What is a Lease?
The next step after finding your apartment is getting to know the lease. The lease is a legal document that states the scope and limitations of your contract with the landlord. It also states the amount you must pay the landlord depending on your payment scheme. Make sure that everything that is stated in the least is approved by both parties. Read the rules and determine if you can abide by all of them. If you cannot, spare yourself from trouble and find another place. You can also ask your landlord if there are some things in the lease that confuse you. Also, you can seek the help of a lawyer or a real estate expert to explain the lease to you before you affix your signature to it.
Before you sign your lease, make it a point that you understand it and every thing that it says. Clarify who's going to pay for utility services, how much the security deposit should be, how many parking spaces are allotted to you, who will maintain the provided appliances if there are any, who will pay for services like gardening, garbage collection, snow removal, etc, and of course, make sure that all the rules about moving out is clear to you. Knowing the agreements and the rules stated in your lease will make you understand how you should behave during your stay to avoid additional costs or complaints.