How to Read and Understand a Lease Agreement Correctly

 

Whether you’re a first-time or a long-time renter looking for a new home, the lease agreement is one of the most important documents you’ll encounter. Reading it correctly before you affix your signature can save you time, money and future grief.

What You Should Expect

Never expect that a lease agreement will be the same as any other lease you’ve signed in the past. No matter how many times you may have rented, or if you’ve owned a home before, no two leases are the same. Just when you think you’ve seen every conceivable provision, a new detail appears.

Leases specify more than just how long you’ll be living at an address or the dollar amount of your monthly rent. Most provide often-overlooked details such as use of common areas, security deposit amounts, occupancy restrictions and the landlord’s policy on replacing damaged items. A lease should also contain a termination clause detailing penalties for breaking a lease before it expires. A repair clause specifies rules between tenant and landlord with regards to who is responsible for paying when repairs are necessary.  

Other provisions you should expect to see include a right-of-entry clause and information on subletting. Regulations clauses list rules such as permissible noise levels at certain times of each day.

Lease Checklist

Many leases contain paragraph after paragraph of tiny type. When a lease can be incredibly long and convoluted, navigating such a complicated lease can be overwhelming. Rather than trying to tackle the document as a whole, approach it as you would a checklist . Doing so organizes a way to ensure you don’t sign something that doesn’t meet your approval. Be sure to carefully review these six categories:

The Basics

Don’t take accuracy of essential information for granted. Is the address of the property correct? Does the lease specify by name who manages the property and their appropriate contact information? You should see the amounts for rent and any associated fee penalties for late payment. Beginning and ending rental dates must be clearly stated.

The document should specify any appliances furnished with the unit, such as a refrigerator or a dishwasher. Look for stated options to renew the lease, the policy regarding rent increases and what you have to do before vacating the property.

Fido and Fifi

The agreement needs to state whether pets are allowed or not. It should specify pet fees and limitations such as breed, weight limit, and number of animals permitted.

Maintenance and Alterations

Look for language stating that the landlord is responsible for completing and paying for repairs. If you plan on living in the residence for more than a short period, make sure the lease addresses allowable alterations such as changing paint colors. Look for phrasing that specifies move-out conditions for alterations: i.e. if you make alterations, are you responsible for restoring the unit to its move-in condition when you leave?

Utility Charges

Although some communities now furnish cable TV or Internet services, tenants are often responsible for paying the monthly costs. Some landlords pay for water, electricity, or gas. Make sure the lease stipulates for which services you are monetarily responsible for.

Subletting

Are you likely to accept a job out of the area? Do you serve in the U.S. military? If your circumstances change you’ll need to know if the lease permits you to sublet and if you would incur any penalties for early departure. It should also state whether you or the leasing agent is responsible for finding a tenant for subletting.

Community Rules

These are the rules and policies regarding guests, use of clubhouses and extended tenant absences. Look for language about storage, maximum occupancy, and any tenant insurance requirements.

Knowing how to read a lease is crucial for a happy stay in a new home. Also, listen to what a landlord says. Ideally, prospective renters and the landlord will review the lease together. Make sure that what the property owner or the leasing agent states isn’t contradicted in the lease. If you suspect that it does, get the correct information in writing. This is the time when you should attempt to negotiate any terms you consider unsatisfactory. Finally, inspect the property and submit a written list of any damages or deficiencies before agreeing to make it your new home.

Going Digital Isn’t Only for Magazine Publishers

PDF is a widely used file type designed for the content distribution. From the beginning, it was a closed format that made adding any changes to the content difficult. At the beginning of the Internet it was not a big obstacle but as the Internet has been maturing and digital societies have become more connected it appeared that making simple edits to PDFs brings big value to organizations.

Lighter PDF Solution for your documents

The major PDF software solutions are usually too big and complicated to be able to support small businesses these days. Can you imagine using inDesign only for adding a signature to your PDF file?

Adobe Acrobat is the standard software for publishers making profession designs. If you need to compress, watermark, sign documents online or merge several PDF files it becomes clear that you need an easier, faster and affordable alternative PDF software with a public API.

PDFfiller is the type of software that can be used by many kinds of businesses. Whether you use PDF files in your digital documents distribution-loop or even if you are a publisher with a simple, DTP post-processing needs.

In PressPad we work with PDF files on daily basis. Our digital publishing platform supports magazine publishers from around the world. We help magazine or even the comic book authors go mobile with their own mobile apps. This is a self-service platform where publishers upload PDF files via PressPad publisher’s dashboard. Their users and clients can instantly experience this content via their branded mobile apps in with beautiful flip pages.

Despite publishers often using complicated DTP software like Adobe InDesign or similar products we sometimes need to make quick fixes for our publishers such as merging PDF documents, compressing or adding a watermark. To do this we often use much lighter solutions than Adobe’s such as PDFfiller.

We chose PDFfiller because it’s one of the most affordable solutions for editing PDF files. To our surprise, this is an evergreen post on the PressPad blog. That is real life proof that PDF format is very popular across many industries.

Go paperless with digital document distribution

You don’t have to be a magazine or book publisher to profit from the digital distribution in your company. How many times did you print a document just to get a signature on it and scan it again? Then what — straight to the dumpster, right?

— Did you know that digitization can save lots of money for you?

According to The Guardian, Xerox found in their study that office workers throw away 45% of everything they print within a day. The Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance claims in their report that “(…) the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year. The U.S. EPA estimates that paper and paperboard account for almost 40 percent of our garbage.”

So the numbers are coherent and it is clear that even a small change can reduce the fixed cost of operations.

In PressPad we try to avoid unnecessary printing by incorporating the idea of a paperless office. This is quite feasible with PDF files and PDFfiller. Unfortunately, some the documents have to be printed and stored but we believe that even the smallest company can reduce the costs of their operations by digitizing their documents.


Wojciech Szywalski is the VP of business development at PressPad, a digital publishing platform that supports over 500 magazine publishers from around the world with native magazine apps. PressPad allows publishers to go mobile with their content in just a few days, creating a digital distribution channel reaching mobile users.

What Features Are Important When Selecting Construction Project Management Software

Managing a project can turn out to be an overwhelming task especially for newcomers in the construction industry. It becomes even harder if you don’t have the right tools to help you out. Industry veterans have all the inside knowledge on how to launch and complete a successful project. But every problem has a solution. All you have to do is find the right project management software and you will be able to launch a successful construction project and have it completed on schedule.

By now, you might think that choosing the right project management tool can be very tough. But there is no need to worry! We’ve compiled some research and are happy to present you with the most important features that you should always look for before selecting project management software.

Here are a few tips to help you choose the right project solution:

Solution Type

The first feature that you should invest your attention in is the type of solution you need. Project management tools come in 3 tiers: low end, midrange, and high end project solutions. Each is determined by the size of your project and budget.

Low-end solutions are best suited for small businesses that have limited needs. These products come with limited functionalities as compared to mid-range and high-end solutions and are normally hosted online.

Midrange solutions have robust features that give the project manager more control. This solution can range anywhere from $2,500 to $30,000 and can be based either on-site or web-based.

High End Solutions are best suited for bigwig corporations that have multiple offices in different areas and need linking. These systems work best for the company’s executive management and can cost $50,000+.

Determine the right tier for your project to get full benefits at the right cost.

Type Of Platform Hosting The Solution

You need a stable and reliable solution if you are considering a high end or midrange solution. Knowing more about the service provider and the platform hosting the solution is vital especially if your project is going to last for several years. The platform should be flexible enough to accommodate changes in case the project scope shifts in the future. This flexibility is vital, especially for big projects.

Project Scheduling

The solution should give you flexibility when it comes to scheduling dates for the project. Most low-end solutions have hard coded dates that might not be suitable for some projects. With a smart intelligent feature, you can reset project dates while all other scheduled tasks on the calendar re-adjust themselves.

Microsoft Project Import and Export Capability

There are a few problems you might encounter with this feature from the solution provider. Some of the problems that bring headache to most project owners include the service provider requiring you to purchase an add-on for the MS project import and export on your end, expecting you to eat the cost for the feature, importing/exporting the right data and its relationships. The best way to avoid encountering this headache is by asking the solution provider for clarification prior to purchasing their services.

Classification of Project Stakeholders and Members

If your project includes many members with different roles, then the system should have the capabilities to classify them and give different levels of access to each.

The Multi-role feature enables the project manager to assign different posts to individuals on the system.

The Multi-level feature enables the project manager to give access permissions to different people e.g. viewing of classified documents.

Navigating Your Solution

Some project solutions come with pre-set navigation which can hinder your efforts to modify navigation to some folders. You need to have a solution that gives you access to change/edit/modify some features to match with your project’s needs.

Creating Your Template

Most times, you will find that tasks within the project follow the same path. Instead of having to create different templates for each task, your project solution should allow you to create similar templates for similar tasks which saves time. In that way, you get rid of the painful busy work and you can focus on the more vital aspects of your project. Undoubtedly, a great boost for your project’s efficiency!

Customizing Your Solution

The project solution you settle for should give you the power to customize features depending on your current situation. There are times you find your project needs shifting and thus you will need to customize a few things in the system. For this purpose, it’s of tremendous importance to have the flexibility of adjusting your project according to your current needs with no extra fuss.

Helpful Onboarding

Getting everyone in your project working on new software can be truly challenging, given the fact that some people are more technologically savvy as others. That’s why it’s extremely important to choose a project management software that will provide you with a trustworthy and helpful onboarding solution. Before you make any choice explore your possibilities thoroughly and choose a company that is most determined to assist you after purchasing their product.

Support 24/7

As a continuation of the previous feature, it is indispensable to use a project management software that can offer you quick and effective support 24/7. Tough situations may emerge at any possible moment and for that reason you need to feel secure and protect your project from potentially damaging situations. This becomes even more crucial in cases where your construction company is operating in different areas around the globe and where there is a significant time difference.

Conclusion

There are different types of solutions and solution providers in the market. Getting the right product is key for the success of your business and the project that you are working on. Thus, put emphasis on the tools that you use for work to avoid any setbacks that might delay project completion. You can choose between SaaS or on-site solutions depending on your needs and budget.


About the author: Anastasios Koutsogiannis is marketing coordinator in GenieBelt, a construction project management company that is based in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Lisa Gonzalez, maintain personal hygiene, hygiene, caregivers, caregiving, ElderCorps, elderly, PDFfiller

Advice for Caregivers: How to Help Your Loved One Maintain Personal Hygiene

Welcome back to PDFfiller’s blog, which brings you advice from experts in various fields on a regular basis.  Below, learn more from an expert about how best to care for the hygiene of the elderly. For more great insights from Lisa Gonzalez, check out her website at http://elderscorps.org

Caring for a senior loved one comes with many challenges, but personal hygiene doesn’t have to be one of them. Maintaining personal hygiene can be a team effort for you and your loved one. Together, you’re sure to maintain the level of hygiene they need to lead a healthy life for years to come.

Talk to Them About Their Needs

Depending on their level of activity, your loved one might not need to shower every single day. Instead, they might only require a daily sponge bath along with full-body bathing 2 or 3 times a week.

If you must bathe your loved one, learn how to bathe an elderly person properly and efficiently so you don’t make the process longer or more unpleasant than it needs to be.

Don’t Forget Dental Care

Dental care is often overlooked in the hygiene process, but it’s necessary for keeping your loved one’s teeth functional.

Electric toothbrushes can make brushing easier for the elderly. Ensure that they’re brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash as often as they should be. If you help them brush their teeth, be sure to know their dental health history so you can know which areas are sensitive and which need extra attention.

Having trouble getting your loved one to visit the dentist? Talk to office staff about using PDFFiller instead of coming in and filling out forms, and see what other steps you can take ahead of time. If you can arrange everything in advance so your loved one can walk in and immediately be seen, it can alleviate their anxiety and make the visit more pleasant. Moreover, it’ll make any future appointments feel like a simple errand.

Make the Bathroom a Safe Place

The risk for falls is two-fold in the bathroom, where water and bathroom products can make the floor slippery and dangerous for your loved one. Since putting oily bath products in their bathwater can affect their ability to get in and out of the tub, it’s best to avoid them altogether.

Adaptive equipment for seniors such as hand railings, rugs with gripping, and shower benches can keep your loved one safe in the bathroom.

Take a Step Back

For the sake of your loved one’s mental and emotional health, it’s crucial to let them maintain as much of their personal care as they can manage. Have a discussion about their need for assistance when it comes to keeping up with personal hygiene.

Remember – if your loved one isn’t very active, there’s no need to force them to shower every single day. But if they’re dropping the ball with bathing or any other personal hygiene habit, be quick to step in and get them back on track.

Take Pets Into Consideration

You may realize it’s difficult to keep your loved one hygienic if a troublesome pet is constantly making messes. Or perhaps your loved one doesn’t have the ability to give it proper care.

You may take it upon yourself to go over some basic obedience with the animal to correct bad behavior. But if you truly question whether you and your loved one are able to provide it with the best possible care, it may be time to consider re-homing the pet. Talk to your loved one about their options and decide together the best route.

Maintaining a level of cleanliness is incredibly important for your elderly loved one. Their immune system, self-esteem, and overall wellbeing will benefit from an adequate hygiene regime.

The best thing you can do for them is to let them look out for their own personal hygiene as much as they can while making sure they know you’re available to help when they need you.

Lisa Gonzalez has had years of experience with volunteering in nursing homes and organizing local senior activities. Realizing that this was her passion is what got her involved with EldersCorps.org, a resource geared towards the care and well-being of the aging population.

demand, holiday sales, home inventory, home selling tips

Reasons to Sell Your Home During the Holidays

Welcome back to PDFfiller Realtor Guest Blog series, which brings you advice from the experts!  The second part of this two-part post comes to us from Holly Gray who discusses when is the right time to sell your home.  For more great posts from Holly, check out her website at www.EastandEmerald.com.

2015 has been a good year for real estate. Many markets are experiencing very low inventory with increasing demand. Most homeowners feel they should wait until after the holidays to put their homes on the market. But in reality it might be the most ideal time of the year. If you are thinking about selling your property, consider these facts:

1. Buyers that shop during the holidays are perhaps the most serious and motivated buyers of the year. Some buyers want to buy for tax reasons. Some buy to relocate for a job. Some need to settle before school starts. The reasons may vary but the shoppers in the market this time of year typically need to buy, and fast.

2. Buyers have fewer homes to choose from during the holiday season. The supply of listings increases after the New Year. So homeowners who sell during the holidays tend to sell their homes by leveraging supply versus demand. Take a look at the inventory last year vs. this year as reported by NAR (http://www.realtor.org/sites/default/files/reports/2015/embargoes/ehs-10-22/ehs-09-2015-summary-2015-10-22.ppt).

demand, holiday sales, home inventory, home selling tips

 

3. Houses show incredibly well when they are decorated for the holidays. The festive decor tied with the warmth of the holiday season showcases a home at its best. Buyers resonate with the time of year and all the things a home represents during the holiday season. Many sellers fear that listing their property around the holidays will interfere with their festivities. But as a seller you can restrict showings on any days and times needed.

If you are a homeowner thinking about selling, don’t delay! Interest rates are low, inventory is low, and there are many buyers anxious to buy before year-end. Call your realtor for a current price evaluation for your neighborhood today!

 

EAST AND EMERALD: Adamas Realty
Broker & REALTOR |  (direct) 206.291.5453
800 Bellevue Way NE Suite 400 Bellevue, WA 98004
holly@eastandemerald.com | www.EastandEmerald.com