10 Tips every Tenant should know
If you are looking to rent a condo, townhouse, or home; there are many tips that you should keep in mind and consider while doing your search. Whether you are a first time renter or someone who has rented before, these are all things to consider before and after the signing of the lease.
- Get a REALTOR®
Just like in any other Real Estate transaction, everyone should have a REALTOR® representing them and their interests in their rental search. Contracts and leases can be complex and not easy to understand. It is important to have someone on your side that can facilitate the process for you.
- Research the Neighborhood or Community
You first need to determine the location or area that you are looking to move too. Consider work commute, access to shopping and restaurants, access to Community Services, access to local Schools, among others. You need to consider all the things that you find important to you.
- Make a Budget
Consider the expense that comes with every more. Utilities, Moving expenses, Security Deposit, advance rent, and other such expenses will come with your move. Plan for the expense and be prepared for the upfront cost.
- Begin to Pack
Packing for any move can be a challenge. You will find things you had totally forgot you even had. Begin to pack in advance so that your move is smooth and less stressful.
- Begin your Rental Search
Every REALTOR® will always tell you to begin your rental search early. However, it is important that you keep in mind that if a “perfect” home is found, most Owners/Landlords will not usually hold their property for over two weeks. Keep in mind they are trying to lease their property and gain income from it. Holding the property out for you means they lose money. However, if you are willing to pay an additional fee determined by the Owner/Landlord, then they may agree to hold the property for you for a longer period of time.
- Fill out a Rental Application
Once a home that you are interested in is found, the next step is to fill out the Rental Application. Be prepared to provide information such as Name, Current Address, Current Employment, Current Landlord information, and possible references. Depending on the Landlord or Property Management handling the property, a credit and/or background check may be done.
- Read your Lease
It is very important that your read your lease and all documents that are given to you. It is important that if you have any questions, that you ask them. It’s very crucial that you understand the terms and conditions of your lease.
- Understand your local and state laws
Every state has their own individual laws, as they apply to Landlord and Tenants. It is important that you research and find your local/state laws, and that you become familiar with them. In Georgia, the Landlord Tenant Handbook would be an excellent resource for you to review.
- Get Renters Insurance
Did you know that in the event of a fire, a natural disaster, a burglary, or anything out of your control; all the contents inside your home are not protected? All owners/landlords carry home owner’s insurance in their properties. However, their policy usually does not cover any of your personal belongings. To ensure that you and your loved ones are protected, renter’s insurance should definitely be considered.
- Understand Repairs/Maintenance and Alterations
You want to make sure you are clear about what repairs and maintenance will be made and maintained by the owner/landlord, and what repairs/maintenance you will be responsible for. All these items are usually outlined on you lease. Make sure they are clear and if not, ask for them to be clearly outlined on the lease. If you want to make alterations to the home such as painting, hanging on frames on the walls; make sure to ask what you are able and not able to do.
Do you have any questions or comments? Please let me know!