Can they do that?

idleheadedceleryMobile - Wireless

Dec 10, 2013 (3 years and 10 months ago)

62 views

Can they do that?

Can
maintenance just
come in my apartment without warning?

Do I have to pay late fees for my roommate?

$50 for a light bulb! Is that legal?

I hate my roommate


can I move?

Do they have to repair my dishwasher?

Eww
! Spiders!
Can I make them spray
for bugs?



The answer to all of your
questions can be found in………

Renting: Rules of the Game

Attorney for Students

LBJ Student Center 5.105

(512) 245
-
2370

http://attorney.dos.txstate.edu/


Follow us on Facebook &

Twitter @ TXST_AFS



Overview

1.
What do you need in an apartment?

2.
How do you choose a new place?

3.
Lease


what is it, why does it matter

4.
Requesting repairs

5.
Common Problems

6.
Questions


Players in the Game


Tenant


you and your roommates



Landlord


owner of complex/house



Law


minimum requirements a landlord must obey



Lease


contract with terms and conditions



Security Deposit


money the landlord requires you to
pay before moving in; refundable at end of lease

CHOOSING A NEW HOME

What do you need? What do you want?

Budget


How much money will you have?


Loans, scholarships, grants


Parents


Other income



What will you need money for?


Rent


Application fee, Security Deposit


Pet fees


Estimate $250
-
$500 per pet


Electricity, Water, Gas, trash


Estimate $100
-
$150 each month for your share of the bills


Cable & Internet


Estimate $100 per month


Moving expenses


Food

Lease = Financial Obligation


Think of the full cost and not just monthly rent

12 months @ $450 per month = $5400

+ 12 months @ $100 utilities per month = $1200

+ 12 months @ $100 cable & internet = $1200

+ $250 security deposit & $50 application fee

TOTAL = $8100 yearly obligation



Monthly rent VS. Installment payments


Installments aren’t prorated and you owe money
BEFORE you move in or get financial aid awards

How long will you want to stay?


Will you need a full year?


Graduation


Study abroad


Summer internships, work opportunities



Can you break the lease if….


Leave school?


Graduate early?


Get married or divorced?


Lose a roommate?


Become ill?


Die?

NO!!!

2 Ways to Legally Break the Lease


Domestic Violence


Criminal charges filed


Protective order issued



Military leave


Active duty


Must be for longer than 90 days

Choose Roommates Carefully

Renting Together Agreement


Memorialize your agreement in writing


17 questions to consider/answer


Keep a copy!



Avoid future problems and disagreements



Free form on our website:
http
://attorney.dos.txstate.edu/



Amenities needed?


Bus routes, public transportation


Computer facility


Laundry


Stores in walking distance


Pet friendly


Handicap accessible

How do I compare places?


Research apartment complexes


Online review sites (apartments.com, rentals.com)


Go in person and look at each complex


Walk around, talk to people who live there



Request a copy of their lease


READ IT


Use a free app like LeaseLobster


Think it over for a few days

ACT Ally Members


ACT


Achieving Community Together


Ally Members


complexes and landlords that
signed a contract with the University and pledged
to treat students fairly and ethically


http://
www.lbjsc.txstate.edu/services/act



Texas State Housing Fair


February 2014


Win cash prizes and a flat screen TV

Today ONLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

$399.99 rent!
*


Sign up today for a FREE
ipod
!
*


$399.99 price only available for current calendar year, management
reserves right to cancel promotion at anytime without warning. Limit one
device per lease,
ipod

or comparable device
to be
provided to tenant after
one half o the lease has been completed,
tenant must pick up device at
time and place to be determined, management
reserves the right to
substitute comparably priced gadget for
ipod
, $99 processing fee
to be
applied at end of lease

I found a place!

Now what?

How do I start the lease process?


Fill out application


Keep a copy



Pay application fee or deposit (fees are non
-
refundable,
deposits
may
be returned)


Credit check


Criminal history check



Landlord has 7 days to accept or deny


If accepted, go back and sign the lease. Do not wait until the
day of move in to sign the contract.



Guarantor or Co
-
signer may be required


Will I need a co
-
signer?


Co
-
signer or Guarantor


LL doesn’t trust you to pay the rent because
you’re young and have little credit history to prove
that you can pay bills on time


Co
-
signer
or guarantor is a person who promises
to pay the landlord if anything goes
wrong


Even if it wasn’t
your

fault.


Be careful!


Landlord can make you pay but not let you stay if
you fail to provide a guarantor



THE LEASE

The most important document you’ll sign this year.

Leases


2 Types


Traditional Lease


You and your roommates are on the exact same lease. You are
100% responsible for yourself AND your roommates.


Bob and Joe sign a lease. Joe quits school in December and moves
back home with his parents.


Bob is now responsible for paying the ENTIRE rent or he will be
evicted.



Individual Lease


You rent one bedroom in a large apartment and share a
common living and kitchen area.


Bob signs a lease for bedroom A in a 3 bedroom unit. Joe and Tom are
assigned to be his roommates. Joe quits school in December and
moves home. Bob doesn’t have to worry about what Joe does.


The landlord can now move a new roommate into Joe’s old bedroom.

Things to Look for in all Leases


Rent and deposit amounts are accurate


Owner’s name and address provided


Emergency contact number


Sublease and early move out terms/conditions


Pest control
-

who is responsible?



Watch out for:


Non
-
refundable fees


Required cleaning or professional services


List of possible charges/fees


Sign the Lease.


Keep a copy!

Keep a copy!

Keep a copy!

Move In: More than just unpacking


Pick up the keys and
immediately inspect the
apartment


Take pictures of
everything


Better yet use an app like
RentRhino


Fill out inventory form
and turn in within 48
hours


Keep a copy!


Move Out: More than just repacking


Must give written move out notice


Lease should specify how many days (30, 60, etc.)


Keep a copy!



Clean everything!


Take pictures of your
clean
, empty apartment
apartment (
RentRhino
)


Ask landlord for walk
-
through



Turn in keys and give written forwarding address


Keep a copy!

Where’s my money?


If you gave written move out notice and a
forwarding address, the landlord must refund
your security deposit within 30 days



Forgot to give written move out notice?


You might lose your money


Forgot to give written forwarding address?


You might lose your money

REPAIRS & PROBLEMS

Put it in writing!

Problems in your apartment?

Which of these must the LL fix?


Loud train crossing keeps you up at night


Broken tanning beds or workout equipment


Shuttle bus stops running


Scuff marks on walls


Stained carpet


Broken dishwasher


Roaches or mice


Broken air conditioner

Health or Safety


“Material effect” on your health or safety



Inconvenient or ugly vs. health or safety


Crowded parking lot vs. Unlit parking garage


Noisy dishwasher vs. clogged sink drain



Seek the advice of an attorney

Requesting a Repair


Law requires that it be in writing AND mailed


Email does NOT count as writing or mailing



Texas law gives two
o
ptions


Send letter, wait 7 days. If no response, send letter again
and wait another 7 days.


OR, send first letter via certified mail with a return receipt.
If no response after 7 days, see a lawyer.



Landlord can require that you
ALSO

give them notice
via the web or email


Hence, you have to tell them twice.

How to Request a Repair


Type a letter


Address it to owner


Date it


Tell them what apartment you live in and what the
problem is, how long has the problem existed


Ask them to repair the problem within 7 days


Mail it with a STAMP (or certified with return receipt)



Keep a copy!


How will you prove that you sent a letter if you don’t
have a copy?

Making Repairs


Law says within 7 days of
notice

is reasonable
amount of time to
begin

repair


Each case is different and fact specific


Leaky toilet vs. Leaky roof


Professional landlord vs. Mom & Pop rental



Do I have to let the landlord fix it?


Yes. Law gives LL several chances to correct the
problem and maintain the lease.



Common Problems


Apartment not as pictured


Parking sucks


Landlord won’t call you back


Hate the roommate you were given


Roommate didn’t pay bill


Your boyfriend is
always

there


should you pay
more?


Rent a house. Does master bedroom pay more?


Roommate spent the
security deposit
check

Renting Houses in San Marcos


Single Family Ordinance


Houses in these areas cannot have more than 2
unrelated people living there


Landlord does NOT have to disclose this to you


City of San Marcos CAN force you to move

Technology to the Rescue!

Available on iPhone and Android

Questions?

Attorney for Students

LBJ Student Center 5.105

(512) 245
-
2370

http://attorney.dos.txstate.edu/


Follow us on Facebook &

Twitter @ TXST_AFS