Before you rent a home, it is important to a have a good awareness of what is expected of both you and of the landlord. Know your rights, be prepared and make this transition a positive experience for all parties involved.
- Be Prepared. Have all your ducks in a row when you are preparing to meet with a potential landlord for the first time. Bring a completed rental agreement, references and a copy of your current credit report. This can show a landlord that you are serious and responsible.
- Communication. It is important to have open communication with your landlord. This way if there is ever an issue with repairs or money, you won't feel awkward when you go to talk with him/her. Make sure that you keep everything in writing, this will help with any misunderstandings or disputes. Follow up any oral conversations or agreements with a written letter.
- Renters' Insurance. The insurance that the landlord is required to have on the home, will not cover any of your losses due to theft or damage. Renters insurance is typically cheap and will cover loss due to theft or damage caused by natural disasters. It also will cover you if anyone attempts to sue due to an injury that occured in your rental.
- Know your lease. Review every aspect of your lease before you sign. There could be restrictions on guests, pets and having a buiness that may not work for you. In addition, make sure that you have a clear understanding of your security deposit refund. Do a walk through with the landlord and write down any existing damage on a move-in statement or a checklist and keep a copy for yourself.
- Privacy Rights. Before you rent a home, understand the Tenants' Rights to Privacy and Repairs in your state. One of the most common misunderstandings between a tenant and landlord is the landlords right to enter a rental unit and the tenants right to be left alone. Know your rights, so that you can protect them.
Knowing your lease and having open communication with your landlord is essential to having a good working relationship with each other for at least the next year.