Helpful Tips

Before you sign a lease

Selecting a place to live is both an important and an exciting experience. The challenge should not be taken lightly. Here are some ideas to keep in mind before you sign

Security deposit

Before moving into a rental make sure to note items that are missing and specifically detail all damages noticed. Make and sign a list of any agreed upon repairs that are to be done. Both you and the landlord should sign and date these documents. As further protecting, take photos of the interior of the unit before moving in. When moving out, revisit this inventory with the landlord. Also take pictures before leaving in case questions arise later.

Renter's insurance

A landlord's insurance protects the structure but not the renter's personal property. If you have any personal items of value you should consider renter's insurance. Renter's insurance provides you with protection for your personal belonging if they are stolen or destroyed by fire or other covered cause of loss.

Tenant's rights

Renters are protected by a variety of Federal, State and local laws. The New York state Attorney General's office offers a pamphlet regarding tenants rights.

Dispute resolution

Although the best way to avoid any conflict is to have a clear idea of what is expected by all parties prior to signing a lease, some disagreements may still arise. For these cases there are local agencies available to help.

Tompkins County
Landlord and Tenant Dispute Resolution: 607.273.9347

Cortland County
New Justice Services: 607.753.6952