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In October of last year, I toured an apartment complex in Oklahoma with my daughter and her friends because they wanted to live off-campus the next school year. I went with them b/c they wanted a parent who knew which questions to ask, and this would be the first time any of them would be in an apartment on their own. During the tour, I asked if the furniture would be provided to the residents, or if they’d be responsible for it themselves. The manager told us that the apartments came fully furnished, and that furniture was included in rent, along with cable, water, trash, sewer, gas, and internet. The only utility the girls would be responsible for is electric. The girls signed their leases a week later, which stated what each of their monthly rent would be, the term of the lease, which utilities were included and which one the girls were responsible for, that the girls would need $100,000 of liability insurance, which cost $14/month, and additional pet fees. Fast forward to last week, when my daughter received an email from the apartment complex, stating that on August 1st, she’d have to pay first months rent, the insurance, and $34 furniture rental! I contacted the apartment manager, and questioned this, told them what was said during the tour, and mentioned it wasn’t in the lease. The manager said “The current staff wasn’t here last fall, but it sounds like you were misinformed. Furniture is not included in rent.” When I asked why it’s not listed as a fee on the lease, he said he didn’t know, but this is how it’s always been done. Does this sound right?

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    Does the lease say anything about furniture? Jul 12, 2023 at 14:49

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You say that "furniture included" was mentioned during the tour, but the verbal representations made during a tour are probably not binding. If there is contemporary record of the representations made on the tour (perhaps an audio recording, a note made the the same day, or an information flyer) then perhaps it carries weight. But, in general, unprovable chit-chat during a tour is not part of the contract.

Next you say that "it wasn't mentioned in the lease". I encourage you to read the entire lease closely. Does it ever say that the lease is for an "unfurnished apartment"? or say "as shown"? or make vague reference to "other items at additional cost"?

The Lease really should have described the apartment in some way, even if it isn't explicitly about furniture at first glance.

If the lease really didn't mention furniture and/or additional costs in any way, then I think you got the apartment in move-in condition (with furniture) for no additional costs.

You may well want to talk to neighbors/other tenants, and mention the surprise fees. See if other tenants also encountered this, and if/how it was addressed by them.

But remember: if you annoy the landlords, they will very likely opt to not-renew the lease when its up, and you'll be looking for a new place again, possibly with a negative recommendation from this landlord.

Even when you're in the right, consider carefully how much you want to pursue relatively small issues.

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    I’ve read the lease numerous times and it doesn’t mention furniture in any way, shape or form. And I’ve spoken to other tenants and they are experiencing the same issues- added fees that weren’t originally included in the lease. Since posting this, two more fees have been tact on, and I’ve contacted an attorney who states the apartment complex is in violation of state statutes, and they are drafting a letter to send to them. Thanks for the advice. Jul 14, 2023 at 21:18

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