Rules for Successful Renting
Household formation has changed dramatically in the last decade—pressured by the high down payment costs and limited stock supply, residents are deterred from their homeownership dream and have no other option but to rent. But there are renters and renters, those who live a carefree life and those who struggle. Here are some steps to take to turn into a successful renter:
Although it feels like a no brainer, first-time renters especially, make a few mistakes that prove quite costly. Experimented renters know that when the lease agreement is signed, they will have to hand over at least their first month of rent plus a month as a security deposit before moving in. However, things will heat up when someone decides to move from one rental to another as they will have to put down cash before getting the security deposit back from the place they’re leaving.
Even though this timeline is and has been a standard practice among landlords, it continues to confuse unprepared renters. Saving a few months in advance would take care of this issue without too much effort, and might even help with developing the (w)healthy habit of saving. After all, a budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.
Add to this budget the costs of boxes, tape, bubble wrap and other packing supplies. The total amount can easily surpass a few hundred dollars for a two-bedroom apartment moving kit. Last but not least, if you’re hiring professionals to help you move, you’ll need to pay them too. Tip: make sure you are ready to move then the movers arrive, as if you need more time to finish packing, you’ll end up paying them more too, as they generally charge by the hour.
Read the lease agreement
Searching for a rental unit can be exhausting. After all the hustle that comes with the process of finding an apartment, renters’ focus tends to decrease and fall victim to the greatest sin: not reading the lease agreement before signing it. As with everything else, knowing the rules of the game is really important. You can’t follow the rules if you don’t know them. For instance, the lease agreement could specify no paining, or have rules about putting holes in walls. Ask your landlord to include in the lease or as an attachment, anything he verbally tells you. In addition, triple-check that utilities included in your monthly rent match what your landlord said.
A big part of the renter cohort assumes that if catastrophe strikes—a fire, burglary—their landlord’s homeowner’s insurance policy will cover their belongings. Illusions. Landlord policies cover only the structural part of the building, and in some cases owner-provided extras, such as appliances, but will not cover the losses of the tenant’s personal belongings. Even so, about 60 percent of renters don’t have renter’s insurance, despite the affordable price (between $15 and $30 a month). Be a successful renter and get renters insurance as soon as you decide to rent out an apartment.