Signing a Lease? Avoid These Common Mistakes

Written by Carlyle Property Management on 08.26.19

Signing Lease

Renting means signing a legal contract, and it also means choosing your home. Well-informed decisions matter.

So, here are a few common mistakes apartment renters told us they’ve made before finding us. In most cases, the missteps in this list are every bit as avoidable as they are common. Words to the wise!

Looking Beyond Your Budget

In Philly, aim to earn 2.5 times or more what you pay in rent.

This is an affordable city—especially when compared to New York City (to which a good number of Philadelphians commute)!

That said, you still want to have enough disposable income, after your rent is paid, to enjoy the fabulous offerings of this world-class city.

Read More: Before Moving to Philadelphia, Know These Things

Renting Sight Unseen

Philly’s apartment owners make up a pretty great community overall. Still, check the management’s reputation. Get a feel for other peoples’ experiences with the building management. Follow companies’ blogs and social media. Come in with confidence that the management is transparent, experienced, and well established.

Visit the property. Walk around. Take a look at how the building and grounds are maintained, and what access you’ll have to parks, paths, and city amenities.

Select the best available apartment home for you, by looking at comparable units.

Talk to people. Cultivate relationships early, and you’ll be engaged and at home from Day One.

Not Communicating and Getting Clarifications

From the very beginning, starting with a walk-through of your place, get to know your property management company.

Ask about questions you have with the lease if you’re unclear. Ask about what you need to maintain (Lawn and garden? Window replacements?), and what the company handles.

And when you become a member of the community, do ask for help when you need it.

Bringing Pets to Pet-Restricted Apartments

If you sneak animals into your new apartment home contrary to the property’s policies, you could wind up with unplanned raises in rent or even an eviction notice. Avert the stress!

Find a pet-friendly apartment home, and check to be sure your pets won’t breach numerical, weight, or breed restrictions.

Not Checking the Fine Print

Take time to examine the agreement you’ll live by. Be sure nothing’s buried in there that could become a drag later on. Look for:

  • Restrictions on guest stays or number of guests.
  • Any car or bicycle parking restrictions.
  • Responsibility for water, gas, lawn maintenance, and other utilities and services.
  • Lease terms. A fixed-term lease is typical—lasting one year or more. Be sure you know how much time you’re signing up for.
  • Security deposit policies. Not just how much you pay, but where your money is banked, when you have access to reimbursement, and what interest terms apply.

Letting Renter’s Insurance Lapse

The typical Philly apartment home contains personal property worth five figures, and yet many renters don’t get insurance. That’s a clear mistake.

Your property management company may require evidence of up-to-date renter’s insurance.

In any case, it’s a must! Speak with your car insurance agent about a discounted bundle and get a renter’s policy. Ask what it covers: just property, or also unexpected damage and injury coverage?

Make No Mistake: Carlyle Property Management Treats Our Community With Care

Looking to live in Old City or the Northern Liberties neighborhood? Love Rittenhouse Square or South Street? Delighted with Ardmore, just west of Philly on the Main Line? We’re smitten with all of these neighborhoods, where we offer well-maintained, pet-friendly Philly apartment homes with off-street parking. 

Ready to see yours? Give us a ring on 215.545.1039. We’re excited about showing you around, and helping to make your new rental home experience error-free.

Learn More About our Philadelphia Properties

Topics: Philadelphia rentals, Leasing an Apartment