How to Understand Your San Antonio Apartment Lease

Understand San Antonio Apartment Lease

If you wish to live in an apartment, you’ll need to sign a lease, and it’s essential to understand every word of what’s written in your San Antonio apartment lease. Fortunately, it doesn’t take a doctorate in property management to understand an apartment lease. All it takes is reading the contract since apartment leases tend to vary somewhat from property to property.

Here are some resources that you can use to understand your future apartment lease.

Reading Official Documents on Advice for Renters

The Texas Apartment Association (TAA) provides some excellent information on renting an apartment in Texas, including how to fill out an application to rent an apartment, avoiding problems that may occur during the rental process, and obtaining renter’s insurance. You can compare the terms of your rental agreement to the information provided on the TAA website.

For example, is it appropriate for an apartment owner to turn off the utilities to an apartment for a short amount of time?

“Under state statute (Texas Property Code, Section 92.008), it is permissible for an owner to interrupt utilities (temporarily cut off the water, electricity, etc.) if the need for the interruption is for bona fide repairs, construction or an emergency situation.”

Reading the Texas Property Code probably doesn’t sound like the most entertaining way to spend an evening, but it can help you determine whether all the terms and conditions in your rental agreement are legal.

Rental Agreements Feature Several Important Provisions

Most people who sign contracts don’t read the entire document because they assume all the information in the rental agreement is like any other agreement they’ve signed. However, different apartment owners may include unique or unusual provisions.

According to Renters Resource, apartment owners are allowed to include a variety of provisions they feel will ensure the best experience for their tenants.

“Realize that apartment complex owners are allowed to include any provisions they want. And once you sign the agreement, the terms (in most cases) are legally binding. Take the extra time to completely understand this document when you locate an apartment for rent in Houston, and don’t feel awkward if the leasing agent stands impatiently over you.”

You don’t want to sign an apartment lease without reading it and find out that you can only have one pet when you intended on adopting a second cat. While you might not be able to convince the property owner to change the terms of the lease, you can probably avoid any unpleasant surprises by reading the lease before you sign it.

If it turns out that you can make changes to your lease agreement, Renters Resource goes on to explain what you should do to ensure those changes are valid once you move into the apartment:

“If you do feel it’s necessary to make changes to the lease agreement, these changes should be initialed by both you and the apartment manager. Do not settle for oral agreements! An oral agreement will not hold up in court. Every lease agreement should be written, dated, initialed and saved.”

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