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…

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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…

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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.”

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Must See Pittsburgh Attractions For Out Of Towners And Guests

CBS Pittsburgh

*This article is sponsored by Kennywood*

Pittsburgh has long been known for its more than 440 bridges, innovative manufacturing and production, affordable living and championship sports teams; but this former steel town has so much more to offer. From one of the best classic amusement parks in the country to unique ways to see the city and unmatched sports venues, Pittsburgh truly has something for everyone. Check out all the Steel City has to offer at these must-see Pittsburgh attractions for out-of-towners and guests.

(Credit: Courtesy of Kennywood)


Take a trip back in time at Kennywood, one of the country’s most popular and long-standing traditional amusement parks located in Pittsburgh’s West Mifflin area. Despite undergoing countless transformations since first opening in 1898, Kennywood has delicately persevered its park history and traditions, while successfully incorporating 21st century additions and upgrades to its rides and character. Over 31 major…

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10 Great Local Pittsburgh Values

CBS Pittsburgh

*This article is sponsored by Kennywood*

Finding affordable, family friendly fun in Pittsburgh doesn’t have to break the bank. The city offers endless entertainment at many of its top local attractions, all at unbeatable prices. The secret to saving lies in knowing where to find the best values. From affordable ways to beat the heat to deals on fun in the sun, there are plenty of places to get away without ever leaving the city. If you’re looking for an inexpensive staycation or day trip, check out these 10 great local values you can score right here in Pittsburgh.

(Credit: Courtesy of Kennywood)


Kennywood, one of America’s oldest traditional amusement parks, has been a Pittsburgh favorite since the park first opened in 1898. Unlike its larger counterparts located throughout the country, Kennywood offers one of the city’s best values thanks to its variety of special discounts, senior…

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Best Activity Ideas For Young Kids In Pittsburgh

CBS Pittsburgh

*This article is sponsored by Kennywood*

If you’re new to the area, or are a lifelong Pittsburgher, chances are you have kids, and want to have fun with said kids. Sure, all of the usual go-to kid pleasers are great – the zoo, the aviary, playgrounds, the Science Center – but try your hand at one of these fun, off-the-beaten-path ideas to engage the little guys in a completely different way.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Penny Arcade Comedy 
Arcade Comedy Theater
811 Liberty Ave.
Pittsburgh PA 15222
(412) 339-0608

The Arcade Comedy group offers a fun, kid-friendly improv comedy show for families on the second Saturday of every month. Before the troupe takes the stage, the audience participates in collaboration stations which utilize crafts and literary prompts to help produce ideas that are used in the show. After every show there is an option to meet the cast and play improv games…

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