Apartments for Cheap

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Free Apartment Lease Form

July 31, 2013

Ruth asks…

Can I break my lease?

Me and my brother live in some run down apartments. I live in tempe arizona.. I signed a year lease back in march. My brother just got beat up by 7 guyslast week. And they threatend me there going come back. I don’t feel safe there at all. Were going press charges on the guys my brother got staples in his head stuches in his forhead and cheek. Can I break my lease if I don’t feel safe there?

Administrator answers:

You can certainly break your lease free willingly but if i were you i would take it to court and the police report stating that your brother had gotten beaten up etc along with hospital bills. And ask the judge for him to allow you to move, meaning you don’t have to continue paying back rent for how ever long it takes for your landlord to find new tenants. It’ll just give you a clean slate and you won’t have to be bothered with paying extra money. You just go to your local courthouse and make a report/claim, you fill out this form and they give you a court date. Hope this helps!

Lol at Ed….you don’t get sued for break your lease whoever told you that was misinformed you only get sued if you don’t continue paying the rent in which is due.

Ken asks…

SMALL CLAIMS DEFENDANT: Subletting to kicked out roommate who is suing me, what to do?

These are copy and pasted questions I asked during the course of my ordeal – none which have been answered properly for me – or to make me feel comfortable. I was stressed out for a month, dealing with this case and over preparing. Thus, I present them to you to skim through in case it might help you. Also, my question is below based on the information in the body paragraphs. [I also only edited for content, not grammar. I don’t care at this point about being perfect. I just want the information out there – to help you and ME]
“Note: …I am the defendant being sued for $6,000.00 in small claims court by [the plaintiff]. I am a full-time student….I kicked [Plaintiff] out of my apartment on [Date], because she threatened me and I no longer felt safe living with her. I had the apartment complex change the locks. I did not give her a 30 day eviction notice, though our Facebook messages prove that I wanted her out. She is not on my apartment lease – anywhere. Not even as a resident. Essentially, we had a month-to-month agreement, where she paid $224.00 a month (which included her portion of the water bill) and half the electric bill. She never signed or formally agreed to anything though our Facebook messages talk about the rough amount and basic living arrangement. She never accepted or rejected any specific or formal terms online. I do not know where she is getting the a…mount of $6,000.00 from. None of her things were damaged when she came to collect them. The only piece of furniture she had was a mattress. It took her only around an hour to collect her things (with the cops there). I have filed three online police reports about her behavior during this time period. I have copies of said reports as well. In no way did I try to withhold her things from her, and she even missed an arranged date to pick up the rest of her things (which we had arranged in front of two other cops, the first time she collected some things). She had been living with me for over seven months (from the end [time period]), and she was living with me rent free [month 2011] (basically three months free)…. She was essentially homeless when she moved in, and used most of my stuff. Thus, $6,000.00 seems very unreasonable. She filed the affidavit herself on [date after I kicked her out]!… I really don’t know the next step I should take, and could use any help. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to respond that I received the order, either.”

Answer from TheLaw.TV: “…You do not need to respond to the affidavit. Your appearance at the hearing is your response. The burden is on her to prove you violated an agreement. She has to present evidence of a written agreement that has been signed by both parties. Based upon what you have written below it looks as though she will not be able to meet that burden. The $6000 comes from the fact that that is the maximum amount you can ask for in small claims. If you are interested in retaining me to represent you please let me know.”

Do you think I should go with this lawyer? Do you think he understood me correctly and entirely? Do you think he knows his stuff and is legit?

Administrator answers:

You shouldn’t need to hire a lawyer at all. For starters- skip some of the detail. No one cares that you’re a student. Stick to the basic facts. You had an informal agreement that she pay $XX a month while she was living there. There was no written agreement, so her expecting a 30 day notice to move out is an assumption, and not a right she has since you never agreed to it.

You were accomodating, and allowed her to collect her personal belongings. The police were present, both as witnesses and to protect you because you were in fear of your physical safety. She threatened you, and you were afraid. That’s it. She has no legal claims to living there, and has no basis for the lawsuit.

Show up for the hearing. Present the facts that matter. Again, no one cares that you’re a student. You were trying to help a friend. You gave her very reasonable accomodations to help her out. There was never a formal agreement, and when she turned violent, you ended the assistance you were providing.

Stupid question- were you two dating in any way shape or form? If you were having a physical (sexual) relationship- then that could be brought into question. And just so you are aware- you were probably in violation of your lease by having her live there at all. But that is between you and the apartment complex.

Thomas asks…

Fair Housing Commission?

Have you ever been discriminated against while trying to rent an apartment? I recently rented an apartment, and was told before i actually signed the lease that i would get the first two months rent free, and no security deposit. Then the day i went to sign, they told me, wait, sorry, we found out that you have no renting history, you are going to have to pay a $900 security deposit. I wanted the apartment so bad, that within a few weeks i came up with the money. But now my boyfriend just learned in class about Fair Housing Commission, and that our apartment has shown discrimination in other ways, i was wondering if this is illegal also. I am having a hard time finding information about it on the internet. Has this happened to anyone else? Or a similar situation? What did you do?

Administrator answers:

You need to understand that not all kinds of discrimination are illegal. In the real world, people get turned down for things all the time (which is a form of discrimination) based on lack of creditworhiness, ownership of collateral, good references, or any one of a thousand other legal reasons. Illegal discrimination is discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, sex, age, handicap, etc. I would not think that requiring a deposit from you under these circumstances would constitute discrimination unless you suspect that the real reason for the requirement is your race, religion, national origin or any other suspect classification. Many businesses, including landlords, offer incentives as part of a sales pitch, but there’s almost always some fine print that says you have to qualify to get the incentive. In your case, if your landlord’s sales pitch was subject to his receipt of your rental or credit history (a very routine requirement), he had every right to change the offered terms if you don’t meet the requirements. Read your rental application very carefully (look at the fine print on the back) and see if there isn’t some language that allows them to modify their requirements depending on your credit, rent history, references, etc. On the other hand, if you have solid evidence that they are changing the rules because of your race, religion, etc., you may have a case.

Nancy asks…

If someone wants to rent and I charge s/he for credit check, can I allow other potential tenants to see …?

There are few potential tenants want to take a look my condo. Should I charge all of them for the credit check first if they want to rent it? If I charge the 1st potential tenant for the credit check, can I still let another potential tenant to see the condo and also charge the credit check fee? I’m thinking if the 1st one doesn’t have good credit score, my rent out process would not stop on it.

I have few appointments so far. If the guy for the first appointment wants to rent it, do I need to collect everything(first month, security deposit, credit report fee and all docs) or just take the credit report fee first? Can I still have the next appointment with another potential tenant? If the guy of 2nd appointment also wants it, what should I do? Can I still charge credit report fee? Thank you.

Administrator answers:

Anyone interested in my apartments must pay the fee for the credit check. If they dont want the credit check, then that sends up some red flags on the person. They are hiding something. There is nothing inethical about charging a fee for a service. You can have 20 people interested in the apartment, charge them the fee (in my case its $25.00), and check them out. Pick the best eligable person. The person that gets picked, I usually apply that fee off the security deposit. Credit fees are non-refundable.

Check the credit first. You may ask for a holding deposit (like $100.00) with the understanding that if his credit is bad, you will return it. If he changes his mind about the apt after giving you the holding fee, he doesnt get the deposit back. Write a receipt something like this:

Recieved $________ from __________________________ on Date ________ as a holding fee for the property at ____________________________.
Holding fee is Non-Refundable in the event the prospective tenant changes his/her mind.
Holding fee will be be applied as a credit to the security deposit upon acceptance of the property.

Do not rent to anyone with out that credit or background check. People will offer to pay you 3 months rent ahead to get you to rent to them. Usually these are the people with bad credit or have been evicted. Pick the best of the credit check with good collectable employment.
Once you have a good one, prepare the lease and meet with him to sign it. Collect all the money due at the signing of the lease. If he doesnt have all the money, the lease doesnt get signed. If he is to reponsible to have the utilites in his name, make sure with the utility company that they are BEFORE he signs the lease. Only then will you give him the keys. Dont forget to include the holding fee and credit check fee as part of the security deposit.
In most states (check with yours) you can charge a security deposit equal to 1 1/2 times the rent, plus the first months rent.
Hope this helps.
You might also go to the website of mrlandlord.com. It is a board of landlords from all over the US. It is a question and answer forum. I have been a landlord for over 12 yrs and still learn things from other landlords. They also have free forms you can get on the site.

Donna asks…

landlords- standard rental agreement?

I am looking for a website where I can download a standard rental agreement to print out for renting apartments (thinking about buying a triplex).
If you know where I can get a standard rental agreement (lease) online for free to check out, plz let me know!
Also, I live in Ontario Canada, if it makes a difference!

Administrator answers:

You can find a free rental agreement and more landlord and tenant information / forms on the site listed below. Hope it helps.

William asks…

need help w/ roommate issue..how to bring this up/get issues solved legally…?

My roommate and I used to get along very well-until recently. We’ve lived together for almost two yrs now in the same apartment & our lease is up in August. I lived in the apt. for a year w/ my boyfriend before she moved in (so this is MY 3rd yr living there)…so she took his place when he moved to apartments on campus. Now, said boyfriend and I are engaged- getting married May 29th, & we’re expecting a baby girl early July, so I am moving back in with him the week of the wedding.
So, I have a friend who would like to cosign my portion of the lease & move in, however- my roommate is refusing to even meet her. I understand where she is coming from as she doesnt know this person, but she is not even trying to meet her…and this could really help me out. so, whatever, I told her I would pay my portion of the rent until the lease is up, but I would not pay the bills (cable, water, etc) since I wont be there…fair right? But now she is talkng about how one of her friends needs a place to stay for awhile but she wont tell me when or any details about this happening…and i’ll be damned if I pay my rent and she moves someone in my room RENT FREE…So, my mom suggested me still paying my rent, but putting a lock on my bedroom door so she cant use the space & move someone else in. Should I talk to her about this or just do it? One of the other major issues is she’s really dirty, doesn’t clean, lets her dog poop on the floor, & her dog has ripped up the carpets…and the deposit is in my name…without me there..this apt is going to go to hell because I took care of all the cleaning & since i’ve been pregnant, i’ve been home a lot w/ her dog while she’s out at bars at night.
I just need some advie here…our friendship is really starting to dissolve due to her not helping me out with ANYTHING in these matters…i’m seven months pregnant and she barely takes out the trash!! I plan on cleaning the carpets and stuff before I leave..and my future in-laws want me to get a walk-through of damages done w/ the apt manager..i don’t know…i just want to be done with this mess the legal, less dramatic way.

Administrator answers:

Is her name on the lease? If so, then she should have given you money in the beginning for her share of the bond upon moving in. If she hasn’t, ask her for it now before you discuss anyone else moving incase she catches on that you are going to stand up to her. If her name isn’t on the lease, kick her out, your friend can move into her room, then your friend can find a new flat mate once your agreement expires.

If you really want to continue as you are, I’d have an inspection prior to my vacating the premises, too, because you don’t know what an immature person such as her will do once you, the adult minded person, leaves. If her name is on the lease agreement and she is legally bound, then apply for your refund and let the owners work out the bond money with her. They can draw up a new contract. If the owners complain to you merely because it’s a hassle for them, show them that it’s your money with your copy of the bond agreement form and say that you need if for your baby.

I don’t understand why you put up with her for so very long. I’d most definitely lock my door and I’d refuse to pay for any and all utilities used after I’d vacated – why should you pay? If you decide to move your friend in, ensure that she understands the situation with this person or you might unintentionally strain your relationship with this friend. Have the friend sign the rental documents prior to her things being placed into your room so that the other person can’t kick her out.

This is a mess, I feel sorry for you.

Paul asks…

Any leagal Recourse/Precedent for students trying to move off campus?

My college has refused to let me move off campus because I am not 21 or married. Can they legally do this. Do I have any legal rights in this situation?

I’m a 4.0 student with a double major and 4 jobs and I am very involved on campus, but because I’m staying for summer research and couldn’t afford summer housing on campus I have already signed a lease on an apartment. The lease is for 1 year, but the college is saying that I have to move back on to campus next fall or they will charge me for a room whether I use it or not (the room charges are more than twice what I’d be paying in rent and the rooms are ancient and falling apart unless you want to pay extra to live in the new building).

I have already gone through the proper channels including having my parents sign and notarize an exhaustive form (which I feel is irrelevant since I’m a 19 year old adult anyway), but the school “denied” my request. I have already appealed to the assistant dean, who barely listened to a word I
said, much less considered changing the decision. I have an appontment with the dean to appeal yet again, but I would like to go in informed.

I am a junior in class standing, so it isn’t as though I’m some freshman looking to rebel or party (I’m actually moving out so that I can bring my cat, who is getting up there in years, to live with me).

I know the school has this policy in place purely to bolster their finances, though they don’t admit it.

That’s about all the details I have.

(Unless the fact that I have ADD would help my case any.)

Administrator answers:

If it is a private school, they can make any rules they want and you must choose whether to live with them or find another school. They cannot make you live on campus, because you are free to quit school, but that can make your continued attendance dependent upon paying for a room. If it is a public school, you can challenge the rule in court but all they need is any rational reason for the rule.

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