6 Major Things to Know Before RentingThere’s no doubt that looking for a home is a big decision, especially when you’re searching for the perfect house to rent. The home or apartment you choose will define your lifestyle and your life—from your commute and your meals, to whether your new space can easily accommodate friends and family. As you check out locations you think you’ll love, it’s important to ask questions and get answers before signing a lease.Here are the six major things you need to know before renting.
1. The cost of the propertyWhen searching for a home to rent, there are multiple costs to consider, so the first thing you need to know is the actual month-to-month cost in addition to other expenses. With some rental properties, cable, electric, gas, water, and sewer are a part of the lease agreement, while other properties may require you to pay for these expenses out-of-pocket.Your goal as a renter is to find a great house or apartment and get the greatest value which means you want to consider not only rent and utilities, but the other costs associated with moving to a new rental home. These can include the actual moving costs to get you into your new home.
2. How much you need to pay upfrontThe next thing you need to know is how much you’ll need to pay before you move. Landlords may require your first month’s rent before you actually move in and a security deposit—this will typically be returned to you at the end of your lease period or cover any property damage caused by you during your rental term. Other landlords may tack on a non-refundable fee as well.
3. Additional property feesIt’s important to ask about other fees related to the property. For example, in addition to utilities,many rental properties charge additional fees for pets, lawn maintenance, repairs, etc. Asking these questions upfront can save you from lots of hassle after you sign the lease, plus you will discover what home maintenance chores you may be responsible for while you rent the home.
4. What you’re responsible forAccording to House Method, renters should understand the policies regarding repairs and replacements. Do you need to pay for repairs out of pocket or will your landlord cover these fees? Perform an inspection of the property before you sign the lease and move in. As you examine the property, make notes and take pictures of any areas of concern, and have a copy for your landlord and one to keep.
5. Guest rulesAsk your landlord about rules for guests. Will your significant other, parent, or sibling be staying for extended periods of time? Check your lease agreement carefully to be sure you won’t be charged additional fees for long- or short-term guests in your rental home.
6. Release clauseLook for a release clause in your lease. Circumstances, often beyond your control, may mean you need to break your lease. Specifically, you need to know under what circumstances (and fees) your lease can be broken, you can be released from the lease, and you can sublet the property, should a move be required due to a job change, marriage, divorce, deployment, etc.Knowing these six things before you rent, counting the costs, and understanding your lease agreement can make renting your new home stress- and hassle-free from start to finish.
Kaytie Elizabeth PascaleWriter
Beacon Hill Apartments for rent
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