Tips to Know When Renting

(picture of 112 N. 2nd 5A in Old City)

Are you new to renting?  Or, have you had the misfortune of having a bad rental experience?  If so, you might feel a little apprehensive about starting the process.

Below are a few tips we recommend you take the time to ask. The answers will be sure to benefit you in the short-term and long run.
  1. Know what your rent includes. The answer could include a wide range, from types of utilities like gas and electric, to parking and access to the gym.  On the other hand, some rentals offer amenities like private shuttle service, parking, pool, and cable. Whatever you do, do not assume that anything is included. In fact, always ask the landlord or management company exactly what is included and not. The answer could affect your budget or decision making all together.
  2. Know what you are responsible for. Surprisingly, there are many people that do not take the time to read the lease to understand what they are responsible for versus what the landlord is responsible for. Be sure to document any pre-existing damages or else you might be liable of losing your security deposit or being charged damage fees when you move out.
  3. Know the length of your lease and the exact expiration date. Unless you’re renting on a month-to-month basis, your lease agreement may include an automatic renewal clause. While this might sound scary, it gives you the right to renew your lease when it expires. The point is to protect renters from being forced to leave against their will. Plus, the landlord or management company is required to give you 15-30 day notice, so another year is not as easy to be locked into as it would sound. Note, that such a section can be added if it hasn’t been already.
  4. Read the out clause. This is very important since you need to know what could happen if you decide you need to move out before your lease expires, as well as how much notice you are required to give if you decide not to renew your lease. Between saying goodbye to your security deposit and being forced to pay the remainder of your lease, this could be a very, very expensive mistake.
  5. Last, but definitely not least, get it all in writing because unless it’s in writing, it is not binding. That said, be sure to finalize and add in all changes understood and agreed upon. While it may feel uncomfortable to go over this, this will benefit you and your renting experience.

Have more questions? Ask away. Either leave them below or send to Mike McCann at [email protected].

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