Read these 22 Rental Basics Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Rental Home tips and hundreds of other topics.
Sure, everyone talks about your overburdening responsibilities as a landlord, but what about your rights? Guess what, you have some, too. Not surprisingly, your rights as a landlord closely match your tenant's responsibilities. You have the right to:
First time renters should become aware of their rights as well as responsibilities before finishing their apartment search. After considering apartments, homes, and townhouses for rent, you'll find the right one for you. Equally important is getting the right terms for your new rental home. Knowing your rights help you negotiate a good deal for both parties. Consider the following. You have a right to have:
Landlords have numerous responsibilities related to their homes for rent. Most are attached to the maintenance of their units. But there are other duties that they should also understand. Here are some of the primary responsibilities that apply to landlords:
There always appears to be more focus on a landlord's duties, but tenants also have responsibilities that should be fulfilled. Most of the important agreements you make as a tenant are simple and logical. Here are some primary responsibilities you have if you've completed your townhouses for rent search and are about to sign a lease.
A rental property management company may or may not be valuable to you after you list your real estate in townhouses for rent databases. Before you decide to use or not use one, give some thought to your plans and goals. Here are a few things to consider.
As you complete an apartment search and have found the perfect rental home, you should turn your attention to insurance. First time renters are sometimes confused as to what action to take. But it's really quite easy to take care of this important consideration.
You should use personal referrals or the Internet to get renter's insurance quotes that will give you the protection you need. Since you do not own the rental home you're going to occupy, you need not be concerned with insuring the structure. You do want to protect all of your personal property that will live in your place of dwelling with you.
It is also wise to carry some personal liability insurance as part of your renter's coverage. Should a guest in your rental home suffer an injury or accident that generates an insurance claim, you want to be covered sufficiently to protect your personal bank account, however modest or strong it may be.
Make an accurate inventory of all of your personal items, including furniture, clothing, electronics, antiques, small appliances, etc. Put a reasonable replacement value on each item or group of smaller items. Take pictures, if you can, of all of your “stuff.” If you have a covered insurance claim for damage or loss of personal property, you'll have your inventory list (and, hopefully, pictures) to verify your loss.
By getting a good renter's insurance policy, you'll enjoy your new rental home even more. You can sleep well knowing that your personal property and liability issues are covered. You should also find the cost to be quite reasonable.
A search for apartment and homes for rent can often be time consuming, expensive, and sometimes frustrating. You can easily drive around for hours visiting many inappropriate properties. Trying to get good rental information from newspapers or telephone calls is a challenge. One you'll often lose. Here's a better way to search for apartments and townhouses for rent.
Sit down and relax with your desktop or laptop computer and start your apartment search. Using Rentals.com, you can search a great number of excellent homes, apartments, and townhouses for rent and get rent information on a wide variety of properties. But wait, there's more.
If you're looking for homes for rent with two bedrooms, two baths, and other specific criteria, you would no doubt like to avoid spending valuable time viewing properties with four bedrooms or reading about studio apartments. Not a problem. You'll have the opportunity to specify much of your criteria in an apartment search. This eliminates properties in which you have no interest. This is another excellent time-saver for you.
Finally, in addition to text information that gives you all the rental basics you need to know, you'll also often be able to view multiple pictures of the actual property. This feature helps you either eliminate from or add to your list of apartments and homes you'd like to physically visit. You might even enjoy your apartment search. Wouldn't that be exciting?
Landlords with apartments and houses for rent sometimes make deals with tenants on certain items, such as the landlord may take some money off the rent if the tenant agrees to cut the grass for the rental. You should discuss who will maintain the items in and around the rental and if you are willing to do some work around the rental, try and negotiate a discount on your rent.
Moving into a new rental home can be fairly expensive at the beginning. There is a lot to consider when trying to figure out what you can afford in your new location both initially and each month. There is usually a lot of money due up front just to get you into the rental, such as security deposit, first month's rent, pet security if required, connection fees for utilities for gas, electric, and telephone, not to mention the cost of moving your belongings from one place to another. Once you are in your new rental, if the home is not furnished, you may have to buy things like mattresses, beds, refrigerators, air conditioners, washing machines and other furniture to fill the home. Figure out what you can afford and how much money you have to start with, you will also need to determine how much you can spend on rent each month to still live comfortably.
Before you sign the lease for a new rental, it is important to figure out and negotiate who is responsible for what maintenance and where. As a rule of thumb, the tenant is usually responsible for keeping the rental home in a neat and clean manner, and responsible for all small minor repairs. The landlord is responsible for all major repairs within the rental and responsible for maintaining the outside of the house, such as cutting the grass and making sure the entryways are kept safe and well-lit. Maintaining the rental is often a partnership between the landlord and the tenant; since the tenant resides there daily they should make the landlord aware of things needed to be done or repaired.
When you meet a potential landlord it is a good time to start asking some questions and find out more of what is involved in the rental home. Prepare a list of questions you would need answered in order to consider renting the home. Some sample questions are:
Keep all paperwork you receive about the rental property together in a safe place. You should safely store your copy of the lease, any written request for repairs you make, receipts for rent or cancelled checks, bills paid, any any other paperwork related to the rental. These papers are all proof of what you paid for and requests and will come in handy if a dispute arises. You will want to make sure that you can get to these papers if you need them. If any questions, come up you can also refer to these papers.
Even if you have every intention of staying in the rental for the term of the lease, you will still want to be aware of the policy for exiting the lease. You never know what will happen in the future and if for some reason you may need to move, you will want to be aware of what is involved. Most landlords just want to receive rent each month. The tenant is usually responsible for paying the rent until the home is rented, however, under drastic situations the landlord has the right to ask you to vacate the apartment and find a replacement tenant to take over lease. You will want to discuss exiting the lease and other alternatives with the landlord before signing the lease.
Sometimes the best way to get to know an area is to live in it. Consider renting a home in the prospect area before you buy your own home. If you are serious about living in an area but are not quite ready to buy a home, try renting a home in the area and getting to know the neighborhood. This will make when you are ready to buy a home a little easier because you are already well adjusted and familiar with the area and the procedures.
Whether you are moving out for the first time, looking for a home in another location, or just looking to upgrade to a larger house, it is extremely important that you find the place that is right for you. The right place can mean many things - a place you can afford, with enough room, that is in a safe location, with good schools if you have children, close to transportation, shops or other things you may need, you want to find a place where you will feel at home. Sit down and make a list of everything you need in a new house, before beginning your search, so you will not waste anyones time especially your own.
If one cannot fulfill the complete terms of one's lease agreement in a rental home, a few options, responsibilities, and courses of action are available. First, the situation depends on whether you're a landlord or a tenant.
Landlords who discover that they must sell their property quickly or encounter other circumstances that might prevent them from fulfilling all lease terms should consider the following. Are there other steps you could take to complete your agreement in the short term? Are you able to negotiate with your tenants to reach amended terms that help you both? Are you in a position to make an offer of money or other accommodations to your tenants?
As a tenant with a lease, you also may have a few options in certain circumstances. The widely used term “breaking a lease” has a negative connotation with good reason. Both landlord and tenant have the responsibility to adhere to a lease agreement in full. Not selectively. Tenants who get a reputation as "lease breakers" may find increasing difficulty in finding homes for rent and landlords that will accept them if their tendencies become public knowledge. If you are forced to move before the end of your lease term, give your landlord the most notice you can. With a responsibility to attempt to re-rent the property, your landlord can make an honest effort to do so. Should your lease have a “right to sub-lease” provision, you can seek a tenant currently looking for apartments or townhouses for rent. You could offer then a sub-lease for the remaining term of your lease.
If your current rental agreement does not provide for a sub-lease, talk with your landlord to see if he/she is agreeable to sign a document that allows you to do so. In most cases, you'll still be the person responsible for the cost of your rental home, but sub-letting your residence can work.
Simple communication can be an important component to working out problems in lease completion for both parties. Often, tenants and landlords can come to agreements to work out these issues to the benefit of both parties.
First time renters typically have many questions, since none of us was born with this built-in knowledge. Fortunately, deciding on apartments and homes for rent is not as complicated as evaluating real estate for purchase and learning the mortgage process. There are questions and answers you should know to make your apartment search more successful. Here are a few for your consideration.
While prospective home buyers often create elaborate sets of questions during their search, many renters tend to underestimate the importance of having a checklist when they evaluate homes, apartments, or townhouses for rent. But, if you're going to live in a rental home as your primary residence, you should have a meaningful checklist of items, too. Here are some suggestions for your considerations when evaluating apartments and homes for rent.
There are several great ways to find the right homes for rent. You should begin your search online to get an overview of what is available, and you won't even need to leave your home. You can get listings of homes in your targeted area. The better websites and services also let you set up alerts for when homes get listed that fit your requirements. Start looking about 2-3 months before you plan on moving, to get your feet wet and start looking ahead of time.
When moving into a new rental make sure to find out from the landlord or building manager when the garbage goes out and where it should be kept before being picked up. You will also want to find out if the town you are moving to recycles and what day recycling is picked up or where you need to drop off the recycling. If you do not get the information from your landlord you can always call the town and ask them and request a schedule.
It is a good idea to spend the time and read the rental agreement or lease before signing it. This way if you are not comfortable with anything in the lease, you can discuss it with the landlord and have it changed before you agree to it by signing. Reading the lease may also help to bring up other questions or things that need more clarification. If you are not comfortable reading the lease yourself, bring someone with more experience or ask the landlord for a copy of the lease before you meet to sign it and have someone else look over it for you.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|