Some of the Terms in Houses for Rent Ads That You Should Learn
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Some of the Terms in Houses for Rent Ads Are Confusing. What Are Some That I Should Know?
It is important to learn as much about the “language” of apartments and houses for rent as possible. Knowledge is power and often the more of one you have, the more of the other you get. While the full language of real estate can sometimes be daunting, there are some basic terms that will help you understand the words and phrases that you often see in newspaper and Internet homes for rent notices. Here are some that could help you.
The above-listed tip is for informational use only. Always read entire specific documents and language before executing any contract or agreement.
- Rent and/or lease. These terms have little differentiation in true definition, but are often used in apartment and house ads a bit differently. When you search for rental homes that are for “lease,” the landlord is sometimes looking for a longer term of occupancy than stating that the house is for “rent.” Rent can be used to refer to a shorter occupancy term, as in “month-to-month” oral or written agreements, which typically automatically renew every month until one party or the other (landlord or tenant) decides to terminate the arrangement. Lease often refers to written agreements designed to last longer than one year.
- Sublease. If the ad notes that this property is a sublease or being "sublet," it typically means you will be renting the home from another renter who cannot or will not complete the terms of his/her existing lease agreement. The owner/landlord, through the terms in the original lease or in another agreement, has allowed the current renter to re-lease the property to another. Make sure you get a copy of the original lease agreement since you will also be bound by the terms in this contract.
- Loft. Very popular in the 21st century, lofts can be wonderful, but they are not for everyone. Originally designed for the conversion of older mill or manufacturing buildings, they are now being constructed from the ground up in many areas. Tending to have high ceilings and large windows, they can be spectacular. However, they typically have a totally open floor plan without traditional “rooms,” with areas being defined as living, kitchen, bedroom, etc. by placement of furniture. This layout can suit single or “couples” renters to perfection. A family with children, however, may not find it useful.
- Duplex. Depending on the location, when you find a home that is a duplex, it may mean two residences with one common wall attached side-by-side. It may also mean the houses for rent are stacked on top of each other, often called a “two-family.” You may also see the term “triplex” or even “fourplex,” which define the number of attached homes for rent.
- Rent-to-own (lease option to purchase). When you see this term, the landlord wants to sell his/her property. When you search for rental homes and see this phrase, there will typically be a rental price and an additional amount that will be applied to your “down payment” for a future purchase of the property. Should you be interested in this home, be aware the agreement will normally be somewhat more complex than a standard lease arrangement. The agreement will typically include purchase language and other terms of the application of a percentage of the rent you pay that will go toward your down payment.