Renting a home or apartment for the first time can be overwhelming. Below is some basic information about renting that first-time renters can use to reduce the anxiety and ensure that the experience is as smooth and painless as possible.
Finding a Unit
When searching for rental property, it's wise to comb through the real estate listings carefully and compare your options. Don't settle on the first place you visit. Instead, take some time to search for the perfect home. Hire a qualified real estate agent and settle on your target price range before you set the first appointment.
The Cost of Renting
As a renter, you will be responsible for making a payment to your landlord each month. In most cases, the payment will remain the same for the duration of your lease. Most landlords will also require you to pay a security deposit before moving in, which may be refundable if the unit is in good condition when you leave. Finally, because your landlord's insurance policy won't cover your personal belongings, you should also consider purchasing rental insurance to protect your property from damage or loss.
The Application Process
Before you can rent a home or apartment, you must typically complete an application. The landlord or property manager will then review your income and credit information before deciding whether to accept you as a tenant. For this reason, it's important to clean up your credit as much as you can before you apply as a renter.
Signing the Lease
If the landlord approves your application, you will sign a lease, which is an agreement between you and the landlord that defines the terms of your tenancy arrangement. Most leases last for at least one year. However, some landlords are willing to rent on a month-to-month basis.
Following the Rules
Most landlords publish a list of rules that tenants must follow. For example, some landlords may restrict pets, or they may prohibit you from making permanent changes to the interior of the residence. If you break these rules repeatedly, the landlord may evict you, refuse to renew your lease and/or refuse to return your security deposit, so make sure you understand the rules before you sign the lease.
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