Leasing

Leasing

Renting a house or apartment has some advantages. From the beginning the tenants don’t have to worry about making necessary home improvements to the property. Tenants are not responsible for paying property taxes on the rental, as it is calculated in the lease. Some leases include water or electricity, or pool access. Tenants can easily move at the end of their lease term. Change your mind? Want a different view? closer or further from something or someone? Moving is your option. Thinking of renting, then please consider the following items.

9 Considerations

  1. Neighborhood Research. Looking for a location to fit your needs? For the next few months, you are committed to the new property. Is it safe and convenient? Although crime rates are important, so are all the local amenities. Do you need or want to be close to gyms, grocery stores, the mall, retail centers, gas stations, employment, public transportation options, restaurants, vehicle parking rules, or convenient stores? Maybe you want to be far away from the city life and crowds.
  2. Inspect the property. Are you required to put up a security deposit? If you want it back, document any and all pre-existing damage to the home preferably with photos. Most landlords provide a move-in check list. They use this same form when you check-out. These are the main items that a Landlord will inspect on move-in and move-out. You could be responsible for the damage that is on the move-out checklist but not on the move-in checklist. The cost for the repairs will be deducted from your security deposit.
  3. Read the lease. Before signing a lease, make sure you have enough time to read it. The importnat items are in the details. If you need or want to have an attorney review the language in it. Some of the important items in the lease are: rental rate, rent due dates, pet policies, maintenance (like AC filters), what is required if you suddenly need to move, requirements for the return of your security deposit, and / or subletting the apartment / home. You need to be knowledgeable and understand what you need to do during and after the lease should problems arise. Maybe talk to friends that have leased there? Did you read the part in the lease about maintenance responsibility? Or customizing a room or wall paint? Is Landlord approval required? In writing?  
  4. Consider renters insurance. Some Landlords require it. You obtain insurance to help reduce your risk. What are you going to do if there is a fire, theft, pet incident, your friend falls on the property? If there is a fire above you, and you have water damage, can you replace your personal items? You never know if or when something is going to happen. Renters insurance could be a way to reduce your out of pocket expenses.
  5. Moving day. Do you have a full house? Moving to the second or third floor? Maybe you should consider hiring a moving company for at least the heavy items. Your friends will help you consume the pizza if they don’t have to move much.
  6. Auto Pay your rent. If you are looking to buy later, you want to keep the late fees, and notices off your credit report. Auto-pay if the landlord accepts this type of payment, it keeps your record clean, and the landlord never is contacting you for your payments + fees. Some landlord accept credit cards, direct deposit, or you can set up bill pay from your bank. Checks always work.
  7. Property Maintenance. Contact your Landlord as soon as possible when you notice something is not right. Many items are the Landlord’s responsibility. However you may have a deductible to pay for some repairs. You may need to schedule a time repairman when you will be at the property. If the item is fixed, inform the Landlord.
  8. Do a deep Clean. Before you move in, a thorough cleaning could be needed. You never know who or what was living there before you, or when the last time it was cleaned deep, and disinfected completely. Begin your new property clean and sanitized.
  9. Ready to Move Out? What about the water bill, the electricity, gas, cable, internet, and of course your security deposit. Landlords are required to return the deposit, along with a letter explaining if any, the deductions within a time period of days (usually 30?). However they can forget or get delayed due to other items. If you do a final day walk through with your Landlord, you may be able to negotiate repairs and / or expenses. Keep in mind even if you complete a walk through the maintenance people or the cleaning crew may find other damage, or items that were previously over looked.