RentalHouses | Help for Renters

67 Tips for Renters

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Search Tips and Advice for Renters

  • Familiarize yourself with the city and area where you desire to live. Buy a city map or community guidebook. You can contact the local Chamber of Commerce to obtain information on where to obtain these. Decide if you want a rental house, rental home, rental condo, rental town home, rental duplex, or a small apartment rental.
  • Decide on a primary and secondary area or neighborhood and type of rental home.
  • Before you start looking, know when you are going to move and when your current lease expires.
  • Determine a rent range that is within your budget for your rental house or rental home.
  • Today's homes for rent may be gone tomorrow. When you find a rental home you like, contact the owner or property manager immediately and be prepared to put down a deposit. top

Finding the right home to Rent

  • On the homepage of RentalHouses.com, select the state where you want to live by clicking on the U.S map or the name of the state below the map to search for homes for rent.
  • Select the metropolitan area from the list provided or type in a desired city or zip code and click "Proceed".
  • Select your property search criteria by choosing the price range, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the type of property you want; a rental house, a rental home, condos for rent, duplexes for rent, town homes for rent, or apartments for rent. Narrow your search even further by choosing "Select Amenities" or just click "Proceed" to see all the properties available that match your selections.
  • At the top of the search page results you can choose "Search again" to vary your search criteria to find other properties. Communicate with the owners and or landlords by e-mail and ask any questions you may have about the rental property.
  • If you cannot find what you are looking for simply fill out the form provided on the website specifying the type of rental home you are looking for and RentalHouses.com will send an email alert if a matching property is listed. We will also publish your inquiry for property managers in the desired area. top

Preparation of data required for making an Application

To ensure your rental application procedure goes smoothly, be prepared with the following information upon making an application to rent a home:

  • Your Social Security Number
  • Current employer's name, address, and phone number, and your employment history.
  • Annual income (if married, the combination of both)
  • Proof of other income/financial support (child support, social security, retirement, alimony/maintenance, disability, section 8 voucher).
  • Credit and bank references.
  • Recommendation letter from previous landlord.
  • Assure that funds are available for application fee, security deposit, and first month's rent.
  • Advise the landlord in advance if you have had any previous credit problems. Be prepared to explain and/or have a letter of explanation to submit.
  • If your spouse is unavailable, have a power of attorney.
  • If you have a pet, prior to completion of the application ask about the pet policy. If pets are allowed, ask if there is any extra fee for them. top

The Lease or Rental Agreement

  • Be sure to read the entire document and understand it before you sign it. Ask any questions about things not addressed therein and be sure to take a copy home with you.
  • Consider offering the landlord automatic payments through your bank, perhaps for a discount on the monthly rent
  • Know when the rent is due and when a penalty for late payment is imposed.
  • Make sure there is a definitive move-in date stated on the lease and that you or the landlord has arranged for the utilities to be on at that time.
  • Obtain a list of phone numbers to access the landlord, including emergency numbers.
  • Prior to your occupancy, go room to room and record any and all deficiencies and conditions that exist. (A form may be provided by your landlord for this purpose, and he or she may wish to perform this inspection with you.) If you have a camera, take photos of all the rooms and of the exterior as they existed before your occupancy and keep them with your lease. Be as picky as you want to be - it's for your protection, and you will be glad you did this when it is time to get your deposit back. Be sure to note:
    a) Stains and/or any type of blemishes or excessive wear in carpets,
    b) Scratches in countertops and vinyl flooring,
    c) Cracks in windows, cut window ropes,
    d) Holes in walls (larger than those created by standard picture hangers),
    e) Stains, discoloration, or chips in any tubs or sinks,
    f) Anything that appears to be stained, broken, torn, scratched, dented, discolored, or considerably wrong),
    g) Functionality of smoke alarms.
  • Make sure you understand how the lease renews, if there is a month-to-month option and if there are any rent increases.
  • Be sure you know and understand the provisions governing the return of your security deposit.
  • Make sure there is a definitive agreement covering any alterations you may have in mind, for example: a) Replacing an old light fixture with a ceiling fan/light, b) Painting or hanging wallpaper, c) Installing a fence (possibly splitting the cost with the landlord?) top

Know your responsibilities and those of your Landlord

Make sure the agreement spells out what type of maintenance you are responsible for, and that for which the Landlord is responsible such as:

  • Yard maintenance
  • Replacing filters/HVAC maintenance
  • Plumbing repairs & replacements
  • Cleaning gutters
  • Any minor maintenance which may be needed. top

 

Peace of Mind

If gas appliances are present, consider purchasing a carbon monoxide detector. Check all smoke detectors regularly and replace batteries when necessary. Plan to purchase at least one fire extinguisher. Have the locks been re-keyed or changed since the last tenant? Has the landlord provided you with a lead-based paint report? Depending on the age and other features of the rental unit and some of its components, there may be other safety issues to consider as well. What types of insurance policies do you need, including coverage on your personal property? (Renter's insurance is relatively inexpensive.) top

 

Moving Out

  • How much notice are you required to give? Be sure to comply with the terms of your lease agreement and give your notice in writing. Attempt to obtain a written confirmation of this date from your landlord. (This will help to avoid any disputes regarding utility bills.)
  • Make sure the condition of the property is as good as when you arrived. Clean everything thoroughly and consider having the carpets cleaned and touching up the walls a bit if you know the exact type of paint which was used before.
  • Be present when the landlord makes the final inspection.
  • Give your landlord your forwarding address. top

Disclaimer

Each party is responsible for conducting their own investigation regarding any and all claims made by prospective renter(s) or property owner(s) or agent(s). Each party assumes all liability for use of any information, printed flyer or publication, obtained from this website or any other affiliate website owned by Rentalhouses.com. Rentalhouses.com, its operators and/or agents, employees, assume no responsibility and in no way warrant the accuracy of the information contained in any of the advertisements or pages published on this website. Some ads are created directly by the property owners and some advertisers are acting as agents or managers for the owners.

Rentalhouses.com is not responsible for the refund, payment, or reimbursement of any rental fees, deposits, or expenses associated in obtaining a rental property for any reason. Qualification of all renters is the sole responsibility of the property owner or agent.

No information contained in any Rentalhouses.com web page or advertisement is confirmed or warranted by any party. Confirmation of information published herein is the sole responsibility of the renting party. We advise all parties to seek information about protecting yourself when dealing with any and all advertisers/renters and exercise due caution for your personal well being at all times. top