Finding Your Perfect Vacation Home

Five Possible Ways to Get Out of Your Lease

There are numerous reasons for wanting to get out of your lease, maybe you found the perfect apartment that rents in another area of town or maybe your work is moving you across the state. No matter why you may need to get out of your lease, it can be difficult to do just that. Although it can be tricky, you have numerous options you might not know about that are perfectly legal ways to end your lease.

Find Someone to Take Over Your Lease

Finding someone to take over your lease is different than subletting. With a sublet, you still carry the burden of the lease ownership, while another person simply pays you for time spent in the apartment, which you, theoretically, would pass on to your landlord.

Finding someone to take over your lease, however, is a phenomenon in which you transfer ownership of the lease to another person. Not all landlords accept this, and in some cities, this is in fact an illegal activity. However, if it is legal you can find another occupant to sign on as the leaseholder, releasing you of your responsibility.

Is Your Landlord Fulfilling the Duties Required of the Lease?

Whenever you sign a lease, remember that it is legally binding; this means that, on the landlord’s end, there are certain legalities that she or he must adhere to, as well. If there are violations of habitability or safety to which your landlord has not adhered, you may be eligible to end your lease early. For example, if there are any safety or hygienic hazards that your landlord has not fixed in a reasonable amount of time, you may have legal recourse to end your lease early.

Check to See if Your Lease Is Month-to-Month

Although most people simply assume that their lease exists on a year or two year long basis, there are many cases where people have discovered that their lease exists on a month-to-month basis. If you have a month-to-month lease, you may leave the premises at any time, save that your rent has been paid for the month that you are currently living there. It is good form to inform your landlord a month ahead of when you will be leaving the apartment, although it is usually not a legal necessity.

Your Situation May Allow You to Terminate a Lease Early

Depending on your situation, you may very well be able to terminate a lease earlier than expected. For example, military personnel that are going to go on active duty for 90 days or more are able to terminate their lease in accordance with the Service members Civil Relief Act (SCRA). Similarly, those individuals who have been on the victim’s end of domestic abuse may also terminate their lease early without any sort of legal recourse, provided they can obtain proof of a court case.

Force Majeure Clause

Your lease may have a Force Majeure clause buried somewhere within its text. These clauses basically amount to “acts of God” clauses. Under such clauses, phenomenon that exists beyond the control of the tenant or landlord may force the tenant out of the dwelling. These include a variety of situations, but they are largely natural disasters. Floods, tornadoes and earthquakes can all be ground for the early termination of a lease. There are even situations where civil unrest may be grounds for lease termination.

Getting out of a lease early can be a difficult proposition. However, as noted in this article, there are plenty of ways that you can manage to terminate a lease and continue with your life as planned; hopefully a life in a new apartment rental that suits you better.

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3 Things to Do Before Renting a Room in Your Apartment

If you’ve recently rented an apartment and are having trouble paying the rent each month, you could consider getting a roommate to help you share the expenses.

Having a roommate is a great way to reduce your monthly expenses; however, having a roommate can also be a difficult situation. Before you start advertising for a roommate, there are several things you will need to do. Here are three of the most important steps to take before you do this.

Check With Your Landlord & Lease

Before you can even think of renting out a room in your apartment, you will need to find out if this is allowed. You can often find out this information by looking at your lease; but if not, you could call or visit your landlord.

When you sign your lease, you will probably have to list the names of each person that will be living there. Your lease may state that no one is allowed to live there unless his or her name is on the lease, but there is still a chance you might be able to rent out a room.

The lease may have a section on subletting, which refers to renting out the space to someone else. If it states that this is allowed, you can go ahead and begin looking for a roommate. If it is not allowed, you could call your landlord and discuss the issue with him or her. You could let the landlord know that you are having trouble paying your rent and would like to rent out a room to make this easier for you.

If the landlord agrees, you may have to sign a new lease or add an amendment to the lease. If your landlord will not allow this, you may need to come up with a different way to afford your monthly rental payments.

Consider the Effects This Will Have

The second thing you should do is consider how this situation will affect you. Renting out a room may seem like the perfect way to afford your rent; however, this situation may affect you more than you think. Here are some of the effects to consider before you do this:

  • Less privacy – With another person in your apartment, you will no longer have the privacy you once had.
  • Increased expenses – While this person may help you pay the rent, your other expenses may go up. For example, your electricity bill may increase because there is another person there.
  • Problems with temperature – Another factor to think about is the temperature in your apartment. If there is only one thermostat, you could experience problems with this. You may like it cold, while your roommate may want it really warm.
  • Arguments and issues – You should also realize that if an issue comes up with your roommate, you will be the one who has to deal with it and solve it. If you are a non-confrontational type of person, this could be hard for you.

As long as you fully understand the effects this will have and are willing to accept them, you may want to begin looking for a roommate.

Find the Right Roommate

It may take some time and work to find the right roommate, but spending an ample amount of time on this will make this arrangement work out better. As you look for a roommate, you can be selective. You could write out a list of conditions or requirements you are looking for in a person, and you should make the person sign an agreement.

When you create the agreement, be sure to include every detail that is important to you. This includes the monthly rental amount, how food will be shared, rules about guests, and how you will divide the bathroom time.

Renting a room is a good way to earn extra money each month, but it isn’t always an option. If you would like to learn more about ways to reduce your monthly rent, you could always talk to your landlord or begin looking for a different apartment for rent.

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What Changes Are Coming To Ontario Real Estate Laws?

If you’re shopping for a new home (or hoping to sell your own), you may be anxiously watching the local real estate market to determine comps, calculate interest rates, and debate purchase prices. You may not put much thought into the regulations governing your real estate agent, or the logistics of the closing. However, there are a few new laws that could impact the back-and-forth of the purchasing process, as well as help make your closing much more streamlined. Read on to learn more about some recent changes to Ontario real estate laws that will likely affect your upcoming transaction.

Electronic signatures now permitted

Before July 1, 2015, all title and mortgage documents were required to be signed by hand, in ink, to be legally valid. Although some title companies employ a notary who can travel to you (minimizing the inconvenience of having to take time from work to go sign closing documents), generally this transaction took place in the presence of both parties or their respective agents. Scheduling a closing could be difficult when coordinating with multiple schedules, and you might find yourself paying to rent a storage unit during the time between your former home’s sale and your new home’s closing. However, now electronic signatures are just as valid as handwritten ones, allowing closings to take place at your convenience — or even online. If you’re planning to both sell your home and purchase a new home, this can make the process much easier and less time-consuming.

Changes in the way offers are communicated

Whether you’re using a real estate agent to sell your home or negotiate for the purchase of a new home, you’re likely relying on this agent to communicate offers (or potential offers) to you as quickly as possible. If you’re in a particularly hot local market, you may want daily updates from your realtor as to potential prospects of an offer or a counter-offer. However, this eagerness to be apprised of information can sometimes backfire — some potential buyers will verbally submit false or “bully” bids at much higher than asking price in an attempt to raise the minimum sales price on the seller’s behalf, or to get other potential buyers to back down (and then swoop in and purchase the property at a lower price later). Acting too quickly can cause you to lose your shirt in a real estate transaction if you later find out you’ve been duped by a bully bidder.

However, a new law has been enacted that is intended to help eliminate these falsely inflated bids by requiring all offers to be communicated in writing. This means that your realtor can’t verbally notify you about any offers on your home until he or she has received a document to that effect, nor can he or she verbally make a last-minute offer on your behalf. Those found to be in violation of this law can be fined or subject to other civil penalties, including the stripping or suspension of their real estate license.

While this can help protect you against bully bidders, it may also put you at risk of missing the opportunity to place an offer on your dream home. And because offers and counter-offers often have a fairly brief expiration date, if there is a breakdown in communication between you and your agent, you may not receive an offer in time to act. Maintaining open lines of communication with your agent is key to a successful real estate transaction, as well as ensuring that you both have a mutual understanding of the other’s availability and willingness to be contacted during certain hours.

You can click here for more information on the changes in real estate law by getting in touch with a real estate agent.

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Second Baby On The Way? Here Are A Few Tips To Make The Most Of Your Two-Bedroom Apartment

Your apartment was already cramped, but somehow you were able to make room for a baby. Now that everything is running smoothly, life hands you another little surprise in the form of a second bundle of joy. Moving isn’t an option, and so now you’re forced to find even more room for all the stuff that comes with a new baby, without making your older child feel like they’re giving up too much. Here are a few simple ways you can make your small apartment work for your growing family:

The Inevitability of Sharing a Bedroom

If you’re living in a two bedroom apartment with two kids, there is an inevitable choice that must be made: who will share a room with the new baby? If you’ve decided your kids should start bonding early, here are a few tips to help ensure your two kids have their own space:

  • Find clever and safe ways to divide the space. For example, anchor a large bookshelf against the wall in the middle of the bedroom. If the room is smaller, a freestanding room divider will also give your older child some privacy.

  • Let your older child dictate the room’s designs. Your baby will be more interested in having a clean diaper and a full belly, so allow your older child to pick the room’s colors and any new bedding or accessories.

  • Purchase a portable crib for your bedroom – and be prepared to use it. There will be nights when the baby won’t stop crying, or isn’t interested in sleeping. Keeping the baby in your bedroom once in a while will help keep the peace, and provide your older child with some much needed privacy.

Whatever furniture or storage solutions you choose, pay attention the room is as safe as possible for your baby. For example, Baby Center urges parents to keep your baby’s crib away from anything that poses a strangulation risk – including window shade cords.

Does My Baby Really Need That

Did the combination of excitement and lack of experience lead you to purchase several items for your baby you thought were crucial, but ended up being completely useless? Before you make the same mistake twice, ask yourself one vital question before purchasing any of these items: Does my baby really need that?

  • A Fancy Diaper Pail – Skip the diaper pails that claim to eliminate odors and instead, stick with a regular garbage can. Chances are you’ll garbage will pile up so quickly you’ll be taking it out all the time, anyway.

  • A Changing Table – From the floor of the bathroom to the lawn outside your favorite restaurant, chances are you’ll changing your baby’s diaper just about everywhere that isn’t a pricey changing table.

  • Expensive Clothing – Skip the pricey, designer label clothing and instead, buy your baby’s clothes for the first two to three years from secondhand stores or yard sales.

  • A Massive, Toy Covered Baby Swing – Those full size baby swings are cute, but chances are your baby will fall asleep just as quickly on the floor, in their crib – or in your arms!

  • Shopping Cart Cover – Those brightly-decorated shopping cart covers are intended to protect your baby from germs, while keeping them entertained while you buy groceries. However, they won’t do you much good in the trunk, or at the back of the hall closet, which is where it will probably wind up.

Having a second baby can be an overwhelming experience, especially if you are already struggling with a lack of time, money and space. However, with a little planning, and a lot fewer trips to the department store’s baby section, chances are you’ll get through this time just fine!

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Looking To Rent A Townhouse? Here Are 4 Features To Look For And Why

Townhouses are a great option for renters because they provide more space than apartments typically do, yet they don’t come with quite as much responsibility that most houses come with. You can expect to find a myriad of feature options to choose from when you start your hunt for a townhouse rental, which can be overwhelming when it comes time to make comparison between units. Following are four fantastic features you’ll appreciate as a resident, and why:

Energy Star Equipment

One of the most useful features to look for in your new townhome is Energy Star certified equipment such as doors, windows, kitchen appliances, and even washers and dryers. Energy Star products are intricately inspected for performance and can help you save money on your monthly energy bills. In fact, Energy Star products typically use twenty to thirty percent less energy than their average counterparts.

While touring townhouses for potential residency, simply look for an Energy Star label on the frames of the windows and the surfaces of appliances to verify their certification. If you can’t find any labels yet the rentals you’re looking at boast Energy Star certified appliances or windows and doors in their advertisements, the rental agent should be able to produce proof of their certification.

Neutral Colored Paint Schemes

Brightly painted interiors may be eye appealing during a tour, but take the time to consider your personal décor, furnishing, and wall hangings that will be put in the space before settling on a townhouse with vibrant walls. Even if you prefer a little color within your home, it’s a good idea to stick with townhouses that have neutral wall colors so you can build upon them with your own colorful trim, paintings, and throw rugs. This will ensure that you don’t end up having to work with a color scheme that doesn’t work with your personal belongings once everything gets moved in.

Carpeted Flooring

Hardwood flooring is beautiful and lends a modern feel to townhouses, but it can be tough to take care of whether you live alone or with a house full of kids and pets. Chances are that any nicks or scratches present in the flooring when you end your residency will come out of your security deposit before everything is said and done.

Luckily, finding a townhome with carpet flooring isn’t a difficult task and choosing a home with carpet gives you an opportunity to take advantage of a variety of benefits such as extra warmth, improved indoor air quality, and a reduced chance of slipping or falling. Maintaining a like-new appearance for your carpeting is as easy as vacuuming regularly and renting a steam cleaner once or twice a year.

A Well Sealed Garage

If you are on the hunt for a townhouse with a garage, take the time to inspect the garage door and any windows that meet with the exterior to ensure that everything is well sealed. Weatherstripping should be found along the entire edge of the garage door, and no obvious cracks or holes should be found in the frames of the door or windows when everything is securely closed.

A well sealed garage will keep moisture from building up on your vehicle so it doesn’t prematurely rust, and will ensure that any boxes or other personal items that are stored in the garage stay safe from wear and tear due to exterior weather conditions. You’ll find that a well sealed garage functions great as a family room or home office too.

You should find that with these features by your side your time at home is comfortable, convenient, and cost efficient throughout your residency. Now that you know what to look for, you can contact a company like Norquay Property Management Ltd. to get started on finding a great townhouse.

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