To Sign or Not To Sign: A Guide to Leases

Red Bricks

London Property Corp have lent their support to VIVIFY 2015, but they are also aware that we as students need support when signing a lease.

LPC owns the well-known “Red Brick” buildings near and around campus, and are well tuned into what students want in an apartment – which is probably why they’re almost always the first to be rented out. From spacious living rooms to cozy bedrooms, LPC truly has the comforts of home right here in London. So now that you’ve found the perfect place, what’s next? A lease can be daunting but hopefully our Do’s and Don’t’s help you navigate through it:

Do

Get it in writing
No matter how small the renovation or fix, getting it in writing will help you avoid any difficult situations in the future. Make sure it is included as part of the lease before anyone signs it.

Take your time
Do not let anyone pressure you into signing a lease, whether it be a landlord or your future housemates. A lease is a big commitment but it can easily become a big mistake.

Talk it out
Make sure everyone signing the lease is on the same page. Is the rent reasonable for everyone’s budget? Does anyone plan on going on exchange halfway through the year? Roommate agreements aren’t a thing of residence’s past, they are very valuable when moving into a house as well.

Have your lease reviewed by Western’s Housing Mediation Service
London Property Corp has been managing student rentals for years, but it is still valuable to get a second opinion. A lease review will help clarify which sections of the lease do not apply if they counter the Residential Tenancies Act. The service can be found on campus in Room 3C1, Ontario Hall, or you can e-mail them at housing.mediation.service@uwo.ca.

Check out Western’s Off-Campus Housing Service
This website has everything from listings to FAQ’s, and is a great place to start before signing a lease.

Don’t

Sign right away
Make sure you have a chance to visit your future home and negotiate any repairs before signing the lease.

Ask for repairs after the lease has been signed
Depending on your landlord, this could start the relationship on a bumpy path if you didn’t get anything in writing first.

Wait until the last minute
Most rentals near and around campus fill up really fast, so it’s important to actively start looking in the beginning of second semester or earlier.

Sign a lease you can’t afford
Your expenses are only going to go up from here, make sure your rent has enough breathing room for you to be able to afford other things like groceries and social activities.

For all our friends signing a lease, best of luck!

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