Did you ever consider you might be breaking one of the rules in your apartment lease agreement -- without even realizing it?
Did you ever consider you might be breaking one of the rules in your apartment lease agreement — without even realizing it?

Did you ever consider you might be breaking one of the rules in your apartment lease agreement — without even realizing it?

When you move into an apartment, you sign an apartment lease agreement that spells out many specific rules to live by.  Keep in mind that there are some actions which could violate your apartment lease agreement, and these actions might not be immediately obvious to you.

Here are a few things to watch out for.

Altering the apartment
Before you hang a shelf or paint your bedroom, check your lease. Some apartment communities have specific regulations spelled out in the lease agreement about which modifications can and cannot be made to an apartment. In some cases you might be allowed to make modifications but also required to return the apartment back to its original state before you move out.

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Living with long-term guests
If a houseguest stays too long, you could be in violation of your lease. Having a friend stay for a few days is typically within your rights as a renter, but if that short-term guest turns into a longer-term roommate, you could be in trouble. Know your lease and the length of time you are allowed to have guests stay in your apartment before they are considered additional residents who must be added to the lease.

Grilling out on the balcony
Thinking about firing up a grill on your apartment balcony? Better read your lease first! Some apartment management companies consider apartment balcony grilling a fire hazard and specifically forbid it, so know your lease terms before you use the equipment.

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Operating a business out of the apartment
Are you hosting clients or assembling products for sale in your apartment? You might be violating lease terms. Check for a clause in your apartment lease agreement concerning the operation of a business from your apartment.

Subletting the apartment
Subletting is prohibited by most leases, and in rare instances where it is allowed, the renter usually has to go through his or her apartment manager to sublet the apartment. If you have to leave your apartment for a period of time, meet with your apartment manager to see whether you can work out an arrangement directly.

Parking an unregistered car in the community
Apartment communities have limited parking spaces and often will ask residents to register their cars with the office when they sign a lease. If you get a new car, remember to register that car, as well, or you might risk getting towed.

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When in doubt, ask!
If you are unsure whether something you are about to do regarding your apartment will violate the lease, it’s best to ask your apartment manager for advice first. Your landlord would much rather answer a question about your lease than see you violate its terms. Ask before you act if you are unsure!

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Photo Credit: Shutterstock / Gordana Sermek

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