Better A Bad Negotiation Than A Good Trial
When it comes to rental agreements, the expression “better a bad negotiation than a good trial” holds true. The hoops a tenant might be expected to jump through during a lease negotiation are nothing compared to the strain and cost of a lengthy dispute if there is ultimately a disagreement regarding the lease.
The Devil is in the Details
A lease agreement can be as complex or as simple as a landlord decides. Oftentimes though, contracts are cluttered with details that might go unnoticed to the untrained eye. Granted, negotiating an agreement on an apartment a tenant has their heart set on is difficult. Appeasement, however, is not the answer. When in doubt, consult a lawyer regarding the terms if anything doesn’t make sense. No lease is set in stone. There is always room for improvements if the demands are excessive. A few things should be considered before signing: length of the lease, landlord access to the apartment, conditions of deposit loss, late fees and extra charges.
Always Speak Up During a Bad Negotiation
Landlords may often feel they have the upper hand. They are, in fact, holding the keys. However, tenants also have rights. Speak up if you spot the following inconsistencies. If the terms of the lease are longer than a year, ask why. Standard residential leases run for 12 months. If the landlord expects free access to the apartment, draw a line in the sand. Tenants should be forewarned when an owner needs to enter the apartment. If the deposit is expected to cover anything beyond damage, this should be a red flag. Finally, a tenant shouldn’t accept excessive late fees. A check can unexpectedly arrive late, so some leeway should be allowed.
A bad negotiation is a small price to pay when it comes to avoiding future entanglements with one’s landlord. By clearly and respectfully disputing or disagreeing with some of the terms of a lease agreement, a tenant is exercising their right to fairness. If a bad lease ultimately results in a serious dispute, it is always best to seek legal advice to resolve the situation.