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Things to Ask Before you Sign a Lease

In the excitement of finding a place that you love, sometimes you forget to ask important questions or clarify important things with a landlord or leasing agency. When you move to Knoxville, we want to make sure your experience is enjoyable, easy, and without snafu. These are some questions we suggest you ask before you sign a lease.

Can you upgrade anything?

Negotiating a lease is much like negotiating job salary: it’s not all necessarily set in stone, and landlords are often willing to make concessions to get a great renter. Keep it professional and polite and you never know what could happen.

What are the neighbors like?

Swing by the place after hours and see what kind of crowd is in the neighborhood, and ask about the current tenants you might be sharing walls with. Living next door to a DJ if you are a light sleeper and early riser might be a deal breaker, for example.

What are the pet policies?

Whether you have a pet or you are thinking about getting one, you need to know. You don’t want to encounter demands for a $300 pet deposit because your sister brought her new puppy along on vacation to see you.

Is the lease auto-renew?

This is important: it’s no fun to learn you’re out of a place to live when you’ve already planned (in your mind) to stay another year. Find out exactly when the current lease expires, what kind of notice to vacate you’ll receive, and what happens when the term is over. Some leases automatically renew for a second year or become month to month after the first year. Other landlords expect you to vacate immediately.

What is included in the rent price?

Never assume anything is part of the deal. Ask about parking privileges, utilities, cable television, and the like so you know exactly what your monthly check covers. Once you know what the rent includes, you can budget for whatever’s not part of the deal.

Good luck on your move and on finding the place that is perfect for you!