8 Things To Know Before You Rent

Whether you are renting for the first time or are a seasoned renter who has done this before, there are several things you should always know before moving into a new place. These will directly impact your experience at your new residence during your time there.

Here’s what you need to find out:


1) Will you be able to do a walk-thru?

Being able to do a walk-thru is essential. It allows you to go throughout the apartment or home and point out any damages that were there before you moved in. Not doing this can jeopardize your ability to get your security deposit back. You must make sure any previous damages are noted before doing anything else.


2) Do you have to put a deposit down; if so, is it refundable?

Many rental places require you to pay the first and last month’s rent upfront. It’s something you need to know to ensure you have enough funds to move in. On top of that, there is a security deposit that you’ll have to put down in case there is any property damage. If nothing gets damaged by the time your lease ends, your security deposit will be refunded to you. Moving requires many expenses that you have to anticipate.


3) Are there any animal restrictions and is there a pet deposit?

If you have multiple pets (in particular), you have to find out if there are any restrictions to the number of pets allowed, as well as the types of pets. Something so simple as a rodent may not be permitted. Also find out if your renter forbids certain dog breeds that they feel are aggressive, such as: Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, etc. Do you have to pay a pet deposit, if so, is it a one-time fee or is it monthly? Find out before you commit to anything—all of these costs add up.


4) Are utilities included?

Some renters include utilities in the rent, while others do not, so heating, cooling and water have to be paid separately. Having utilities included in your lease secures how much is being paid and you don’t have to worry about fluctuating monthly costs.


5) What’s the lease agreement and are there any penalties?

Always know what’s stated in your lease agreement. If anything were to happen, like a dispute, you can always refer to your lease agreement. It lets you know if the subject in question is something you have to deal with yourself or if it’s something that falls under your landlord’s responsibility. If you ever violate the lease agreement you may be penalized and even be evicted.


6) What will your landlord make you responsible for?

Know what your responsibilities include. An example of this is taking out the trash and recycling and knowing which day they’ll be picked up. Another responsibility may be to do yard upkeep, such as mowing and watering the yard.


7) Do you know where the property line ends?

If you are renting a home and it doesn’t have a fence, you should find out where the property line ends. This will help you if you have dogs to take out, or if you are setting up any outdoor patio furniture. Regardless of the situation, you don’t want to encroach on your neighbor’s property.


8) Are there any HOA rules you need to abide by?

Some homes have a homeowners association (HOA) that dictates what is allowed on the outside property. It’s to make sure that all of the homes are uniformly keeping the same general appearance and don’t become an eyesore. One HOA rule example may be that private streets can’t have any curb parking—cars must park in either the driveway or in designated spots.



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