More Americans rent now than at any other time in the U.S. since 1965.
America is no longer simply a country of homeowners.
And yet, when you're a first-time tenant, there are many things you need to know before renting your home.
It can be extremely daunting signing a contract that you don't understand. Agreeing to pay rent every month can be a big decision.
Check out our tips for renting a house below!
1. Do Your Homework to Learn Your Rights
If you haven't rented previously, there is a lot to learn.
You need to do your homework to learn your rights.
This may depend on the state you live in. Every state has different protections for tenants and landlords.
If you have any problems with your landlord, being informed is essential to avoid breaking the law or being exploited by others.
The landlord may tell you that they have rights which they don't in fact have. You'll know when they're telling the truth or not.
2. Inspect the Property Carefully Before Signing
You may feel quite uncomfortable inspecting the property in the presence of the real estate agent or landlord.
And yet, it's really important to make sure you check everything in the property is in good condition.
This includes inspecting whether the AC unit functions effectively. Are the windows and doors secure? What about if the plumbing is in working order?
3. Don't Skim the Rental Contract
Surveys show that around 91 percent of Americans skim-read terms and conditions without reading the document properly.
If that sounds like you, this is the time you should make an exception. Ensure that you have carefully examined the rental agreement before you sign anything.
There could be a confusing legal language that you need to raise with a legal advisor. This can require time and money. But, it is worthwhile to avoid getting trapped in a contract that harms you.
4. Always Pay Your Rent
Many people struggle to pay rent.
But, you cannot afford to miss your payment deadline. You need to ensure that you pay the rent on time every month by the agreed date.
If you pay in cash, ensure that you receive a receipt to prove you have already paid your monthly rent.
If you always pay for your rent via a bank transfer, check with your landlord that they have definitely received your rent money already.
5. Get Along With Your Neighbors
Around one-third of Americans say that they have barely even greeted their neighbors.
You should ignore the crowd. Speaking with your neighbors is an important way to learn about the neighborhood.
If your neighbor knows your landlord or estate agent, you could gain valuable insights into how they treat previous tenants.
Knowing your neighbors can give you important information that you won't find out from your landlord.
6. Your Landlord Is Responsible for Repairs
If you're quite handy at DIY around the house, you may be tempted to handle the household repairs yourself.
But, it's important to remember that it's your landlord's responsibility to take care of any repair and maintenance works. That's because if you do any damage when you're trying to fix things, you could find that you get in trouble with the owner.
You may need to regularly get in touch with your landlord to apply pressure to get them to repair any maintenance issues.
7. Keep It Friendly with Your Landlord
Whenever possible, you need to work to keep it friendly and professional between you and the landlord.
This isn't someone you want to fall out with. If you think your circumstances are difficult now, try making an enemy of the owner of your home.
But, sometimes, you simply have no other choice than to stand up for yourself. Even then, remain polite and friendly if you can.
8. Don't Allow Your Landlord to Overstep
You could have a landlord that manages your property effectively and doesn't infringe on your life at all.
However, you shouldn't allow your landlord to overstep the mark. Make sure they know that you won't be bullied or harassed by them.
In particular, watch out for inspections to your home. This may be perfectly reasonable. Yet, this can be a cover for intrusion into your home.
9. Document the Property With Photographs
When you arrive at the property for the first time, make sure you take photographs.
This serves as proof of the condition of the property when you're moved in.
You should also take as many photographs of the property as possible when you leave. This can help to protect yourself in the future.
If you're accused of breaking something in the property, you can provide evidence to show that this occurred before your tenancy.
You have probably given your landlord a deposit. You could find that the landlord refuses to return this money unless you can prove any damage was not your fault.
10. Leave the Property on Good Terms
Life doesn't always work out as you wish.
But, you should remember that you may need to get a reference from your landlord. So, whenever you can, leave the property on good terms with your landlord.
You don't want your poor relationship with your landlord to hurt your future property prospects.
Need More Tips for Renting a House?
If you're renting a house for the first time in your life, then there's a lot to learn before you move into the property.
With our tips for renting a house, you can ensure that you don't get into trouble with your landlord.
Are you eager to discover more renting tips? Do you want to search for a property to rent?
Check out our website for more about rental homes in the tri-state area.