In 2019, about 36% of the nation’s 122.8 million households were rented. If you’re thinking about renting a home, you’re in good company.
Before renting a home, however, it’s important that you understand what to avoid. When looking for a rental, many people make big mistakes that can lead to a lot of discomfort and stress later on.
Here are 6 common home renting errors and how to avoid them.
1. Not Thinking Through a Budget
It’s important to understand all of the expenses that will be involved with renting a home. Don’t just think about the price of rent itself.
Remember that you’ll also need to pay other fees as well. This could include utilities, services such as phone and internet, as well as pet fees and security deposits. It’s also a good idea to get renters insurance as well.
You should also carefully consider the costs of renting vs owning a home. You may want to consider rent to own options for homes as well.
2. Failing to Review the Lease
You’ll want to read over the rental agreement with a fine tooth comb and ensure that you understand everything that’s in it.
Be sure that you understand all of the details, including when the rent is due, pet policies, guest restrictions, and your rights as a tenant. You should also understand how maintenance and repairs will be handled and everything else that relates to staying in the home.
3. Failing to Read Reviews
In many cases these days, you’ll be able to find information on a rental company online and can see reviews from past clients. Make sure that you take the time to do some research and find out everything you can about the landlord that you’ll be renting from.
Spend some time reading tenant reviews online. See if you can get a good idea of whether the landlord was fair and communicated well with past clients.
4. Renting Sight Unseen
You should never rent a home before you get to check it out in person first. Photos can be misleading, and you may find that a home isn’t what you expected it to be. You could also fall for rental scams.
Be sure that you meet with the property manager or landlord and that you check out a home in person to ensure that you know what to expect.
5. Starting Late
Another mistake that renters make with their house hunting strategy is that they don’t start looking for a place early enough. Depending on where you live, things may be pretty competitive, and it might be harder than you expect to find a comfortable home.
Make sure that you give yourself a couple of months, if possible, to find a place that you’ll be happy with, especially if you live in a competitive rental market.
6. Not Preparing Documents
Ideally, you should be prepared to apply for a rental immediately once you find one that you like.
Getting your ID, bank statements, pay stubs, vehicle registration and insurance, references, rental history, and other important documents ready beforehand can be helpful. This can help make the process smoother once you decide to go forward with filling out a rental application.
Avoiding These Home Renting Errors
If you’re looking for a rental property, be sure to avoid these common home renting errors. Plan your budget carefully, carefully read over the rental agreement, and start looking for a place early.
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