Apartments for Low Income

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Renting An Apartment Without A Lease

April 6, 2013

Steven asks…

What are the benefits of signing and apartment lease versus living lease-free?

I know some people that live in cheaper apartments without signing a lease. It seems like a big gamble to me. They could get evicted at any time for any reason. Would a loan officer (say for a future mortgage) look more favorably on those who rented with lease agreement, or do banks even care as long as you have income?

Administrator answers:

Personally, I would opt for the month to month. Its true that you have to worry about increases, but most landlords are also aware that every time they change tenants, they incur a cost of lost rent and repairs. So, unless your rent is artifically low, you should not have to worry about increases.

On the plus side, you can leave whenever you want without worrying about having to complete the terms of a lease (or breaking the lease and losing your deposit)

And, none of it matters to a bank in regard to a mortgage

Michael asks…

Can I break my apartment lease in Ohio if I am buying a home?

My husband and I are currently renting an apartment and recently went under contract to buy our first home. Can we break our lease without penalty because we are buying a home?

Administrator answers:

No way, you willbe responsible for both your lease and your mortgage…good luck

Linda asks…

How can I break an apartment lease due to domestic violence issues?

I live with my mom and brother in an apartment that my mom is renting from the owner (not the association). I recently got out of an abusive relationship and we would like to move someplace else because my ex-boyfriend lives very close to our apartment and we no longer feel safe. I would prefer not to file for a restraining order unless it is extremely necessary to expedite the move to another place. Would it be possible for my mother to break the apartment lease without being penalized? The lease is until January so we only have 4 months left. If anyone knows please answer I would like to know what my options are.
UPDATE: I filed for a restraining order this morning. I have a little more peace of mind but its going to take a few days for him to be served. I still just don’t feel comfortable being here anymore, I don’t want to stay somewhere else alone and leave my family here when their safety could be at risk as well. I am going to try to look for a new place and I will have my mom contact the apartment owner and a realtor as soon as possible. Thank you everyone for your answers they all helped me out a lot!

Administrator answers:

None of this effects your lease at all. She can move, but she will still need to pay the rent as agreed.

John asks…

Renting without a lease?

I just rented a new apartment that i love and for a great price. The landlord didn’t require a lease, so I’m living on a month to month basis, but he implied he’d prefer a long term tenant. The apartment is DEFINITELY a fixer-upper , but i said i was happy to do it because I love the location and the rent is reasonable. Anyway, I just put 1200 into the place just in professional painting and new light fixtures and such. I’m very excited about the improvements and the place looks 100 times better. I suddenly got worried that without a lease, the landlord could evict me with no reason and now (because of my improvements) charge a higher rent to someone else. Is there anything I can do to keep myself and my investment safe? Thanks!
P.S. I live in Toronto Ontario :)
Sorry, maybe i should have mentioned, by fixer-upper i meant by MY standards. ie: there was no peeling paint or mold or anything, it was simply kind of drab and out-dated. It was MY choice to give the place a make-over. I just dont want to see all my hard work go out the window because he decides its now worth more than i’m paying…

Administrator answers:

Sorry- but that is the risks you take by accepting a month to month.

Since the improvements were your choice and not necessary- that does not give you any extra leverage. Just relax, and enjoy your house until he gives you any reason to worry.

Robert asks…

Security deposit check given without signed lease?

I was recently interested in renting an apartment and submitted an application. I was approved and thereafter handed the landlords a security deposit check for a month and a half rent. I have not signed a formal lease agreement yet. I have now come across a better apartment that I am interested in renting. Can I back out of the first apartment without legal consequences or am I bound to hand over some money since I gave them the security deposit check already?

Administrator answers:

If you have not signed a lease you can probably back out of the deal but you will most likely lose some if not all of the deposit. Typically if you apply, get approved and then pay the deposit, they assume you are moving forward with the deal and are most likley entitled to liqidated damages as a result of you “backing out” of the deal. Look at the app you filled out, it should state what is refundable and what is not should you fail to take posession.

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