PETER HOLLAND: When you rent an apartment you sign a contact, it is called a lease. There are a lot of important things that you need to read in there. How long is the lease for?
IRWIN KRAMER: Who is going to make repairs if something goes wrong with the plumbing system or the air-conditioning or heat. Is it going to be the landlord or is landlord looking to you?
PETER HOLLAND: What happens to my security deposit? How much security deposit do they want?
IRWIN KRAMER: Who is paying utilities? Does this come with utilities or you separately responsible for the water bill, the heat, etc.?
PETER HOLLAND: Does the rent increase over time or does it stay the same?
IRWIN KRAMER: How much notice in advance do you have to give if you are moving out and want to end the tenancy how does it terminate?
PETER HOLLAND: If you want to renew the lease at the end of the term, how do you do that? If you want to rent it for a year, which you might going to stay for another year or two years down the road you need to make sure you negotiate that right of renewal. All of these things are in contract and all of these are negotiable.
IRWIN KRAMER: Never rent an apartment site unseen. You want to know exactly what apartment you are going to be moving into and you want to walk through it and inspect it if you rent an apartment with someone else you are both jointly and separately liable. What that means is, if the buddy moves out, well you are on the hook for all of the rent.
STEVEN LOVEJOY: Would you will be able to go after your friend and to recoup those amounts? The answer is yes, but do you really want to have to do that?
IRWIN KRAMER: That often does not work too well. So, be careful about who you enter into contract with and be careful about what the contract actually says.