Understanding Your Seattle Apartment Lease

Understanding Your Apartment Lease Agreement

When you sign a lease contract for an apartment, the lease will spell out everything you need to know about the rules and requirements of residing in your new Seattle apartment. For the average apartment dweller, reading the lease is often an afterthought, and it’s not uncommon to realize you’ve broken one of the community’s rules after the fact.

Nothing in an apartment lease is too difficult to understand, but it’s a good idea to always read the contract you sign in its entirety, as well as to seek out help on the meaning of any terms or conditions that seem confusing.

Reading an Apartment Lease Contract in Full

An interesting article from the Huffington Post reveals that just 10 percent of people read contracts before they sign on the dotted line. Additionally, it’s quite difficult to perform any legal action with the excuse of “well, I didn’t read the contract.”

“If legal issues arise under an unread or merely skimmed contract, resolving the issues by voiding the contract requires judicial action. That means long waits, legal fees, stress and hours of your time. Even if you succeed in defeating the contract—and that is hardly a given—think of what it has cost you.”

Reading Through Seattle’s Property Laws

Before you read through your lease, you may wish to take a look at the Seattle Landlord-Tenant Laws from the Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections. The document includes valuable information for landlords, but it’s also full of essential laws meant for tenants, too, which can help ensure you don’t run into any legal problems while you live in your Seattle apartment.

For example, did you know that security deposits must be placed within the rental agreement?

“If a landlord wishes to collect a security deposit, the deposit and its amount must be identified in a written rental agreement.”

This and many other rules can help make sure the lease you sign is correctly written and designed to create an equitable relationship between tenant and landlord.

Asking Questions Before Signing the Lease

The Mountain Sate Centers for Independent Living provide an excellent list of questions that you may wish to ask your leasing agent before you sign the contract. Here are some of those questions:

  • How long is the lease?
  • What day of the month must rent be paid?
  • Are there penalties for paying rent late?
  • Is renter’s insurance required?
  • How many appliances are included with the residence?

You can probably think of other questions that could help you decide whether your lease is a good idea. The leasing agent for your prospective apartment should have all the answers you require to help you make a good decision about signing a lease or moving on to look at a new property.

Live at Lexington Heights in Seattle

At Lexington Heights, you’ll find spacious apartment homes in a peaceful and natural setting. We offer several floor plans in one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom plans, and we’re sure one of our idyllic apartment homes will suit you perfectly. Get in touch today to arrange a tour of one of our Seattle, Washington apartments.