10 things to know when signing your first lease


When we turn 18, we usually think of it as a gateway to our most epic adult life, ever.  For some of us, that means heading straight to college, some of us headed straight to work, and many are doing both.  The most common dream that most 18-year-olds have?  We are ready to race out of our parents’ homes the day the clock strikes twelve on our birthdays! To kick off our life of (eventually quite frightening) adulting, one of the first orders of business is finding a place to live.  It’s difficult being an adult still living under your parents’ roofs, so what do you do? Find your own place and sign the lease!

Luckily, in Gainesville, there are plenty of housing options that would serve as awesome entries to adulthood.

Finding that place of your own comes with some things to know, check out our list of the Top 10 things to know when signing your first lease!


Read your lease in full! – Be certain that you know the who, what, when, where and whys of your new home

Ask questions about your lease prior to signing – When is rent due? When is rent late? Can I paint my apartment? Are pets allowed? If so, do I have to pay an extra fee?

A lease is a legally binding contract – “Breaking” a lease is not something required by landlords unless there are special conditions clearly listed in your lease.

Is your lease a BTB or JSL? – BTB = By the bed, you are only responsible for your portion of the rent – Joint Severely Liable/Conventional = Joint Split Lease, all in the unit are responsible for rent

Are there fees to pay rent online? Are there late fees for rent?  When do those late fees begin?

Find out who to reach out to if you have maintenance issues or any other concerns. Is there a way to put in work orders online? Is there emergency maintenance?

Do you need a parking decal? When your friends visit, do they need to park in a visitors spot or need a decal?

How far is your new place from your campus or job? Is a free shuttle offered? Is a bus stop nearby?

When is your lease up? What steps should be taken upon move out to ensure that you receive your security deposit back in full?

Does your lease include utilities? Furniture? Rental Insurance? Pest Control?



Moving into your first place is a MAJOR step into adulting, but be sure that you are fully prepared for all that comes with your first apartment!  Your very first place will be something you remember forever, be sure to make it the best experience yet!

Posted by collier
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