Visitors Guide to Housing in Ithaca

Visitors Guide to
Housing in Ithaca
What is a lease?
A Lease is a legal document.
It protects the owners investment and
tenants rights.
Without a lease your rent may be raised
with 30 days notice or you can be asked
to move.
Paying Your Rent
You must pay
your rent rather
you live there or
not by the terms
of the lease.
Note the due
date for payment
or you may pay
an additional fee.
Always Inspect
Use a checklist to note the
condition of the apartment
before you sign the lease.
You will be responsible for
damages or repairs unless
you discussed this with
owner and it is noted in
The Security Deposit
It is equal to one or
two months rent.
The owner has 30
days to return the
security deposit at
the end of your
The security
deposit will be
reduced for repairs
and damages.
The rules and policies
Know what you can and cannot do.
For example:
- Find out when your landlord can enter the apartment.
- Learn about garbage disposal tags and recycling.
- Ask about having parties, pets, and guests.
- Understand parking space regulations.
Making Payments
Property managers often
expect payment by the 5th
of the month.
You may arrange for
automatic direct payment
from your bank.
When You Leave
Leave your apartment in
the condition that you
moved in or you may lose
some or all of your
security deposit and even
pay more.
Things You Should Inquire About
And Keep In Mind
Before you commit to renting a housing unit, you should clearly understand the
responsibilities involved with each of the following terms. They should be explicitly
identified in your lease is words with common and everyday meanings and must be
clear and coherent. Compare any lease you are considering signing with applicable
tenant-landlord laws. As you are reading through your lease, make sure the
following items are addressed within the document. If some things are not
addressed, be sure to ask the landlord about his or her policy regarding those items.
You may also request to have items added to the lease. For questions about leases
and tenant-landlord relationships, contact the Off-Campus Housing Office at 607254-8718 or visit our website at Another useful
resource is the New York State Tenants Rights Guide produced by the New York
State Attorney General.
_____ Planned improvements/special work
_____ Snow removal (property and/or public sidewalks)
_____ Name and address of property owner
_____ Name and address of property manager
_____ Name and contact info for Emergencies
_____ Amount
_____ Due date
_____ Penalty for late payment
_____ Price changes
_____ Conditions for price changes
_____ Amount
_____ Conditions for return
_____ Date for return
_____ Ability to sublet
_____ Conditions for sublet
_____ Responsibility for damages
_____ Assessment of damages
_____ Responsibility for repairs
_____ Conditions for changes of agreement
_____ Process for changing agreement
_____ Provision of facilities
_____ Ability for tenant to install machines
_____ Other limitations
_____ Location
_____ Limitations
_____ Dates (be exact)
_____ Requirements for notification of renewal
_____ Number of occupants (min and max)
_____ Utilities (i.e., gas, electric, phone, water)
_____ Pet-related charges/deposit
_____ Overnight or weekend guests
_____ Parking
_____ Furnishings
_____ Cleaning
_____ Other
_____ Smoking
_____ Noise
_____ Storage
_____ Pets
_____ Alterations (i.e., picture hanging, painting)
_____ Conduct
_____ Parties
_____ Waterbeds
_____ When
_____ By whom (i.e., landlord, add’l inspectors)
_____ Use of rental inventory
_____ Certificate of Compliance (Ithaca City only)
_____ Notification of inspection
_____ Responsibility
_____ Frequency
_____ Equipment provided