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How the Lease Signing Process Works for Rental Homes

February 21, 2024
How does the lease agreement process work for rental homes?

Signing the lease to your new rental home is exciting, and represents a milestone achievement in one’s life! Although, the process follows multiple steps. It can be an intimidating and grueling process when one is unsure of what to do. So how does the lease signing process work when signing your new rental home

What Is a Lease? 

A lease is a written contract between a tenant, the renter, and the landlord, or owner of the residence. The lease clearly states the rules and conditions the renter must follow while lodging inside the rental property; it is meant to answer and address all concerns. 

The leasing contract is altered to fit each house’s circumstances and renter’s needs, while also meeting the set rules and regulations of the landlord. Both parties have the right to negotiate the terms of the lease before signing and entering the start of the lease. In Texas, landlords are required to provide a copy of the lease within 48 hours of the lease being signed by the tenant. It is best to save a copy of the lease to be able to refer to the terms and conditions both sides have agreed upon. 

What Does Signing a Rental Home Lease in Texas Entail? 

Each lease signing process is different depending on where you choose to lodge. It always begins with selecting the property or community you want to live in. When selecting which rental property to live in, ask yourself: ‘Do I want to live inside a community or a traditional rental house?’ Answering this question will help you decide if living inside a community with amenities or inside a stand-alone house is right for you. It is also important to consider your needs while making this decision. Some factors to consider are the cost of rent, the commute time to work or school, and whether it includes the amenities you want.

After you have decided which rental property or community fits your needs, complete the application form. The application is not legally binding the way signing the lease is. In fact, it is perfectly acceptable to decide the home is not right for your needs after completing the application. For each of HomeSite’s communities, all applications have a fee of $50.00. A Texas rental home application will ask questions centered around few key factors. 

  • Income: Tenants are required to have a consistent income that can be proven with bank statements or paycheck stubs. Gross income, meaning total household income must equal at least three times the monthly rent.
  • Credit Score: Credit score will determine if the tenant will be approved for the rental home. To be approved for a rental home in Texas, a credit score should at least reach between 525 and 600. Landlords may also use the tenant’s current credit score to determine if they are responsible and will pay bills timely. 
  • Criminal Background Check: The tenant must agree to a criminal background check to be approved for housing. The landlord does this to verify the tenant is not a convicted felon or prone to destroying property. 

What Do I Need to Take Away From Reading the Lease? 

It is important to read each section of the lease! This may sound like an obvious task, but it is important to read the lease prior to signing because a signature is an agreement to the listed terms. The lease will have various components that will require signatures throughout, and often one per page to acknowledge the page has been examined and understood by the renter. There’s no minimum or maximum to rules and conditions inside of a lease. Pay close attention to these sections within the lease: 

  • Rent and Fees: This section outlines the monthly cost of rent, the repercussions of late fees, and other dues like the security deposit or move-in fees. It may also include how much rent will be if you renew your lease for a second term. 
  • Early Termination: This section will explain what is to be expected of the renter if they were to end the lease prior to the end date. No one plans for their plans to change unexpectedly, but it is important to be prepared if a situation that requires relocation happens. There may be a fee for leaving early, or you may be required to pay the remaining rent in full. 
  • Maintenance and Utilities: The section outlines how renters should request maintenance and repairs, along with anything the renter is responsible for repairing and what the tenant can change inside the rental home. This portion should also clearly outline any other responsibilities the renter needs to abide by. 

I Signed the Rental Lease! What’s the Next Step?

Get ready to move into your new home! Depending on where you have selected to live, you may be required to complete a few additional final steps. This may include tasks like registering your car for parking, paying a pet deposit, and more. 

Explore HomeSite’s Rental Homes! 

Our communities include a wide selection of varying floor plans inside beautifully built, new single-family homes and townhomes. Discover the joys of community living inside a private luxury home and sign your next lease with HomeSite! Contact us today to get started! 

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