mistakes renters make

10 Mistakes Renters Should Try to Avoid

There is so much to remember when renting a home for the first time. What you want to remember can easily get lost in a growing pile of rental property applications and notes you may have taken. However, if you can remember to avoid these 10 mistakes below, you will be ahead of the game.

    1. Not Reading Your Lease in Full before Signing. Yes, those leases can be long and it can be easy to trust your new landlord and sign your name without a second thought. This could potentially harm you as there may be important information not discussed prior to signing. This information could be about overnight guests, pet policy (which if you have pets, you should always ask upfront) sub-leasing options and how early termination is handled should you need to explore that option.


    1. Skimming Over Sections of Your Lease That You Are Unsure of. Not worried about that super long section on page five that’s making you feel uneasy? Don’t just forget about it and think it will be handled eventually. Read over everything and if you have questions, ask. Also, if you are unsure if there is something on there that shouldn’t be, check out the state listing of legal rights to ensure your protection.


    1. Not Getting Rental Insurance. For what you are protecting yourself against, the average fee of a rental insurance policy that’s around $100-300 a year is nothing. Especially in the long run. If you want to avail such insurances, make sure to only make a deal with trustworthy companies, such as those that offer mobile home insurance florida. Professionals like these public adjusters in Miramar, FL always recommend having insurance, by purchasing insurance, you could be avoiding potential problems when it comes to theft, natural disasters or even bad luck.  And of course, don’t forget about home warranty, which is completely a different thing. Visit the First American website and find more information.


    1. Not Checking Out the Neighborhood Beforehand. Maybe you had an opportunity to view a rental during your lunch break in the middle of the week. The neighborhood and/or apartment building seem relatively calm and you are ready to make a decision. But don’t jump the gun just yet. Go back to check it out at night or during the weekend to see what the atmosphere is really like. After all, how often will you be at home during lunch on a Wednesday? Most of your time spent there will be at night or on the weekends.


    1. Agreeing to Pay More Rent Than You Can Afford. It can be tempting to spend an extra $50-100 a month than what you were originally budgeting for. However, you should try and keep your monthly rent under 25% of your annual income. This amount should include any other costs including utilities and pet rent. By keeping your rent under that amount, it will allow you to still save up for your future and any unforeseen expenses.


    1. Letting Your Roommate, Spouse or Partner Make Lease Decisions Without You. If you’re planning on leasing with someone, you should always make a joint decision. Should you let someone make a decision without your input, you’re risking being unhappy with the lease terms. Make sure to go over everything together before signing that piece of paper.


    1. Saying No to a Potentially Great Rental because it doesn’t match everything On Your List. You’ve found a great rental home. It’s in the perfect neighborhood, allows your German shepherd and has a pool. But it doesn’t have a dishwasher you swore you wouldn’t live without. To some, this may feel like it’s not something to be compromised on. However, you must weigh all the pros and cons of a rental property. If you give up that rental for one minor amenity, who knows when you’ll find one with everything on your list. Give that rental a chance because you might just find charm that makes up for what it’s lacking, and in case of any unexpected issues, like plumbing, the plumber can always be called.


    1. Failing to Capitalize on Rental Tax Breaks. Did you know that if you work from home, you may be able to get compensated based on “business use of home” expenses? It doesn’t matter if you are renting a property or you own your home. There may even be more breaks for you if you’re renting in an area where monthly costs are higher. Contact your state to see if you qualify.


    1. Putting Up with Illegal Landlord Activities. If you feel like you’re being harassed or bullied by your landlord, don’t dismiss and bear it. You have rights and you should always remember that. Look into The Department of Housing & Urban Development: Tenant Rights and view by state. Too often tenants feel as though they don’t have a say, but that is not the case.


  1. Not Taking Your Own Photos Before Moving In. When your lease is up and you have decided to not renew it, your landlord will request what’s called a walk through. This will be when they determine how much of your security deposit you’ll get back should there be any damages. The only way to have official documentation on what damage was there before you moved in is by taking photos before you call it home. This will show that you were not responsible for the damage and will allow you to get the maximum amount of your deposit back.

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