6 Times Renters Should Be Cautious

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017
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Even after years of entering rental agreements, there are several rookie mistakes even the most seasoned of rent house shoppers tend to make. Fortunately, you can learn from their mistakes. If you’re a first-time renter, or simply looking to brush up before you shop, here are a few common pitfalls you should avoid by being more cautious.

Skimming the rental home lease agreement

It can be tempting to simply skim a lease agreement before you sign with the assumption that it is just like any other. This isn’t always the case. One common mistake is when tenants fail to notice that their lease doesn’t allow pets. You could end up brokenhearted on move-in day when you find out you have a place to stay, but Fido does not.

Skimming through the rental house

Ideally, this is the place you are going to make a home, so you should give yourself time to investigate. A casual walk-through simply won’t cut it in a rental house, as you could miss something that may make you miserable later on. For example, the measurements of the doorways and rooms. If you don’t jot them down, you may find you have a difficult time on moving day when your furniture doesn’t fit.

You should also ensure that all appliances in the rental home are in proper working order, especially those that use gas. Test the burners, open the fridge to make sure it is cool, and turn on all the water taps. You can take it a step further by ensuring the air conditioner and heater both work properly.

Lying to the landlord

Many landlords will tell you that one of the most common mistakes they see tenants make is dishonesty. It can be tempting to tell your landlord whatever you think they want to hear, especially if you’re feeling the pressure of competition.

Don’t claim that you will be the only occupant in your rental home if you actually have a live-in girlfriend or boyfriend. Don’t lie about having a pet with the intention of trying to smuggle your furry friend in later. If a landlord catches you in a lie before your lease agreement is accepted, you definitely won’t be moving in. If you get caught in a lie after moving in, it can cost you some serious money. Even worse, it can get you evicted from your rental home.

Failing to get, or understand, your renters insurance

It may feel like a scheme, but renters insurance is vital. While your landlord will likely offer an insurance policy that will cover structural damage to the rental home, it probably won’t cover your possessions. Renters insurance is a small price to pay compared to the potential loss you might face in the event of a burst water pipe or fire.

Additionally, make sure you thoroughly understand the terms of your policy. If you happen to work out of your rental home, business-related items that get destroyed may not be covered.

Not putting a new financial agreement in writing

Your landlord may be the nicest person in the world, but could have a faulty memory, especially if they oversee multiple rental properties. It’s best not to take a chance on assuming an agreement will be honored without putting it down in writing.

Not considering your exit strategy

You should have a plan for the day you will be moving out of your rental home before you even move in. This may seem overly cautious, but you should prepare an end game, especially if you only plan to live there a year or two. Landlords are rarely concerned with repeat business, as they know when you move out you will likely not return.

Your landlord may subtract from your deposit for chipped paint, scratches in the wall, or for additional cleanup. This is another reason it’s important not to skim through the rental house before you move in. Document any problems you notice in the home and take photographs where you can.

With a little forethought, you can avoid these potentially expensive blunders and make renting a house a wonderful experience for both you and your landlord.

If you would like to learn about renting a home in Amarillo, Texas, contact the professionals at Highland Park Village today. You can call us at (806) 335-1451 or Contact Us via email to get more information about our available floor plans and specials. You can also visit us in person at 13300 Bandera Dr in Amarillo.