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Rental Living Tips: What to Consider Before Signing the Lease

Mar 12, 2020 9:30:00 AM / by Hignell Rentals Team

sign hereFinding a great apartment is not easy, but once you do your anxious to move in right away. That's why it's natural to want to sign the lease and get into your new rental living quarters as soon as possible. But before you go signing the lease there are some important things to consider about the agreement. Signing the lease without reading it can potentially have you coming face-to-face with some unpleasant surprises. 

Don't put yourself in that situation. Take some time to study the rental documents. Rental living means you are living in a housing unit that someone else owns. You have to play by their rules. A few of the things you need to consider before signing a lease are:

What Do You Need to Pay?

Find out what you need to pay at the lease signing (usually called a security deposit) and as ongoing payments (usually your month-to-month rent). There may be advance rent and pet deposits due at signing and other fees paid on an ongoing basis, along with your regular monthly rent.

Renter's insurance

Many people don't even think of protecting their belongings or often even think the property manager's insurance policy will pay for their losses. A good renter's policy is often forgotten in rental living situations, but it will protect your stuff and often provides some liability coverage. An insurance policy for renters can be anywhere between $15-$30 a month on top of your rent. 

Moving Questions

You need to find out several things about your move into your apartment.

  • Are there special moving hours?
  • Do you have to move on a certain day?
  • Where can you park the moving truck?

Parking Questions

Inquire as to what type of parking you will have.

  • Is it free? If not, how much will it cost?
  • Can it be included in the rent?
  • What spaces are marked for guests? 

Leasing Decisions

Decide what type of leasing arrangement you want.

  • Should you go for a one or two year lease? Is that even an option?
  • Maybe there are other options such as a month-to-month program.
  • What are the penalties if you suddenly have to move out for one reason or another?
  • How many days in advance do you have to give notice in order to move out without being penalized? 


Fully understand the pet policy at the apartments. Check on a deposit, what types and sizes of animals you can have and any other stipulations in the rental agreement.


Of course, when you move into your new apartment you will want to put your own stamp on it. Decorating is a very fun thing to do. Make sure you understand what you can and can't do in the unit as far as decorating goes. You might be limited or not able to make certain changes to the place that you hadn't thought of. 

Rental living can be a lot of fun and can be very rewarding. Before you sign a lease to rent an apartment it is prudent to read the rental agreement and understand it fully. You don't want any unpleasant surprises after you have signed any legal documents. Your new place will be your very own and you want to enjoy it as much as possible. Read all documents pertaining to your lease and enjoy rental living to the fullest!

For more information on Renter's Insurance, check out our free eBook below! Learn about the two most popular types and get a glossary of insurance terms to help you better understand your policy.

Renters Insurance 101

Topics: Apartment Living, My First Apartment, Rental Living

Hignell Rentals is Your Home for Northern California Rentals.

At Hignell Rentals we have been maintaining and renting properties in the North State since 1970. We value relationships and caring communities, honoring and encouraging one another, unwavering integrity, uncommon generosity, and growth and innovation. We strive to provide our residents with a quality living environment across the North State in Redding, Red Bluff, Chico, Oroville and surrounding areas.