Rental apartment is more than just finding a property and moving in. You need to consider a lot of things before making the big move. However, with a lot going on already, it’s hard to keep up with what things to remember and what to let go of.
Don’t worry, we’re here to help. We have compiled a list of the 15 most essential things that you should keep in mind when renting a home. All these tips are easy to understand and do not require you to go out of your way at all. Without wasting any more time, let’s dive into the details.
Essentials to Remember Before Renting a House
You don’t rent a house every day, so you need to be certain that things are going to work out for you – at least for a few months. Make sure you consider the following tips:
Ask Upfront Cost
Moving into a rental apartment requires you to spend a lot of money. It involves everything from security deposits and brokerage fees to application fees, logistics and sometimes even an entire month’s rent in advance. Since you will be spending so much money before moving in, it is important to know everything upfront.
Determine your Budget
You must determine your budget and stick to it. Search for a home that fits your budget, an amount that doesn’t put a hole in your pocket. If you are looking for a big apartment in a good neighborhood, chances are that you’d have to make a compromise. So decide on a maximum & minimum limit and then start searching.
Assess the Neighborhood and Property
Those renting a home for the first time usually make a hasty decision and sign a lease without even assessing the neighborhood. Even the best real estate agent recommends that you check the community or society first. Consider checking the societies during weekends or the evening time because that’s when most people are at home. Talk to a few of them to get a general idea of the society, the rules, events and other related activities of the neighborhood.
Location is Everything
If there’s one element that holds utmost importance it’s the location. Students need to check how long it will take them to reach their school or university. Similarly, working individuals need to check the time it takes to travel back and forth from their home and office. If the time is somewhere between 20 to 30 minutes, ask yourself if you’d like to drive or cycle. Make sure you also research how many supermarkets, clinics, shops, hospitals, bus stops are nearby.
Look for a house or rental apartment that fits your budget and does not require you to pay any additional costs. When the landlord quotes a price, ask if the price includes electricity, water or internet. Also ask if you’d require paying any additional cost such as cleaning services, fixing, maintenance and packing. Check if the money still suits your budget and figure out your priority.
If you do not want to hire a broker or cannot afford brokerage costs, search in rental portals, local newspapers, street advertisements or the web. Performing a thorough search across all the mediums will help you get a better understanding of the rental market. This eventually will help you get a better deal. You can also consult your friends or colleagues and consider their references before making the final decision.
Look Beyond Pictures and Words
Let’s assume you are going through a property on a housing website. The portal displays high-quality pictures of the kitchen, bedroom, living room and common area. You find the pictures attractive so you decide to rent the home and sign the online contract. But when you visit the property in person, the scenario is completely different. Unlike the pictures, the house looks dirty, has old furniture, a messy kitchen and old newspapers lying around. Turns out that the pictures you viewed were from a year ago and that nobody has lived there for a long time. But since you had already signed the contract online, you’re now stuck with the property.
These kinds of fraud happen with a lot of people. This is why one must pay a personal visit to the property before finalizing things.
Find out All About the Broker and Landlord
When renting, you will deal with a fair amount of landlords and brokers. Thus, it is important to do your research. You need to stay away from brokerage firms and landlords that rip tenants off and do not return their security deposit. If you’re not sure how to get started, just ask around. You will find many friends, colleagues and family members who have dealt with a situation like this and will advise you on the same. They will recommend some reliable agency/brokerage firms and give you a list of names to be aware of.
Another way to avoid fraud is by reading the terms and conditions carefully before signing the contract. Don’t hesitate to seek advice from a professional if you find anything unclear in the agreement.
Ask About Pet Policy or Addendum
Want to carry a pet with you to your new apartment or home? Ask your landlord about it. Find out if you require signing a pet addendum. If not, then check the building rules and regulations regarding pets. Finalize the agreement only after you are satisfied with the pet-related conditions.
Plan What You Need and What Not
Moving to a new place is exciting. But before you get down to the renovation part and start putting your ideas together, make a proper plan. See if you have the basic furniture and other renovation-related elements.
Go Through Amenities Checklist
If you are moving to an apartment, take out time to go through their amenities checklist. You may or may not need certain amenities and based on that, you can decide which apartment to rent. Here’s what a typical checklist looks like:
- Games/Activity Room
- Badminton/Basketball/Tennis or Football Courts
- Swimming Pool
- Pet Areas
- Outdoor Grilling or Barbeque Areas
- Car and Bicycle Parking
- Walking Path
- Community Garden
- Fire Pit Areas
- Terrace or Rooftop
Ensure Property Maintenance
Once you rent a home, it’s your responsibility to maintain it. So, if the toilet suddenly stops working one day or a doorknob breaks down, don’t wait for the landlord to check and fix it for you. As soon as you spot a problem, get in touch with the landlord immediately.
Although the landlord pays for repairs, you may have to call and schedule a handyman to come to the property. And after the repair completes, just let the landlord know about it.
Do In-Depth Cleaning
Before moving in, we suggest you perform an extensive property clean-up. Doing it at the very beginning of your stay is better because you don’t know who was living in the house before you. Moreover, you don’t know when was the last time it was actually cleaned. So, get ready to take out your cleaning supplies to remove all the accumulated dust. Make sure you live in a clean and sanitized property from week one of moving in only.
Maintain a Good Landlord-Tenant Relationship
No, we’re not asking you to become the best of friends with your landlord. We mean, you should make an effort to build a civil relationship with your landlord. This will ensure effective communication regarding property issues (or maintenance requests) and allow the landlord to trust you with certain things such as late rent. A good landlord-relationship also contributes to a positive rental experience.
If it’s your first time moving and you’re still confused, we recommend hiring a professional to help you with it. An expert will be able to guide you through the renting process, the easy way.
And if you have any questions or concerns in mind, we’ve answered some commonly asked questions below.
There is no definite answer for this question as it differs from home to home. However, renters usually pay the rent either to the property manager or the landlord directly. The terms for the same are mentioned in the rental agreement. Be sure to read them carefully.
The initial rental cost depends on several factors such as the total rent, security deposit, utilities, parking., etc. The details of the same are usually given in the rental agreement.
A landlord may or may not verify your income. In case they do, they will ask for copies of statements. Don’t worry, they ask for them just so they can be sure that you are capable of paying the rent regularly.
The best realtors in business suggest that one should not spend more than 30% of their gross monthly income on rent. Before renting a home, check that your total living expenses do not exceed the net monthly income.