Tips for New Renters

empty-boxWe scoured the internet for tips for new renters. This is what we found:

-If given a manual for your new property/apartment, read it thoroughly. This document covers electrical to plumbing, basic diagnosis of problems, what can be done, or never should be attempted by a tenant.

-Try your best to follow the expectations of your landlord. NO exceptions.

-If your landlord asks if you need any assistance, be honest with your answer. It’s better to get help from them than to escalate the problem, thanks to your own wrongdoing. They’re willing to walk with them through the building and also demonstrate how things in their apartment work.

-Your landlord will be watching your property and are available to take your calls. Please take this into account. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Be honest when your landlord asks you any questions about the property. Communication and honesty is what landlords like to strive for. Do the same for them.

Bring your checkbook to meetings with your landlord. And be sure to have the money in your account for the deposit and first month’s rent!

Talk to the neighbors if you get a chance. You can learn a lot just by being friendly with one of the neighbors. Ask them what they think of the place, how the landlord is, etc. – get a feel for your new home before you sign anything.

Ask if you get a parking spot. A lot of apartment buildings do not have specific spots for everyone, so you should make sure you get one if you want one.

Never go over your budget. Most finance professionals tell you that you should be paying 1/4 of your gross income. This is not always feasible in certain markets, but it is a good percentage to try to stick to.

Clean up your credit. I seriously doubt you are going to get approved for any apartment if you have so many red flags. Work on fixing your credit while you stay with a friend on the couch.

Read the lease. And then read it again. This is a legally binding agreement you are signing – make sure you read it.

Buy renter’s insurance. When you live with that many other people in one building, you are trusting all of them to not leave a burner on or plug up the toilet – that’s a lot of trust.

Make friends with at least a few neighbors. Stay away from the ones that you think will be knocking on your door everyday, but you need to know a few people in your building. You want someone to know when you are away, so they can keep an eye on the place. Trust me on this one!

Relax, you are in your own place now! Decorate as you see fit. Make it a home, not just some apartment you happen to rent. Welcome and enjoy!

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