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Finding a Rental: Best Tips for Renters and Landlords


As a renter or a landlord, you know how important it is to have the right information in order to avoid any big mistakes with your rental property. You don't want to go into this transaction blindly and make costly mistakes.

This article will provide you with the best tips for both landlords and renters when you are looking for a rental property.


Tips For Renters

First, let's talk about what you should do, as a renter. You want to get everything in writing before you sign for the rental property. If the landlord doesn't have anything in writing, then your verbal agreement does not hold up in court. Your best bet is to get everything in writing and signed by both parties. This is your only defense if disputes arise between you and the landlord during and after the tenancy (i.e., no heat or hot water, broken appliances, mold and mildew.)


When looking for a rental property as a renter, don't just take the first place you see and think it's going to be OK. Give the landlord a call to ask him about the property and get a copy of the lease, if there is one. Ask if he has any pets and what kind, how many people will be living in the house, how many beds are there and what kind. Ask about any damage to the property (i.e., missing wood floors), maintenance schedules, utilities, etc.


You want to make sure that this is not going to be a "dog" or "cat" house when you move in. If you don't like all the problems your landlord's dealing with (i.e., no money for repairs or new appliances) then leave before your lease expires and do not sign another lease until things have improved.


As you are looking for a rental, ask about the neighborhood. Is it quiet and safe? Can you walk to the grocery store or post office? Will there be other tenants in addition to your landlord? Where is the nearest hospital and fire house? What kind of noise level do people have? Do they have children who will disturb your peace and quiet, especially if there is more than one.


When push comes to shove, a landlord needs to prove that he met the obligation of providing habitable housing for his tenants, i.e., keeping the place clean and in good repair throughout the term of tenancy. If this means doing things on weekends, then that's what he'll have to do. You need to ask yourself if this is going to be a safe or unhealthy place for you and your family.


It is not legal in all states for a landlord to evict a tenant for minor offenses such as having your shoes on in the house, using the washing machine too much or forgetting to put out the recycling and trash before you leave. You want to ask the landlord if he has ever evicted anyone and if so, how many times, why and how long it took him to do it. This is only something you want to know about in case things don't work out between you and your landlord. Many times landlords will evict tenants just because they don't like them (i.e. the tenant is from a different race), because they have a bad attitude, or because the rent is too high. Be aware that if you have an issue with the landlord and he does nothing about it, you could find yourself in an uncomfortable situation in which the landlord has not fulfilled his legal obligation to provide habitable housing.


Tips For Landlords

As a landlord, you want to make sure that you are renting to responsible tenants who will meet their obligations under the lease. If the tenant is not responsible or doesn't pay the rent on time, the chances of getting evicted are much higher. If you spend all your time dealing with tenants and nothing else, your business may not be as profitable as it could be. It is recommended that you set aside at least half an hour of your time every day for making money. You also need to know when it's a good idea to make repairs so you don't have tenants who complain about something that is broken.


When looking for a rental property as a landlord, you need to take some time and carefully look at the home to see if it's safe and clean. If there is mold or mildew, water problems or anything else that needs repaired, make sure you have it handled before the tenant moves in. It's better to lose a few days of rent during repairs than to go through months of dealing with this tenant because you didn't do your due diligence.


Once you find a good tenant, make sure they are willing and able to pay all their rent and bills on time every month. Check their credit report so you can know if they have been evicted, foreclosed upon or any other eviction actions. You want to make sure they have a stable income.


If you want to make extra money as a landlord, you can buy an apartment building and take in tenants. You want to think about the cost of the property, your ability to manage the tenants and your personal job situation so you can keep on top of things. Make sure you have an attorney on board before signing any agreements with a tenant so you know exactly what your rights are and how much time it may take to evict or sue a tenant if it comes down to that.


As a landlord or renter, it's very important that you always get any verbal agreements in writing because otherwise, your word is not worth very much in court if there are disputes later on.


Other things to keep in mind:


1- Should the property be sold, there could be a change of management and/or new monthly rents.


2- Tenants may not have the same intentions if they are looking at getting into real estate as investors.


3- Landlords who own multiple properties may need to hire maintenance services to check on their properties every day to make sure everything is in order. If the houses are not being checked on, a backlog of loose doorknobs, windows, cracked tiles or an accumulation of rodent droppings may go unnoticed for months and this can cost landlords plenty in terms of repairs and legal proceedings.


To sum up, the choice between being a landlord or a tenant may depend on how motivated you are and whether you view your house as 'home' or an investment. If you're more motivated towards saving money and managing your own property, then being a landlord may be the better choice for you. On the other hand, if you'd rather live in a nice house instead of paying rent on one and don't mind having other people living there too, then becoming a tenant may suit you better.

2022-04-11 10:53:14

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