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What You Need to Know Before Signing a Lease

  1. The Lease is More Important than People Think
  2. Read the Lease Before You Move
  3. It's Ok To Negotiate
  4. Not All Leases Are Created Equal
  5. Ask About Personalizing the Property 
  6. Policies Regarding Pets
  7. Automated Lease Renewals 
  8. Utilities 
  9. Late Fees
  10. Maintenance and Upkeep 
  11. Getting Out of the Lease


Before Signing a Lease

1. The Lease is More Important than People Think

  • A lot of people are so caught up in the excitement of getting a fresh set of keys to their new home that they skip through the lease signing process. Many first-time lessees don’t even read what they are signing, and simply assume that they are signing a lease with basic terms. Unfortunately, there are a lot of landlords who are not pure-hearted and will try to scam the tenant any way they can to make an extra buck. Whether you are signing your first lease or your fifth, there are some things that are critical to know when providing your signature on the dotted line.

2. Read the Lease Before You Move

  • We know how long it may take to read through a pages-long lease, but no matter how long or boring it is, you have to read it before you sign. There is little sense in reading it after you have signed because you will only be reading over what you already agreed to. At this point, it’s too late to go back. Before signing, you should most definitely look over all the terms, and don’t be shy. If something is confusing or unclear, make it be known to your landlord. If you have a lawyer that you would like to look over the lease before giving your signature, you may ask for a copy from the landlord.

3. It’s Okay to Negotiate

  • A lease always has some room for negotiations. If you would like a change in terms, or to make a compromise on something that is not entirely appealing to you on the lease, don’t be afraid to talk to the landlord about it. Make sure that any changes or agreements that are made are also noted on the lease. Just verbally agreeing to something will prove to be useless should a dispute arise in the future.

4. Not All Leases Are Created Equal

  • Never make the assumption that the lease in your current home will be the same as the one you are about to sign. It will most likely not bear the lease bit of resemblance to the lease you are currently a part of. A lot of landlords will just use one of the many leases that can be found online, and some won’t even bother to read it before issuing it to you.

5. Ask About Personalizing the Property

  • Even if there is nothing restricting it in the lease, it may not be okay for you to do any kind of customizations within the property. If you want to paint a room or install a light fixture, be sure to get written consent from your landlord prior to beginning any renovations. Has the consent written into your lease?

6. Policies Regarding Pets

  • If you plan on bringing a pet to your new home, or if you want to get a pet after you move, be sure to look over the lease carefully for any clauses regarding pets. Even though your landlord might have said that it is okay to have pets, the lease may specify that it is only okay to have dogs less than 30 pounds, or no cats or snakes, etc… It is better to be informed of what is allowed from the start than to have to pay later. Often times, there are also certain breeds of dog that are frowned upon by landlords. Be sure to get all of these terms clear before move in.

7. Automated Lease Renewal

  • Depending on the lease, there may be a clause that states the lease will renew automatically after it comes to an end. If this is not something in your lease, but you would like it to be, talk to your landlord.

8. Utilities

  • Your lease may say that you are expected to pay for certain utilities, while others are included in your rent. Or maybe, you have to pay for all of them. Or none of them are included. This depends on the kind of lease you have. Like everything we have mentioned, be sure to read the lease to find this information.

9. Late Fee

  • You may assume that you have a five or ten day period for getting your rent to the landlord. However, we have made it more than clear that assumptions are dangerous when it comes to committing to a lease.

10. Maintenance and Upkeep

  • A lot of people leasing a new home assume that all repairs will be the sole responsibility of the landlord. However, there are some circumstances that say you are responsible for the first hundred dollars in repair costs. Or, if you are leasing a home, you may be responsible for the gardening fees.

11. Getting Out of the Lease

  • Make sure you are completely familiar with the part of your lease that discusses what happens if you need to break the lease. Maybe you have to relocate for a new job or to join the armed forces. In any case, see what your options are. Ask about subletting if it is not already mentioned.

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Did You Know

Question

The trucking industry has made a large historical impact since the early 20th century. It has affected the U.S. both politically as well as economically since the notion has begun. Previous to the invention of automobiles, most freight was moved by train or horse-drawn carriage. Trucks were first exclusively used by the military during World War I.
 
After the war, construction of paved roads increased. As a result, trucking began to achieve significant popularity by the 1930's. Soon after trucking became subject to various government regulation, such as the hours of service. During the later 1950's and 1960's, trucking accelerated due to the construction of the Interstate Highway System. The Interstate Highway System is an extensive network of freeways linking major cities cross country.

Question The decade of the 70s saw the heyday of truck driving, and the dramatic rise in the popularity of "trucker culture". Truck drivers were romanticized as modern-day cowboys and outlaws (and this stereotype persists even today). This was due in part to their use of citizens' band (CB) radio to relay information to each other regarding the locations of police officers and transportation authorities. Plaid shirts, trucker hats, CB radios, and using CB slang were popular not just with drivers but among the general public.

Question With the partial deregulation of the trucking industry in 1980 by the Motor Carrier Act, trucking companies increased. The workforce was drastically de-unionized. As a result, drivers received a lower pay overall. Losing its spotlight in the popular culture, trucking had become less intimate as some unspoken competition broke out. However, the deregulation only increased the competition and productivity with the trucking industry as a whole. This was beneficial to the America consumer by reducing costs. In 1982 the Surface Transportation Assistance Act established a federal minimum truck weight limits. Thus, trucks were finally standardized truck size and weight limits across the country. This was also put in to place so that across country traffic on the Interstate Highways resolved the issue of the 'barrier states'.

Question “ The first original song about truck driving appeared in 1939 when Cliff Bruner and His Boys recorded Ted Daffan's "Truck Driver's Blues," a song explicitly marketed to roadside cafe owners who were installing juke boxes in record numbers to serve truckers and other motorists.” - Shane Hamilton

Question In 1999, The Simpsons episode Maximum Homerdrive aired. It featured Homer and Bart making a delivery for a truck driver named Red after he unexpectedly dies of 'food poisoning'.

Question

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As with many things in Europe and Asia, the illusion of delicacy and proper manners always seems to attract tourists. Popular in Europe and Asia, mini trucks are factory redesigns of light automobiles with monochrome bodies. Such specialized designs with such great frames such as the Italian Piaggio, based upon Japanese designs. In this case it was based upon Japanese designs made by Daihatsu. These are very popular for use in "old town" sections of European cities, which often have very narrow alleyways. Despite whatever name they are called, these very light trucks serve a wide variety of purposes.
 
Yet, in Japan they are regulated under the Kei car laws, which allow vehicle owners a break in taxes for buying a small and less-powerful vehicle. Currently, the engine is limited to 660 cc [0.66L] displacement. These vehicles began being used as on-road utility vehicles in Japan. Classified as a low speed vehicle, these Japanese-made mini trucks were manufactured for on-road use for competing the the off-road ATVs in the United States. Import regulations require that the mini trucks have a 25 mph (40km/h) speed governor. Again, this is because they are low speed vehicles.
 
However, these vehicles have found numerous amounts of ways to help the community. They invest money into the government, universities, amusement parks, and replacements for golf cars. They have some major Japanese mini truck manufacturarers as well as brands such as: Daihatsu Hijet, Honda Acty, Mazda Scrum, Mitsubishit Minicab, Subaru Sambar, and Suzuki Carry.

Question Medium trucks are larger than light but smaller than heavy trucks. In the US, they are defined as weighing between 13,000 and 33,000 pounds (6,000 and 15,000 kg). For the UK and the EU, the weight is between 3.5 and 7.5 tons (3.9 and 8.3 tons). Local delivery and public service (dump trucks, garbage trucks, and fire-fighting trucks) are around this size.

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Question The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is an agency within the United States Department of Transportation. The purpose of the FMCSA is to regulate safety within the trucking and moving industry in the United States. The FMCSA enforces safety precautions that reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.

Question

In 1938, the now-eliminated Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) enforced the first Hours of Service (HOS) rules. Drivers became limited to 12 hours of work within a 15-hour period. At this time, work included loading, unloading, driving, handling freight, preparing reports, preparing vehicles for service, or performing any other duty in relation to the transportation of passengers or property.
 
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Question The definition of business logistics can be difficult to understand. Logistics can be simply put as a means of management that plans, implements, and controls the efficiency of the business. The notion of business logistics incorporates all sectors of the industry. It is used as a means to manage the fruition of project life cycles, supply chains, and resultant efficiency.

Question

As the American Interstate Highway System began to expand in the 1950's, the trucking industry began to take over a large market share. That is, a large share of the transportation of goods throughout the country. Before this era, trains had been relied on to transport the bulk of the goods cross country or state to state. The Interstate Highway System was influential as it allows for merchandise to travel door to door with ease. Since then, truckload carriers have taken advantage of the interstate system, especially when performing a long distance move. Typically, they bring the merchandise from one distribution center of the country to another part of the country. The increase in truckload freight transportation has reduced the time it takes to transport the goods. Whether the freight was manufactured or produced for the different areas internationally, the time it takes to transport goods has decreased dramatically.
 

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Question The most basic purpose of a trailer jack is to lift the trailer to a height that allows the trailer to hitch or unhitch to and from the towing vehicle. Trailer jacks may also be used for the leveling of the trailer during storage. To list a few common types of trailer jacks are A-frame jacks, swivel jacks, and drop-leg jacks. Other trailers, such as horse trailers, have a built-in jack at the tongue for this purpose.

Question In today's popular culture, recreational vehicles struggle to find their own niche. Travel trailers or mobile home with limited living facilities, or where people can camp or stay have been referred to as trailers. Previously, many would refer to such vehicles as towable trailers.

Question The American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) is a non-profit trade association. AMSA represents members of the professional moving industry primarily based in the United States. The association consists of approximately 4,000 members. They consist of van lines, their agents, independent movers, forwarders, and industry suppliers. However, AMSA does not represent the self-storage industry.

Question Moving companies that operate within the borders of a particular state are usually regulated by the state DOT. Sometimes the public utility commission in that state will take care of it. This only applies to some of the U.S. states such as in California (California Public Utilities Commission) or Texas (Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. However, no matter what state you are in it is always best to make sure you are compliant with that state