seek to have a written agreement that describes your relationship with the property manager.
What is the Difference Between a Lease Agreement and a Rental Agreement?
A lease agreement is typically a long-term contract where the tenant has the right to use and occupy premises for an agreed-upon length of time or for a specific amount of time, such as 12-months. A rental agreement is a short-term contract where the tenant rents the apartment for 30-days, with an option to renew.
Depending on your circumstances, you can choose the type of terms you desire. However, it is vital to note that, in comparison to rental agreements, leasing agreements frequently include a rent discount.
Questions to Ask Before Signing a Lease Agreement
Before signing a residential lease agreement, ask as many questions as you can. If you are not sure what questions to ask, here are a few to consider asking your potential new landlord:
What does this mean?
If you read a provision and don’t understand what it means, ask the landlord to explain what it means. Landlords are always willing to interpret every phrase in the residential lease agreement so you know exactly what you are getting into before moving in.
Can I move-in before the start of the month?
What happens if you decide to move-in in the middle of the month? Will you pay the whole month’s rent, even if you only stayed for half of it? These are the types of questions you should ask your landlord.
The good news is that most landlords will agree to let you move-in for half a month and just charge you for that time. Learn what is prorated rent here.
What are the payment options?
Discuss with your landlord how you will be paying monthly rent. We have heard of tenants paying rent in cash, only to be told later that there is no record that they paid, resulting in rent arrears.
If you pay rent in cash, make sure you acquire a receipt, so you have a paper trail to back up your claim. It will be difficult to win a rent dispute in court (Michigan Law/State Law) if there is no paper trail.
Is there a grace period for paying rent?
Check with your landlord to see if there is a grace period after the due date. Sometimes circumstances arise that make it hard to fulfill your rent deadline. If the landlord agrees to provide a grace period, all the better. You will want to know how much time the landlord will allow you.
Dealing with paperwork is often a difficult undertaking, and you may need assistance from a law firm before signing your new lease. It is preferable to spend a few dollars and obtain the assistance you require rather than risk signing a legally binding document that will harm you in the future.