Renting a place to live is an exciting venture. With this in mind, many considerations must be taken into account before you rent the place that is just right for you.
We hope these tips will help make your transition to your new home a smooth one. Enjoy your new home!
It's always good to establish a healthy rapport with your landlord. The person from whom you rent should be viewed as an ally, not an adversary. Some things that you can do to maintain a good relationship include paying your rent on time, communicating any maintenance problems early on and with courtesy, and not viewing yourself as a victim should anything go wrong.
If your designated rent paycheck is issued to you before your rent is due, go ahead and pay it early. This is a sign of good faith to a landlord. On the other hand, if you cannot pay your rent on time, be sure to let you landlord know when he/she can expect it. Apologize sincerely. Many property owners allow a grace period of three to five days for late payments without questions.
A good tenant and neighbor will do things like picking up trash that has blown into the yard, taking out (and putting back) trash and recycling containers on pickup day(s), being considerate of others in the building in terms of noise, cleanliness and helping out, and treating the property with respect. Not only are these things common courtesy, but they will also reflect one day on a reference you might need from your landlord when you rent yet another property.
If you have a major water leak, no hot water, a furnace that won't start, a door that won't lock, or other similar situations, call your landlord right away. Problems can fast become progressively worse as time goes on. You landlord will want to know about urgent maintenance issues before they escalate into something worse.
Read any document carefully before you sign it. Make sure that you understand and agree to the terms before you make a commitment to the landlord. It does not pay to be rushed through the reading of the lease. If you can, take the lease with you to examine closely before signing.
Landlords may legally collect the first month's rent in advance as well as a security deposit equal to or less than one month's rent when the lease is signed. During the first month or so in an apartment, tenants usually discover many unanticipated needs. Furnishing an apartment and identifying those missing items will often result in added expenses. Cable TV, Internet hookup costs, and possible deposits to utility companies should be taken into consideration.
For some utilities, a single name may be required as the responsible person. Whose name will go on the bill and how will the bills be divided and paid? Will there be more than one phone line? How will phone, cable, and computer priorities be set?
We strongly recommend purchasing renter's insurance to cover the loss of a tenant's personal property through fire, theft, etc. If you cannot afford to replace belongings that are damaged or lost, renter's insurance is a must. If you insure your property with the same insurer as your car insurance, you will generally receive a discount. Sometimes students' insurance can be added to parents' insurance for less cost than a new, separate policy.