Know the rules, don’t get burned

When you rent an apartment, you enter into a contract with your landlord, so it’s important that you understand all the terms and conditions of that contract.

Your landlord or an agent of your landlord will likely go over your lease with you at the time of your signing or have you read it before you sign. This is the best time to ask for clarification if there’s anything you’re not sure about. But this should not be the last time you ever look at your lease.

security deposit, lease
Knowing the ins and outs of your lease is key to saving you money and aggravation if any issues should arise.

You will receive a copy of your lease that, of course, you should keep on file in a safe place. When you first receive that copy, you should look it over and refresh yourself on the important points:

  • The amount of your rent, when it’s due, and how you are to pay and where you should send/bring it
  • Late fees, fees for bad checks, and other charges you could incur
  • What utilities are included in rent and what you need to pay yourself
  • The duration of the lease, especially the exact end date
  • Rules about renewing your lease and when you can expect to receive a renewal notice
  • Rules about ending your lease early in the event of a job transfer or other situation
  • Parking regulations
  • How to report maintenance issues and other concerns
  • What, if anything, your are responsible for by way of repairs (most commonly, renters are responsible for changing light bulbs and batteries in smoke detectors)
  • Your landlord’s contact information
  • Your exact address
  • Stipulations regarding your security deposit (when will it be returned, and what do you have to do when you move out to ensure its return)

Yes, some of these points are basic, but you’d be surprised what can slip your mind amidst the chaos of moving. Plus, if you give everything a second look right away, you’ll be more likely to remember it later on when things like renewing your lease become a more immediate concern. When you come across phone numbers for maintenance and your landlord’s office, save them in your phone and also write them down in an address book or save them in some other secondary location.

If you have a question for your landlord about something, take a moment to pull your lease out of its safe spot and see if anything written in it answers your question. If not, call your landlord and ask. If you’re even the least bit unsure about what your lease states about a certain issue, such as under what conditions you would be allowed to end the lease early, call your landlord for clarification and write yourself a note to attach to the lease for future reference. When you’re done, remember to put the lease back in its safe spot.

Knowing your lease is the key to having a good experience renting, so if it’s been a while since you looked at yours and you’re fuzzy on the terms, pull it out and give it a read.


Furry Tails: Dorothy Is Searching For A Good Home

CBS Pittsburgh

Are you looking to bring a pet into your home? Local animal shelters are a great place to find a furry companion. So, as part of Furry Tails, I’ll be doing an ongoing feature on adoptable pets from local animal shelters once a week. If you have room in your heart and are looking to bring a lovable ball of fur into your home, maybe one of these guys is meant to be a part of your family!


Animal Friends
If you’re looking for a fuzzy friend to cuddle with, follow the yellow brick road right to Animal Friends where Dorothy is waiting for her forever family!

Animal Friends says:
“There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.” Dorothy is a wonderful cat who would prefer a warm lap and some cuddling over chasing a ball any day. If you are looking for your soulmate, a…

View original post 83 more words

Furry Tails: Ranking The Top 50 Dog-Friendly Summer Road Trip Destinations

For all the dog owners living in a Prudential Realty Community: There are some excellent road trip destinations on this list that aren’t too far from Pittsburgh.

CBS Pittsburgh

Everyone associates the long Memorial Day weekend with the unofficial start of summer.

It’s a time to relax in the sunshine, get together with friends, fire up the grill, and most of all, give thanks to those who have served this great country we live in.

And now that we’re at the starting line of summer, it’s also time to think about those summertime road trip get-aways with the family.

But what if you don’t want to leave your furry family members behind? Well, there are some get places all around the United States that are pet-friendly spots.

And Milk Bone is ranking them.

They’ve just released “The Milk Bone All-American Doggy Road Trip Ranking,” and there’s a spot right here in Pennsylvania that makes the cut. And if you’re patriotic, it’d be perfect for you and your red, white and blue, pup.

Gettysburg National Military Park comes in at…

View original post 502 more words

Ornithologist: Peregrine Falcon Mom Being Attentive Despite Challenges With Newest Chick

CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A hawk flies above the crowd on a sunny afternoon at the National Aviary. After a five-year absence, eagles, owls and their kin have returned to the Rose Garden.

But this has not been a good year for raptors of the wild in southwestern Pennsylvania.

A pair of widely-watched eagle nests in Hays and Harmar will not produce any fledglings this year. And a recently hatched peregrine falcon chick, atop Pitt’s Cathedral of Learning, appears to be in trouble.

Aviary ornithologist Bob Mulvihill says the chick has trouble remaining upright.

“We don’t know exactly what it is,” he says, “but it’s clearly not behaving normally.”

It’s the 43rd chick hatched by 16-year-old Dorothy.

“Even she looks puzzled by the behaviors in this case,” Mulvihill adds. “But she’s been so attentive, both she and her mate have done just a tremendous job provisioning this chick, despite the challenges.”

View original post 101 more words