5 Key Tips for Tenants Seeking a Rental Property
For a stress-free living arrangement, you need to be vigilant when looking for a property to rent. It is incredibly crucial to never overlook any factor that touches on your legal rights as a tenant. You also need to understand your tenant obligations to avoid surprises. Here are five tips every tenant seeking a rental property should know.
Purchase renters insurance
Your safety and protection should be a top priority, as you never know when disaster might strike. Purchasing renters insurance is the best way to cover yourself against unexpected losses from theft or damage. It will also limit your liability when you are sued by someone who gets injured in your rental due to your carelessness. Renters insurance is extremely crucial for tenants as it also covers the costs of repairing the property in case you cause any damage during your stay.
Research the neighborhood
How well do you know the neighborhood that you want to live in? It is in your best interest to research and learn about the safety of the neighborhood and the property that you want to rent. There are several red flags to look out for when checking out a neighborhood, such as many criminal incidents, suspicious-looking groups around the area, and unfriendly neighbors. Avoid neighborhoods that leave you with more questions than answers. Use the following ways to know if a neighborhood is safe:
Check the national sex offender list
Visit the neighborhood and check its condition
Read and understand your lease
You should never be in a rush to sign your lease or rental agreement, as some landlords and property managers include provisions that may infringe on your tenant rights. Carefully go through your lease agreement and understand all conditions listed before you sign the dotted lines. If you find any unacceptable provisions, seek legal counsel to avoid complications in the future.
Inspect the property
It is critical to inspect the rental property before you sign your rental agreement. This is the best way to verify its condition and ensure house maintenance is at its best. Be careful of any form of structural damage, plumbing issues, or heating problems, as they need to be repaired before you move in. Smaller damages such as holes in walls because of wall-mounted items also need to be noted to avoid misunderstandings when you move out.
Stick to signed agreements
Oral agreements are good but difficult to enforce. Have an agreement written down and signed, so you know what to expect in different situations. The last thing you need is a landlord who acts on their free will by randomly increasing rent at a time when high housing costs are already a concern. A signed agreement stating how and when a landlord can increase rent will make your financial planning easier and establish a ground for understanding.
The only way to be safe as a tenant is by taking the right precautions before renting a property. Implement these tips when renting a property to avoid complications.
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or the management of EconoTimes