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BBB Advice on Leasing an Apartment or House
Released: Sunday June 17, 2012 (Calgary, AB) - BBB
Every year the BBB gets frequent complaints from consumers who tried to lease an apartment or house and had a bad experience.
"Your BBB recommends doing their research before renting your next home," said Sandra Crozier-McKee, president and CEO of BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenays. "The more documentation and contracts you have to look back on the more you can fight back if something goes wrong."
Here are a few tips on what you should do before leasing a new home:
Is the problem greater with apartments or houses?
- There tend to be fewer problems with larger apartment complexes that are owned and managed by big companies. They will have standard contracts and other procedures that reduce the possibility of a misunderstanding. However, some are better than others.
- Problems occur more frequently with very small complexes or single-family homes rented by homeowners.
What advice does the BBB offer?
- Get everything in writing - cost, lease term, the amount of any security deposit and when it may not be refundable, and so forth.
- Never sign a contract that has any blank spaces or that is filled out in pencil.
- Pay the deposit with a credit card if possible or at least a cheque. Try never to pay cash. Get and keep receipts.
- Inspect the apartment or house before leasing it.
- Understand who is responsible for major and minor repairs - arranging for them to be done and paying for them.
- If moving to a new town, check out the neighborhood with the police department and other community agencies.
- Check out the complex owner or leasing company with the BBB at http://www.calgary.bbb.org.