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Tip of the Day Tuesday: Renting

Sometimes the market doesn’t work with your plans, and renting may be your only option.

Ideally, renting a house would not be your number one option in the real estate market. In the long run, owning is better than renting. However, there are several instances that can arise that only allow you to rent. Maybe you find your dream home but it is only being rented out. Perhaps you are a part of the military on Fort Drum and only wish to rent a home for the few years you and your family are stationed here. Maybe financially you can find a deal more better suited for you. If you are a first time renter, it is important to be aware of some unfamiliar aspects you may face. For example, relationships with different landlords differ and you should be clear on what each of you expects from the other in terms of housing and costs.
It is very important to know your rights as a renter and a tenant of your landlord. There are both local and state laws that can be researched. You should also be well versed in your credit score and report, it helps to make each look as good as possible without lying to the landlord. Meeting with a landlord can be like meeting with a potential boss for a job, and should be treated as such. Landlords are allowed to be as picky as they wish, so be sure to be on your best behavior to get that lease! Be wary of any oral promises that are not in the contract, play it safe and get it all in writing. Know all aspects of your lease and the terms that come with it. Hopefully the next tip goes without saying; pay your rent on time!! Major issues can arise if you miss a payment. Negotiation is an option, but keep in mind that most landlords will not want to give up any extra cash. It is also important to note that when you are approved, you will usually need to pay a large deposit, this month and last month’s rent. Be certain that you can afford the monthly payments as well as having money set aside to cover opening costs.

Privacy rights should also be discussed and placed in the contract so issues may be avoided. Communication should always be open with your landlord but privacy should be maintained. A common mistake among tenants is that they do not demand repairs for maintenance from the landlord. Do not wait for them to offer their financial help, be aware of your rights and demand that they cover those costs and they should have to. Renter’s insurance is also advised since not everything will be covered by your landlord’s insurance such as theft. It is also common for tenants to forget to gather their deposit at the end of their lease, that money should go back in your pocket! Be aware of your landlord and the neighborhood you will be a part of, determine whether it is a safe environment for you to reside in.

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