Home rentals come with shorter-term commitment and minimal maintenance or repair costs to the person renting a home.
While homeownership is the ultimate goal for a majority of Americans, at some point you just have to cope with the rent cycles. Let no one lie to you that renting a home is a simple and straightforward process. You need to do proper research in order to make the right decisions.
In this post, we feature a comprehensive tutorial for renting a home. Therefore, if moving to a new city and worried about the process to follow in order to rent a home, here are important tips to help you.
1. Prepare your Paperwork
The best way to convince the landlord that you are the tenant he or she has been searching is to be prepared. Consider that there are others looking for a home to rent just like you are. In that regard, to get a competitive edge over the applicants, bring the necessary documents when you are leaving to meet the landlord. Here is a list of documents that I advise you to come with when searching for a home:
- A completed rental application
- Written references from your past landlords
- Come with proof of employment or proof of income
- A current copy of your credit report
Property owners will require a formal application from the prospective tenants. This serves as an expression of interest. The written references from your past landlord, proof of income/employment, and the current copy of credit report are meant to prove that you have what it takes to clear the outstanding bills.
2. Review the Lease Documentation
Upon presenting the formal tenancy application letter accompanied by the other documents, your prospective landlord will go throw them and send a response. If he or she sees that you are a potential landlord, a lease document will be sent to you. Review the lease documents before you have signed. Make sure you have gone through it to see the terms of the agreement and in case there is anything that appears not acceptable, seek clarification from the landlord. Some landlords will have strict guidelines when it comes to hosting and entertaining your guests, pets policy, or even rent payments.
Before signing the rental agreement, make sure you have proper clarification from the property management company or the landlord.
3. Research the Neighborhood
It is important that you research as much about the neighborhood to avoid a situation where you have moved into a home rental, only to find that the closest school for your children is miles away. Thus, even before you are done with the lease agreement, take time to research the neighborhood. Luckily, today’s technology allows us to learn about a neighborhood by simply searching online. You will find information like crime rate, best schools with certain neighborhoods, restaurants, hospitals, places of worship, and entertainment places by simply using Google Maps. Create some time to drive around the neighborhood, doing what I may call “mapping the neighborhood”. The objective is to find which neighborhood best suits your kind of lifestyle.
4. Make sure You Have Everything in Writing
Disputes could occur months in your tenancy just because of some misunderstanding. To avoid such a situation, it is imperative that you get everything in paper. You need to keep a copy of the agreement for future reference. In addition, if making any requests to the landlord, be sure to have it done in writing. This can be a simple email to the property management company, or to the property owner.
5. Inspect the Property
Do not make the mistake of moving to a house without proper inspection done. If another person leased the property, you need to do proper inspection taking note of any breakages. If there are breakages, the property management company should repair it before you have moved into the property. Otherwise, you need to take note of the breakage, so that at the end of your lease agreement, you do not end up paying for damage you do not own. The best thing to do is to demand repairs before you have moved into that property.
6. Protect your Security Deposit
To protect yourself and avoid any misunderstandings about a refund of the security, be sure to verify with the landlord the terms of security refund. Note that rent security is meant to cover any damages to the property or the installed appliances. In that regard, be sure to check for damages and requests for repairs so that you do not end up paying for repairing damages that existed even before you moved in.
Renting a home requires that the tenant pays keen attention to every detail. To increase the chances of finding a rental home, have your documentation ready. Make sure you have inspected the property and surveyed the neighborhood to ascertain that all necessary amenities are within reach.