What To Know About Lease Agreements
Before moving into a new premesis, all students should have signed a lease agreement with their landlord or property management company before moving in. Any form of accommodation which is put up for rental without a formal lease agreement should be avoided at all costs because it may cost you dearly at the end of the day.
Here are a couple of things every student should know before signing a new lease:
Make sure that the term of the lease matches your requirements. For example, if your academic year runs from February to November, it doesn’t make sense to sign a 12-month lease. Some landlords may not be willing to negotiate around this, but others who are purely in the student accommodation industry will structure their business to make allowances for your needs.
If you are required to sign a 12-month lease, make sure that there is a clear exit clause. Every lease should also have a cancellation clause that describes the conditions under which either you or the landlord can cancel it. If such a clause isn’t included in your lease, insist on one before you sign.
You can cancel your lease contract if your landlord hasn’t kept to what they promised in the original agreement, whether it’s major repairs not being done, poor security and access control, or even sub-standard cleaning services.
If you want to cancel your lease even though your landlord has done everything they’re supposed to, your best bet is to talk to them, to see if you can agree on how to end it. With student accommodation in such high demand, they may release you from your contract if you can find someone to take it over – but don’t do this without their knowledge, or you may then be in breach of your contract yourself!
If your landlord refuses to release you from your contract, the Consumer Protection Act says that you can give your landlord notice if you want to leave before your lease expires. If the landlord hasn’t done anything wrong, however, they are entitled to recover any reasonable costs that they incur while they’re replacing you. It’s worth preparing that money just in case, but this is another instance where it’s worth finding a replacement person if you can.
If you find someone suitable to take over your lease, the landlord cannot turn them away, or make you pay any penalties that may be in lease.
If your landlord won’t release you from your contract, they are not allowed to randomly make up penalties that weren’t outlined in the original contract. Similarly, if your deposit was secured to cover the costs of any damage or breakages, and none have happened, the landlord may not withhold your deposit when you leave, unless you both agree to use your deposit as your last month’s rent.
While it’s important to be happy at varsity, it’s just as important to be happy at your home away from home while you’re studying. Choose a secure environment close to lectures, where you’ve got the space and resources to study. Ideally, find accommodation that includes someone else doing the chores of cooking, laundry and cleaning, so that you can focus on your studies instead of admin.
Most importantly, choose accommodation where both you and your landlord are protected and treated fairly, so that you’re never distracted from your studies by having to battle your way out of an unfair contract. This is easily achieved by using a reputable property management company which specializes in student accommodation.
RENT360 works with both property owners and tenants to protect the interests of both, while managing the property and attending to maintenance issues to avoid problems and issues which may arise before they actually do.
Contact us for all of your student accommodation, property management and rental requirements.