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How to Lease an Apartment in the USA
by Toulas Scorpento
http://www.firmaleasing.com

One of the most exciting experiences one can have is
moving from one country to another, but it is also the
most confusing. People who have emigrated to the United
States from another country will love to tell you about
their adventures when they moved to America. They know
to expect to experience trepidation and insecurity as they
pursue the promise of freedom and opportunity, and as they
try to blend into a foreign land. But to have to find a
suitable place to live is a problem.Something like this may
come easily to the rest of us, but not for new arrivals.

If you~re new to the U.S.A., or are planning to relocate in
the near future, and are looking into leasing an
apartment, there are some terms and procedures that you~ll
need to acquaint yourself with. The owner of the property,
to which you~ll be paying a monthly fee (referred to as
~rent~) is known as the ~landlord~. This is the person to
whom you~ll report any problems or concerns, or approach
with any questions that you may have regarding your lease,
the property or anything that~s related to your living
experience which is directly or indirectly impacted by the
property itself.

Before he will rent an apartment to you, a landlord, will
want to know your social security number and proof of
employment. In place of the social security number, you
can probably use your visa, and most landlords will accept
a pay stub to prove that you have a job. A landlord will
not rent to you unless you can provide a co-signer, if you
are unemployed. A co-signer accepts responsibility for the
payment of your rent each month if you can't pay it. Many
properties also require an application fee. This policy
will vary from property to property, as will the fee.

Depending on the property and the landlord's rules, leases
are offered for set periods of time. The majority of leases
are for one year. Landlords don't want to go through all
the trouble of renting out every couple of months. But six
month lease periods do exist. A lease requires you to
stay in the apartment for the term of the lease. Understand
all of the fees that are related to the lease and be sure
you are clear on the terms of your lease. Remember that
a landlord is not obligated to renew your lease. If you
find a nice, reasonable place, try to have as long a lease
as possible. First find out if there are any penalties for
breaking your lease. If you are transferred out of the
area, or change your marital status, for instance, you may
be stuck if you signed a long lease. Unless the apartment
is rented again, you may have to pay part of the balance
of the lease or the rent.

Sometimes, utilities are included in the cost of the lease,
but not always, since each lease is different. Be sure you
calculate the cost of utilities into your living expenses,
if this is not the case Utilities are gas, electricity,
phone service, cable TV service, hot water, heat, air
conditioning and other such services outside the actual
apartment lease. Before they will connect you to the
utility, most utility companies will require a deposit.The
deposit can be seized if you do not make your monthly
payment for the service, and if these monthly payments are
not made they will cut off service. Make sure you calculate
your total living expenses, including utilities to make
sure you are able to pay for each of these items. You might
consider the option of a roommate, if you cannot. This is
another person who lives with you and shares expenses.

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