Are You A First-time Renter? Here’s What You Should Know!

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017
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If it is your first looking for a rent house, be aware that you have big choices up ahead. If you know what to expect and learn how to negotiate, renting can go smoother. Taking care of the big financial issues and location decision makes time for the fun decorating your new home and entertaining guests.

Figure how much rent you can afford

You should create a budget before you start looking for a rental home, because signing a lease will expose you to two new expenses. There are the up-front fees and deposit to get into your rental, and then you have monthly costs associated with your new home.

Landlords usually require a security deposit that stays with them if you damage the property or leave without paying rent. Your landlord is legally allowed to deduct money from the security deposit in those cases. If you leave the rental in its original condition and pay rent on time, you should get that deposit back when you move out.

Experts usually advise that your total rent payments do not exceed thirty percent of your annual income. If you budget for this amount before you begin looking for a rent house, you can eliminate any properties that are too expensive more efficiently.

Prepare for the application and background check

The process of renting a home usually starts with filling out an application and submitting to a credit and background check. Income verification is also done to ensure that you can pay the rent. Find the following things and have them ready for when you apply: your social security card, a photo ID, and recent pay stubs. You may also want to prepare contact information from your boss. If you have no credit, or a damaged credit record, you may need to cosign with someone who is qualified. However, not every landlord will look at credit history as a means of verifying financial responsibility. It is a good idea to contact the landlord to ensure you provide the correct paperwork.

Review the lease carefully

Before you are allowed to move into the rental home, your landlord will give you a legal document to sign called a lease. You should read this document carefully and make sure you agree to and understand everything it states. When you sign, you are entering a contract with your landlord for a certain period of time. Do not sign if you need something changed or if you need clarification. You can get your state’s laws regarding renters and landlords online or in a local housing office. It is a good idea to get a copy of this information and read it so that you know your rights and your responsibilities.

Schedule a walk through

Once you are officially a renter, you should walk through your rental with the landlord on the day you move in. Check drawers, appliances, lights, and everything else you will be using on the property to make sure it works. Write down dirty areas, repairs that need to be made, and anything else you notice that seems odd. Taking this step prevents your landlord from claiming you damaged something and deducting money from your deposit when you move out.

Know who is responsible for all utilities

Typically, the utilities are in your landlord’s name until you move in, so you should ask about the utilities that you will be expected to pay. You may need to find out if you have to contact the utility service companies to switch the accounts over to your name. If you do have to switch accounts, you may need to provide a deposit or your credit record to these companies.

Plan for living with roommates

If you expect to have one or more roommates, sit down with them and discuss living arrangements before all of you move in. Let there be agreement on how much everyone will pay, who will be bringing furniture or purchasing it, and how to divide cleaning and chores. You should also discuss purchasing renters insurance if your landlord does not require it. Planning and agreeing in advance makes the move more efficient and living together more enjoyable.

Find the best rental homes in Amarillo, Texas

For more information about rental properties or renting a home, contact the staff at Highland Park Village in Amarillo, Texas today. You can call us at (806) 335-1451 or Contact Us by email to learn more about how we can help you. You can also visit us in person at 13300 Bandera Dr in Amarillo. We offer a unique rental experience at great prices. Don’t forget to view our available Specials and Floor Plans!