It may be tempting to not read your lease fully before signing, but you could be missing important information in a legally binding contract that may harm you later. With many students preparing to sign a lease for next year’s housing, here are some things to know from Off-Campus Housing & Neighborhood Relations.
Types of leases
If you choose to live with roommates, make sure you know if you have an individual lease or a joint and several liability lease. With an individual lease, you are only responsible for your rent and any damages you or your guests cause.
The most common type of lease is a joint and several liability lease, where you and your roommates are jointly responsible for paying rent in full and any damages caused. In other words, you are responsible for your roommate’s share of the rent if they decide to stop paying. While we often don’t anticipate this scenario, it’s worthwhile to consider what could happen if your roommate is unable to pay their share of the rent.
Know your responsibilities
Depending on your property manager and lease agreement, you might be responsible for lawn maintenance and snow removal at your off-campus residence. It’s important to know what requirements are in your lease and communicate with your landlord about your responsibilities as a tenant. If you fail to comply with lawn maintenance and snow removal policies, you could be at risk for fines and tickets depending on ordinances for your city.
If you are responsible for lawn maintenance and snow removal in Boulder, here are a few things you should know:
- Weeds and grass must be cut to less than 12 inches high at all times.
- Snowfall must be cleared from the full width of your sidewalks within 24 hours of snowfall occurring.
Communicate with your roommate(s) about travel plans to ensure someone will be around to take on these responsibilities.
Have your lease reviewed
All currently enrolled fee-paying students have access to free legal advice. If you are already in the process of signing a lease, set up an appointment with the Off-Campus Housing & Neighborhood Relations staff attorney for a free lease review.