- READ THE WHOLE LEASE, Rules and Regulations.
- SLOW DOWN! - Take time to read and understand the entire agreement; pay particular attention to charges for rent, utilities - heat, water, electric, internet (speed, Wi-Fi), TV (cable, satellite), parking.
- SEEK LEGAL ADVICE before signing - Student Legal Services offers free legal advice to students.
- ROOMMATES - If renting with others, understand joint and several liability (the concept of having shared responsibility with others while also being individually responsible for the entire obligation). If preferable, ask for a separate lease.
- ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT (new paint, carpets, appliances, etc.)
- Get All agreements, PROMISES, & changes in Writing - obtain and keep copies of all pertinent documents/records.
- MOVE IN - To document condition of property, do Inspection Report. Deliver copy to landlord, keep copy. Take pictures/video.
- REVIEW LEASE FROM TIME TO TIME - Avoid unpleasant surprises (e.g., Notice of Termination to Landlord 30 or 60 days before end of lease)
- RETURN OF DEPOSIT - Give landlord written Notice of Forwarding Address/Delivery Instructions, get receipt.
- SEE RULE # 1.
Resource for Landlord and Tenant Law in Iowa:
Chapter 562A Iowa Code, Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Law
Chapter 13 Rental Housing, Ames Municipal Code