Tips for Tenants
1. Bring your paperwork.
The best way to win over a prospective property manager is to be prepared. To get a competitive edge over other applicants, bring the following when you meet the property manager: a completed rental application; written references from landlords, employers, and colleagues; and a current copy of your credit report.
2. Review the lease.
Carefully review all of the conditions of the tenancy before you sign on the dotted line. Your lease or rental agreement may contain a provision that you find unacceptable — for example, restrictions on guests, pets, design alterations, or running a home business.
3. Get everything in writing.
To avoid disputes or misunderstandings with your property manager, get everything in writing. Keep copies of any correspondence and follow up an oral agreement with a letter, setting out your understandings. For example, if you ask your property manager to make repairs, put your request in writing and keep a copy for yourself. If the property manager agrees orally, send a letter confirming this.
4. Protect your privacy rights.
Next to disputes over rent or security deposits, one of the most common and emotion-filled misunderstandings arises over the tension between a property managers right to enter a rental unit and a tenant’s right to be left alone.
5. Expect repairs.
Know your rights to live in a habitable rental unit — and don’t give them up. The vast majority of property managers are required to offer their tenants livable premises, including adequate weatherproofing; heat, water, and electricity; and clean, sanitary, and structurally safe premises.
6. Purchase renters’ insurance.
Renters’ insurance typically costs $350 a year for a $50,000 policy that covers loss due to theft or damage caused by other people or natural disasters; if you don’t need that much coverage, there are cheaper policies.
7. Protect your security deposit.
To protect yourself and avoid any misunderstandings, make sure your lease or rental agreement is clear on the use and refund of security deposits, including allowable deductions. When you move in, do a walk-through with the property manager to record existing damage to the premises on a move-in statement or checklist.
8. Deal with an eviction properly. Know when to fight an eviction notice — and when to move.
9. How to avoid the frustration of missing out on a rental. Todays rental market is extremely tight, meaning that there is more demand than supply. Just like the sales market potential tenants need to be prepared to act quickly with a deposit to rent or potentially missing out on the home of their meets their needs. In the rental market the holding deposit takes the unit off the market while your tenant application is going through the screening process, if your tenant application is not approved you will receive your holding deposit back. When your application is approved your holding deposit is turned into a security deposit and held in escrow and then followed up by the 1st month and last month`s rent prior to taking occupancy. This is the statement 1st, last and security and how it works. Be prepared to put down the full holding deposit to take the unit off the M.L.S. and thereby avoiding the frustration of missing out on a rental.
Perla Whitaker, Realtor
Director of Property Management and Leasing
google: Perla Whitaker
“YOUR property is OUR passion“