Signing a lease can be exciting. It means you’ve finally found a new home to rent in San Antonio, and you’re ready to move in. That’s great news, but there are some important questions that you need to ask before you sign the lease. Understanding exactly what your responsibilities are is important, and you want to make sure the rental property and the landlord or property manager are able to meet your expectations and requirements.
At Mynd Property Management, we believe in open communication and transparent leasing processes. We encourage you to ask all the questions you have before you move into a property. This will eliminate surprises, expenses, and unpleasant situations that you weren’t expecting.
Here are some of the things residents in San Antonio should ask and prepare for, whether they’re renting a home with Mynd or with another management company.
Make Sure Your Pets are Allowed
If you’re hoping to move in with your furry friend, make sure your pets are permitted and welcomed. You will likely have to pay a pet fee or an extra security deposit. Some homes will require that you pay pet rent. Ask if pets are allowed and make sure you can afford the additional financial requirements of moving in with your animal.
Understand the Lease Term
It’s very important that you find out how long the lease term is. Most leases for residential properties in San Antonio are for one year. But, there will occasionally be a lease agreement for nine months or 18 months or something outside of the standard one-year lease. Don’t assume that it’s just a year. Look at the lease and ask the question. You need to know what kind of time period you’re committing to when you sign that lease agreement.
Ask About Rent Collection Policy and Late Fees
It’s critical that you know how to pay rent. You’ll want to ask how rent is collected, when it is due, and whether there are any late fees when it’s not paid on time. If you’re renting from a San Antonio property management company, you will likely be able to pay rent online. Make sure you understand that system; ask if it’s secure and user-friendly. Find out if there are other acceptable ways to pay rent. Maybe you’ll be required to drop it off in person or send it through the mail.
It’s also important to ask about any utilities that are included with the rent. This isn’t very common; most residents are responsible for setting up utility accounts and paying on their own. But, you need to know that. Some multi-family properties may also pay for water or trash and other utilities. You need to be clear about what your responsibilities are before you sign the lease. If you’re in the military, you’ll want to know what the process is if you receive new orders elsewhere and you need to break your lease.
Talk About Maintenance and Repairs
Maintenance processes will be an important part of your lease agreement. Make sure you understand what you’re supposed to do to report both routine maintenance issues and emergencies. Talk to your property manager or landlord about what constitutes an emergency. Make sure you’ll have all the necessary contact information for your landlord or manager, and ask where the water and gas shut-off valves are.
You’ll need to know what you’re responsible for in terms of maintenance as well. Your landlord or property manager is responsible for keeping the property habitable, but there’s no need to submit a maintenance request when you have a light bulb that’s burned out.
Ask about maintenance fees or service charges. You need to know if you’ll be responsible for any of the maintenance costs and how you will be expected to fix things that you break.
Most of this information is likely in your lease agreement, but before it gets that far, you want to find these things out and ask the important questions. You’ll need to be aware of any lease renewal fees before the lease renews, for example. Asking these things up front will provide you with a clear understanding and prevent any unpleasant surprises.
Always ask your questions up front so you can decide whether you want to continue with the application, selection, and leasing process. You don’t want to have your important questions answered after you’re already renting the property and living there.