Are you among the thousands of people looking to rent an apartment, condo, or home this year? Be sure that you check out these 8 Important Tips For Renters To Protect Yourselves Financially.
1. Always get a written, not verbal lease.
That way if there is any question about something related to the lease, you can refer to a written document.
2. Make sure that you understand the length of your rental.
Is it for a specific period of time such as six months or a year, or does it run month-to-month? Know how long that you are locked into a lease. Trying to terminate a lease before it is set to expire can result in stiff financial penalties.
3. Ensure that the rental payment amount is spelled out in your lease.
Make sure that explore also if your rent amount is subject to increase during your lease period or fixed for the length of your contract. Also, confirm that the lease agreement spells out when rent payments are due and the fees should a late payment occur.
4. If a security deposit is required, learn the stipulations for receiving the deposit back at end of lease.
Get this information in writing. Some landlords and rental companies will charge you for routine cleaning and repainting even if your rental is left in good shape upon your departure.
5. And speaking of cleaning and repairs, make sure your lease details your responsibilities related to maintaining cleanliness and good repair of your place.
What type of repairs does the landlord take care of and how do you put in a repair request? Does the landlord or manager have to give you advance notice before she or he enters your rental?
I once had a landlord who would send the pest guy in to my apartment without notice. One day, the guy spilled pesticide all over my kitchen floor and did not clean it up. I, of course, stepped right in it with my bare feet and had no clue it was pesticide. I was not too thrilled when I later learned that it was a potentially harmful substance. Had I know that the pest guy had been in my place, I probably would have treated the spill cleanup differently.
5. Get a clear understanding whether pets (and what type) are allowed in your rental.
Even if you do not plan to have pets live with you, a pet-friendly local may affect you. For example, if you are living in an apartment complex and you do not have a pet, but the guy above you has a dog who loves to bark 20 hours a day, your life will be impacted.
6. Educate yourself about the legal responsibilities when you sign a lease.
In the vast majority of cases, everyone who signs the lease is held responsible for ensuring lease payments are made for the full term agreed upon. In other words, if you have a roommate who does not pony up rent money, you will be responsible for paying the whole thing.
Also, if one person on the lease violates a major part of lease agreement, all tenants on the lease may be asked to vacate the premise. An examples of this would be your roommate renting out his or her room to somebody else without the landlord’s permission.
Ouch! Choose the people that you live with carefully.
7. Before changing your rental place in any way, you need to check with the landlord.
Ideally, find out about any alterations that you are allowed to make to your new place before you sign the rental agreement. That way you will not be disappointed if you can’t paint walls or make other changes.
8. Paying for renter’s insurance is smart.
Many people do not realize that the landlord’s insurance generally will not cover renters’ belongings. Most often, the insurance only covers the structure and leasers possessions in the building. So if a fire or other calamity happens, the renter is out of luck and money. Compare rates and coverages among several reputable insurers before you sign up for a policy.
Follow the Above 8 Crucial Tips for Renters to protect yourself from costly financial missteps.
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