So, you found a new property to rent. What’s next? Next is to know what you can afford and what you can not. It is important to clearly understand the kind of rental agreement you are going to enter.
We will share some information that you may find useful when renting a place. You must be ready and well-armed, no matter what situation you’ll face.
So here are 10 important tips on renting:
1. Read before sign
Before you sign or put money down, read the lease or rental agreement very carefully. Do it even twice. Do not hesitate to ask about anything you do not understand or that makes you hesitate. Try to look for hidden charges. Sometimes they may be just in the paper but covert somehow. So, you will be obliged to pay those charges, if you miss them.
Related: 5 Costly Mistakes Tenants Should Avoid
2. Don't count on oral promises
If there are important things you were talking with your landlord about, get it in writing. You may add into your rental agreement as additional requisitions or just have a separate list signed by owner.
3. Make a list of major problems in the apartment
Better take your landlord and do it together. Include the condition of walls, floors, windows, check the bathroom for a mold. Take pictures. Get the landlord to sign your list. This will be an evidence to protect you when the move out time comes.
4. Utility bills
Ask your landlord who pays for utilities like electricity, hot and cold water, heat, trash disposal and parking. Find out this information and make a list for yourself when and how much to pay for what.
5. Utility controls
Clear the picture with utility controls. Check the thermostat, learn how to control it. Look for hot water heater and any other technical stuff that you may need.
6. Smokers issues
Ask your landlord to show you a document called "smoking policy." It is a set of rules that indicate prohibited places and identifies any smoker-friendly areas. You can agree and sign a document or your landlord can include this in the lease.
7. Check all appliances and utilities
Make sure that all utilities and appliances are in right condition. Talk with your landlord about whether he agrees to fix appliances, furnace and all other building systems in case of damages. Also, make sure that all electrical sockets and light fittings as well as appliances, such as cookers and kettles, are in good condition. If you are not an expert, it’s better to have a proper inspection carried out by a professional electrician.
8. Make Enquiries
If there is a possibility, try to talk with other tenants or neighbours about the building and the landlord. Ask about public transportation, nearest stores, off-street parking, hospital and police station. There may be some valuable advices you should keep in mind.
9. Protect yourself from burglary
Check to see that all the windows and doors can be locked and are not broken. Check if there are window screens. Most break-ins use windows to penetrate into the building.
10. Tenant's insurance
Find out if your landlord's insurance does protect you from damage or loss of your furniture or other property. If not, consider buying tenant's insurance to have this protection. Anything could happen, so it’s better to stay safe.