How to Be a Smart Renter

Not everyone is in a position to purchase a home; another option to have your own place is to rent a house or apartment. There are ads all over the place about homes for rent. While it may seem pretty easy to find a place you like and move right in there are many things you need to know and take care of before signing a lease. Some of the things you personally need to do before applying to rent a home are:

1. Clear up any problems on your credit report. Most landlords do a credit check to verify your payment history and reliability.

2. Make sure that you have a secure job and can afford the rent as well as household expenses. There is no need to get into a lease if you can’t afford to pay the bills and have to break the lease in a few months.

3. Figure out whether you want a roommate or other person to share the home with you, and whether you will want a pet.

4. Put together a list of personal and financial references to give to the landlord. They will want to verify the type of person you are before handing over keys to their property.

5. Shop around for the type of home you really want, check out the neighborhoods and make sure that the place you choose is somewhere that you will be satisfied living for at least a year.

Once you have yourself in order and go to see the home you have chosen there are items that you will need to check and questions that you will need to ask.

1. Walk through the property and check all the windows and doors, closets, plumbing, and appliances, if there is anything that you notice needs repair make a note of it.

2. Ask the landlord about utilities, and maintenance, you will need to know what you responsibilities are and what you will need to call the landlord to handle.

When the time comes to sign the lease, make sure that any repairs that need done are mentioned and ask the landlord to put in writing that they will be taken care of. Most landlords have a standard lease for a twelve month period, while it may seem long and wordy you need to read it thoroughly and address any problems that you can see may arise, addendums can be added to waive certain parts of the lease if the landlord agrees. Before moving in to the property be sure to do a walk through and take photos of any damages, this will protect your security deposit when you move out.

Renting a home is a wonderful option to get out on your own before you are able to purchase your own house, the key to being happy as a renter is to be an informed and educated renter.

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