With many advantages to renting, like having fewer responsibilities and more flexibility, it is an obvious choice for many people. But even with fewer things to worry about, there are some considerations before renting a home that you need to be aware of.
Research and due diligence are essential after jumping on the best website for rentals. Understanding how to find a house to rent is critical, but you don’t want to make mistakes.
While you might like not paying property taxes and letting a landlord worry about repairs, there are still some responsibilities you need to think about before you rent a home.
Things to Think About Before Renting
1. Check Out The Neighborhood
Even though you might not intend to live in the house rental for very long, you should ensure the neighborhood is somewhere you want to live. You don’t want to sign a rental agreement that commits you to live in a property where you feel unsafe.
Check the crime rates for the neighborhood, as well as nearby facilities like stores, restaurants, and public transportation. This information can easily be found online, allowing you to narrow down the exact zip code and neighborhood data.
If you aren’t already familiar with the neighborhood, you could make a couple of visits at different times of the day, and if that’s not possible, Google’s Streetview can give you a better understanding of the local area. So, does the neighborhood suit your living requirements?
2. Get a Comparative Market Analysis
If you are working with a real estate agent, ask them to analyze the local rental market by doing a comparative market analysis of similar properties rented. You will want to know that the rental asking price is fair.
Sometimes in hot seller’s markets, you may not have a choice if there are limited rental properties available.
3. Understand The Lease Terms
While nobody likes reading the small print, it’s something you need to do before you sign a lease. The lease will set out terms and rules about what is expected from you. There could be rules about the upkeep and pets that you need to follow, as well as important details about paying rent and how to break the lease.
If you are unsure about any of the details within the lease, you can always have it checked with an attorney or even a real estate agent.
4. Can You Sublet a Room?
One of the more essential things when renting a home or apartment is finding out whether you can rent a room. It is not uncommon to take on a roommate, especially when times get financially difficult. Understanding whether having a roommate is possible should be discussed upfront.
5. Protecting Your Deposit
The landlord will require a security deposit to cover the costs of any damage they need to repair when you move out. To ensure you get most of this back, carefully document any existing damage before moving in.
You can take photographs of damage already in the home, so there won’t be disagreements later.
6. Deep Cleaning The Rental
Before you move your possessions in, it’s not a bad idea to carry out a deep clean. Since you aren’t going to know who lived in the home previously or when it was last seriously cleaned, it is better to do this straight away.
You might consider bringing in professional carpet cleaners or just going around the home with a vacuum yourself depending on how clean the home looks. Make sure you clean away all the dust and dirt so your house rental begins the right way.
7. Discuss Any Changes You Want to Make With Your Landlord
If you don’t like the color of the walls in your rental, you shouldn’t just buy some paint and change it. While your landlord might not have any problems, it is important to know where they stand before you begin to make alterations. It is best to get written approval from your landlord for the changes you want to make.
Even if your landlord doesn’t have any problem with customizations, they may require you to change the home back to how it was when your lease is up. Though if the changes you want to make will improve the property, they might be willing to meet you halfway on the cost.
8. Using Renters Insurance
Even though the landlord should have some insurance for the building, it isn’t going to protect you should you suffer some sort of loss. Though the home might be in a good part of town, you could still fall victim to crime.
There are also risks from natural disasters, water leaks, and other problems. Home insurance could also help you should someone be injured inside your property.
9. Don’t Forget to Pay The Rent
To avoid paying late or missing a rent payment, it is better to set up automatic monthly payments. However, this will only be possible if your landlord allows you to pay online.
If your landlord requires you to send a check each month, you can create a reminder on your online calendar to avoid forgetting. Not paying your rent could eventually lead to your credit score being downgraded.
A bad credit score could make it far more difficult to rent in the future. You could have to look for landlords that will consider bad credit applicants. That’s not a good thing!
10. Being on Good Terms With Your Landlord
If you can be somewhat friendly with your landlord, it should make your time in the home better. Making sure you don’t get on the wrong side of your landlord should, for example, make dealing with maintenance problems easier. They might allow you to do things, like break your lease contract earlier, if you are on good terms with them.
A positive relationship could also benefit future rentals and improve your time in the current rental home.
11. Don’t Delay Repairs
If there is a maintenance issue that needs attention, you should notify your landlord as soon as possible. It will normally be the responsibility of your landlord to cover the cost of any repairs, though you may need to schedule the repair work. When the problem has been repaired, you should also update your landlord.
12. Ask For Your Security Deposit
While your landlord should give your security deposit back in a certain time frame, it doesn’t always work out like that. It can be forgotten or delayed intentionally, which will mean a few months’ worth of rental payments aren’t available to you for your next home.
You can ask your landlord to do a walkthrough with you before you have moved out. If they agree, you can discuss and deal with any damage to the property right away, which should mean you get the remainder of your deposit back sooner.
While renting might seem like a great option to avoid many of the costs and limitations that can happen when you buy a home, it isn’t completely without responsibilities. But if you pay attention to these considerations before renting a home, your time in the property will be much easier.