Tips on How to Rent a Safe Home
Whenever you decide to rent a home, you must act vigilantly. Vigilant here could mean many things. For example, you should check if the property has no damages. And, you should be aware of the region’s legal rights.
If you are new to renting a property, here are few tips to help you.
Tip #1 – Rights and Laws
First of all, you must understand the legal rights and laws in the neighborhood. Many landlords come up with unique laws. It is very important to study about the landlord-tenant laws. This way you will be aware of your responsibilities and rights as a tenant. Sometimes, it would be wise to entrust this task to a realty agent. They are experts and will be aware of the locality’s landlord-tenant laws.
Tip #2 – Inspection
Moving on, you should inspect the rental property carefully. You should inspect the air conditioning unit, the water system, plumbing networks, locks, windows and more! You should verify about house maintenance too. For instance, ask about when the property was maintained lately. Early verification will help you avoid homes with issues.
Tip #3 – Read the Document
A lot of tenants skip the lease document. Well, this is a bad practice. You must go through the lease document with care. By definition, the lease acts as a contract between the landlord and you. The legal contract can be modified by the landlord. This means he/she can include and remove certain clauses. These clauses establish a legal binding between the tenant and the landlord. To play safe, you must inspect the lease contract. Approach an attorney or legal counsel if required. They will give you a better insight into the contract.
Tip #4 – Photographs!
The moment you finalize on a property, you should visit the home again. During this inspection take photographs of the property. All visible damages must be documented. For example, if you see holes caused by AC mounts or wall-mounted TVs, you must take a photograph and inform the owner. You can request the landlord to fix such issues before moving in. What is important is documenting all damages and informing the landlord. Otherwise, there are high chances of the landlord asking you to repair or repay for the damage.
Tip #5 – The Bond
At all times, you should maintain a healthy relationship with your landlord. You don’t have to become best buddies. But, you should not make the landlord hate you! An annoyed and an unhappy landlord will be very difficult to handle. They can make settlements and end-of-tenancy procedures tough. This is why you should respect and be kind to the landlord.
(Note – Happy landlords will not think twice to make emergency repairs or water your plants!)
Tip #6 – Documentation
If you discussed something out-of-the-box with your landlord, remember to document the conversation. All text messages and emails must be saved. Even when you maintain a solid relationship with the owner, you should be prepared and protected. When things get ugly, documents will lend you a hand of help. You can use the documents to make a point and prove in court.
Tip #7 – Neighbors
Neighbors can be very useful. They are a rich source of information. Many tenants consider this as an unnecessary move! Well, these tenants are absolutely wrong. Neighbors can recommend the best auto shop, supermarket or local restaurant. Your neighbors may have a good relationship with the landlord. They will be aware of the home’s previous occupants. In fact, they can tell you if the landlord has “previously” agreed to repair and maintain the property!
Tip #8 – Pets
Never sneak pets into the rental home without asking your landlord. If you own a cat or dog, you must check if the landlord is pet-friendly. Many landlords don’t like pets. In fact, they don’t approve tenants with pets. That is because pets can cause serious damage to homes. This is why many landlords prefer tenants without any pets.
Tip #9 – Attorney
If you are running into trouble with the landlord (after signing on those dotted lines), you must approach an attorney. All disgruntled landlords need a skilled attorney. Professionals will make sure you don’t lose money. And, they will safeguard your rights. If money becomes a serious issue, the “Tenant Protection Organizations” can support you.
Tip #10 – The Move Out
Before you vacate the property, take photographs. You must take photographs of the backyard, appliances, rooms, and more! You must visually document the home before moving in and after moving out. Though most landlords are good, some can be spiteful enough to break their own homes! They can accuse tenants deliberately. Photographs can save you from such issues.
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