It’s everyone’s dream to own a house someday! But, until that happens, most people are forced to live as a tenant. If you’re someone looking for a rental property, there are some things you must take care of to make your journey as smooth as possible.
Let’s take a look at those things as explained by Cash for Homes Arizona.
Renting is A Lot Costlier Than You Might think
The first thing most renters would do is calculate a few month’s rent initially and set it aside. But, remember. That’s not all the expenses involved in renting. Often you may have to spend several hundred dollars on hidden costs alone.
Landlords and agents would often run a credit check. They also run other references. Usually, the cost of their service is passed onto the tenant. That’s not all. If you choose to rent a house via an agency, you may have to deposit larger amounts than expected. You may even be charged admin fees.
Referencing and administration fees usually vary between agencies. But, you should check these before making any final offer.
Read the Contract!
Most people don’t bother to read the contract. Read it thoroughly and have a legal advisor read it also. Ask him about anything that might be unclear to you.
Sign the contract only after a thorough inspection. Make sure that all of the terms, conditions, and agreements that you discussed initially are reflected well in the contract.
Make sure the contract contains an inventory of the appliances and furniture that will come with the property. It should also discuss their condition.
Always check this with your landlord/agent and update them about anything that might have been missed. Also, mention anything like stains on carpets, torn wallpaper, etc. If you don’t, you may have to spend money from your pocket at the time of moving out.
Ask Friends and Family to Get Free Furniture
No matter if you’re moving into an unfurnished or furnished house, there’s a good chance that you might need a few pieces of furniture. If your list of required furniture is long, you could easily burn through your budget.
One way to cut down on finances is to ask around your friends and family whether they have some furniture they would like to get rid of for free.
Another excellent source to get furniture for free is to go on Freecycle. The site allows you to locate people in your locality who want to give away all kinds of things for free.
Conduct a Thorough Inventory
Take a good, hard look at the inventory of the property. Pay attention to any defects. Make a note of all these items. If possible, take photos for a better explanation.
Keep a copy of this for yourself and give one to the landlord. In most cases, you can ask your landlord to prepare this inventory. If not, you can always do this on your own. After that, you can have it signed by the landlord.
Assess Your Needs vs. Wants
There’s a difference between needs and wants. If possible, try to cut back on your wants and focus more on your needs. Ask yourself realistically, do you really need two bathrooms and bedrooms? Or do you think you could do with just one?
Do you need extra luxury amenities or can you do without them? Being realistic about these things could help you cut down on costs and live easily within a small budget.
Read the Meters
This one is an important step. Before you move into the house, make sure to note down the reading on the meter and inform your agent about the same. Failing to do so might lead to you having to pay extra as you might be liable for any prior usage before moving to the house.
Also, while you’re at – ask about different payment options. See if you can work out a cheap plan where you get a discount. You can also ask for a prepayment meter.
Ask Who’s Responsible for Maintenance
The maintenance cost is typically borne by the property owner. This includes related charges as well. As a tenant, you will only be responsible for normal wear and tear. However, in residential societies, tenants have to pay some maintenance fees also.
It is better if you clarify these things well in advance with your landlord. In the case of a society, the maintenance fee is usually tied to the rent. Sometimes the tenant may have to pay it separately. In any case, read the contract regarding the same and have it clarified.
What If the Landlord Wants to Sell
Since you’re not living in your own home, you would want to have a sense of security and peace knowing that no one will evict you before your lease expires. However, if your contract doesn’t have conditions for when the landlord decides to sell his property, you may have no option but to evict the property.
So, before signing anything, be sure to protect yourself so that your landlord cannot sell the property while you’re a paying tenant.
These are some things you should be careful about when moving into a new house. Your journey as a worry-free tenant will depend on all of these factors. So, do not take them lightly.