Once you rent any property, you should be vigilant because you do not own the property. While being vigilant often means making certain no damage happens to the house, it does mean that you need to be vigilant about your legal rights as a tenant. Here are some tricks for renting a residence.
1. Understand the Landlord-Tenant laws locally. It is critical to research the Landlord-Tenant laws to make sure that you, as the tenant, understand your rights and responsibilities.
2. Inspect the house. You must inspect the water system, air conditioner, locks for doors and windows, plumbing (make sure the toilets flush), and etc. Be sure to ask the realtor or landlord about house maintenance and when the house was last maintained. You do not want to rent a house with plumbing issues or heating problems during the winter.
3. Inspect the house for rent again. Once the lease is finalized and agreed upon by both landlord and tenant, you can request to start to see the property again. If you are at the house, take images and document any form of damage the thing is that. If you see small holes in the walls caused by a wall-mounted television screen, have a photography and inform the landlord on paper. Your landlord may or might not exactly fix the damage before you move around in. However it’s important to inform the landlord prior to getting into home, otherwise the landlord may accuse you of the damage and take money from your deposit to repair it.
4. Pay your rent promptly. Once you move into your brand-new home, you need to pay your rent promptly. Rent can be paid with cash, checks, or electronic transfers. Paying in cash is not recommended because there’s no paper trail to track your money. If you opt to pay in cash, make sure you ask for a receipt that documents the date and what the cash is for.
5. Read your lease carefully. Your lease is a legal contract between you and the landlord for use of the landlord’s property. A lease may contain extra clauses that are not legally required by Landlord-Tenant laws, however, the clauses are legally binding when the lease is signed by both parties. If you’re concerned that your lease might be unfair for you (e.g. the landlord requiring one to have property inspections weekly), you can seek a lawyer and retain a legal professional focusing on Landlord-Tenant relations.
6. Establish a good relationship along as well as your landlord. This won’t mean that you should be best friends with your landlord. However, you do not want your landlord to outright hate you. A disgruntled landlord can be difficult to cope with through the duration of your lease. Be kind and respectful to your landlord. If you wish to go the excess mile, you can send greetings cards through the holidays. A happy landlord may respond quickly to any emergency repairs. In the event that you only communicate with your landlord’s property manager, then set up a good relationship with your property manager.
7. Ensure that your landlord has been paid. When mailing them to your landlord, make sure your landlord deposits the check. If your landlord hasn’t deposited or cashed your check, inform your landlord that you’ve mailed the rent check. It’s easier to inform your landlord on paper, such as email or text. You do not want your landlord to accuse you of failing to pay rent promptly.
8. Document all communication between you and the landlord. Emails and text messages are good ways to document any correspondence. Even though you have a good relationship with your landlord, you should take the steps needed to safeguard yourself in the event things get ugly. (And things can get ugly quickly.) Verbal promises are hard to prove in Court.
9. Become familiar with your neighbors. This may well not seem as an important tip, but your neighbors can be valuable resources of information. Your neighbor probably knows the region well, and may recommend for you a good dentist, auto body shop, or local restaurant. Also, your neighbor may know your landlord and the previous tenants of the home. Maybe it’s important to learn about your landlord’s history with tenants, especially if the landlord constantly fails to repair the property.
10. Contact your landlord if the house needs repairs. Being a tenant, it is your responsibility to see your landlord if something needs fixing in the house. If you fail to contact the landlord and the damage gets worse over time, you will be liable for some of the damage because you didn’t notify the landlord.
11. Don’t sneak pets onto the property without approval from your landlord. In the event that you intend to adopt a cat or dog, you will need to ask permission from your landlord. Many landlords do not allow animals to go on their house. Animals can case a lot of harm to a home. For being on the safe side, ask permission from your landlord if you intend to get a goldfish.
12. Allow your landlord to execute inspections, but do not let your landlord to harass you. Landlords are permitted to inspect their properties so long as the tenants are properly notified. However, these inspections must occur at reasonable times and frequencies. It could be considered harassment in case a landlord visits your home every couple of days for “inspections.”
13. If you are having troubles with your landlord, retain an lawyer to take care of your landlord. Many disgruntled landlords will attempt to “bully” ignorant tenants by claiming that the landlord has ultimate power. However, tenants do have rights that landlords cannot violate. Even though lawyers are costly, an attorney can protect your rights and make sure that your landlord will not take good thing about you. If money can be an issue, there are tenant protection organizations that could help.
14. Photograph the property before you leave. Take pictures of the rooms, appliances, backyard, and etc. It is important to visually document the condition of the property before you move out. Some landlords aren’t spiteful enough to get this done, some landlords will deliberately damage their homes and accuse the previous tenants of creating the damage.
15. Make an effort to leave over a good note. If you continue steadily to rent in the future, your potential landlord may choose to contact your previous landlord. You do not want to lose a good rental property because your old landlord said something bad about you.