Tyler Better Business Bureau
BBB is advising consumers to be aware of their rights and responsibilities before signing an apartment lease.
According to the Texas Attorney General, tenants have a number of rights under Texas law, including peace, quiet, health, safety and security.
BBB provides renters with the following suggestions:
- Check out the apartment with BBB first. Go to bbb.org to see the BBB Business Review of the apartment you are considering.
- Visit each complex in person before putting down a deposit.
- Tour all amenities to be sure they meet your needs.
- Keep a signed copy of the lease. Keep your lease in a safe place in case you need to refer back to it.
- Consider renters’ insurance. When a tenant’s belongings are damaged or stolen, the apartment complex is very rarely held liable. Renters insurance would cover your losses in the event of fire, burglary or other damage. Read the lease thoroughly.
- Check what normal maintenance you’re responsible for, what your security deposit covers, when payments are due and what fees are assessed if you’re late.
- Document your unit’s condition. Most apartment complexes provide a move-in checklist to document any damage. Walk through the entire apartment and write down every flaw or defect.
- Ask for repairs in writing. If you have trouble with maintenance requests, send the landlord a dated letter via certified mail. Keep a copy for your records.
- Continue paying rent. Do not stop paying your rent in order to force your landlord to make repairs.