Oasis at Riverlights

9 Crucial Points To Understand Before Signing a Moving Contract

9 Crucial Points To Understand Before Signing a Moving Contract

9 Crucial Points To Understand Before Signing a Moving Contract


Moving to a new place is an adventure, and the lease or moving contract is a map of sorts, guiding you through the fine print of your residency. It's common to be overwhelmed by the excitement of a new home or the thought of a major relocation. However, before you put your pen to paper, there are vital details you must grasp when it comes to your moving contract. Here are the 9 essential points everyone planning a move should be aware of:


1. Lease Term and Renewal

Understanding the length of your lease is crucial, as it determines how long you'll be committed to your landlord. Leases can vary from a few months to several years, but the most common lengths for an apartment lease are twelve months. Ensure you're clear on the exact start and end dates of your lease and the terms for renewal. Will your lease automatically extend on a month-to-month basis, or do you need to give notice to renew?

2. Rent Amount and Due Date

The rent amount is the cost of having a roof over your head. It's vital to clarify when your rent is due and the method of payment the landlord prefers. Do you have a grace period after the due date? Is there an acceptable online payment option, or do you need to mail a check? Ask these questions before signing to avoid any surprises that could lead to late fees or a breach of contract.

3. Security Deposit and Pet Fees

Most leases require a security deposit upfront, which is refundable under certain conditions. There might also be non-refundable fees, such as pet deposits or cleaning fees. Know the exact amounts for each and what they cover. By understanding the financial aspects of your moving contract, you can budget appropriately and ensure you're not overpaying for your living arrangements.

4. Timeline for Maintenance Requests

Timely maintenance can make or break your living experience. In the hustle of moving, you might forget to ask about this essential service. Your lease should outline a clear timeline for the landlord to respond to maintenance requests. This is your right as a tenant and can significantly improve your satisfaction with your new home.

5. Sublease and Roommate Policies

Life circumstances can change, and with them, your need for space. Familiarize yourself with the rules regarding subleasing or having roommates. Is it allowed, or must all occupants be listed on the lease? There might be additional paperwork or background checks required, so it's best to be aware of these stipulations upfront.

6. Policies on Property Alterations

Want to turn your apartment into a personal oasis? That's great, but make sure you know the policies before you get the toolkit out. Some landlords have strict rules on what you can change, from painting walls to curtains and even the type of furniture. It's wise to discuss these guidelines with your landlord to avoid any misunderstandings down the line.

7. Utilities and Included Services

Understanding which utilities are your responsibility and which are covered by the landlord is critical for budgeting. Sometimes, services like internet or cable are included as part of a leasing package. Make sure these are clearly outlined in your contract, and if not, discuss and get the arrangements in writing.

8. Noise and Disturbance Policies

Peace is essential for a comfortable living environment. Ask about the noise and disturbance policies in the area. What are the quiet hours, and how are complaints and conflicts addressed? This could have a significant impact on your living experience and should not be overlooked.

9. Early Termination Clause

Circumstances can change suddenly, and you might need to vacate the premises before your lease is up. Inquire about the early termination clause in your lease. What are the conditions and penalties associated with breaking your lease? Knowing these terms can save you from unexpected financial burdens down the road.


Ensuring you understand and agree to these crucial points will not only protect your interests but also help you start your new chapter on the right foot. Remember, your lease is a legal document, and it's always best to read the fine print to make an informed decision. With these tips in mind, you're equipped with the knowledge you need to make the moving process as smooth as possible.

If you're one of the many looking for apartments for rent in Wilmington, NC and now feel ready to tackle these important conversations with landlords, reach out to us at Oasis at Riverlights to secure your new home!

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