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7 Things To Be Aware Of When Finding A Place To Rent

Renting can be a very daunting prospect. There is a lot to look out for. Below are a few tips just to make sure you cover all the basis so you end up picking the perfectΒ place.

#1 Condition of the Property

You want to have the opportunity to inspect the property. Will there be enough room for you and your household items? Do you like the floor plan? 

Is the home in good repair? Are the appliances working? Test the plumbing by turning on faucets to check the water pressure, look for leaks, does it get hot, and how well do the toilets flush. Is the fence in good repair? 

If there are questions about what is included in the house, now is a good time to ask? Is the washer and dryer staying, for instance. If there are needed repairs ask if they will be addressed prior to move in. 

What type of parking is provided? Is it convenient? Is there room for guests?

Contributors: April Kozlowski Palomino from Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate

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#2 Terms and Conditions

Ask questions. You absolutely need to know what is included in your tenancy and who is responsible for what items. Some landlords will allude to the services provided but you need an absolute answer. Important things such as who is responsible for pest control and/or will you be charged for it? Is appliance maintenance and repair included? Who is responsible for the AC filter and lawn maintenance. Make sure these things are written in your lease or in an addendum; ask for it if necessary. If it's not in writing, it didn't happen.

Read you lease well and make sure you are in total agreement with everything. If there is something you want changed ask the landlord if they will amend the lease. Ensure that you take complete inventory of the condition of the home and make a copy of what you wrote as to preexisting condition or damages and keep it in a safe place. This way if you are charged for the item you have proof to dispute it.

Contributors: April Kozlowski Palomino from Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate

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#3 Location

The location of your home is one of the most important factors when deciding where to live.

You want to know what living in that neighborhood will be like. Take a drive around the neighborhood and get a feel for it. How do the neighbors maintain their homes and yards? Drive by in the evening and on the weekend when everyone is home and get an idea for how busy or noisy it is. What is traffic like? What is the proximity to stores, major roads, or parks. What will your commute be like going to work? What schools are zoned for that house? (Notice I didn't say neighborhood. Sometimes dividing boundaries are in the neighborhood. I actually have previous personal experience with this. The street I lived on was the dividing boundary. My side of the street went to a different school than my neighbors across the street.)

Contributors: April Kozlowski Palomino from Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate

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#4 Move in Costs

You really need to know what your total upfront costs will be so you can budget appropriately.

Different landlords and management companies have different requirements for their deposit and if they require both first and last month's rent upfront. Is there an additional pet deposit? Is it refundable? What are the application fees?

Call the utility companies and get an estimate for the deposit based on the address of the home you are considering. This way you have a realistic expectation of the amount that will be required for a deposit based on the location when it is time to set up services on move in. Being able to budget ahead of time is extremely important and will also allow for you to eliminate homes that you cannot afford the total move in costs associated with it.

Contributors: April Kozlowski Palomino from Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate

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#5 Noise

Some buildings have really bad sound insulation and thin walls. If you are sensitive to noise and are renting an apartment unit, chances are you will be disturbed by your neighbors when they close the cabinets, or simply when they sneeze. Be sure to visit the properties a couple of times, one during the day and one at night if possible, so you know what you should expect.

Contributors: Shane Lee from RentHop

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#6 Reputation of the Landlord

You do not want to rent from someone who does not pick up the phone, who does not respond to emails, and who is not on top of maintenance and repair. When you look for a place to rent, it is crucial that you at least google the landlord to see if there are any red flags. Talking to the neighbors and current tenants is also a good way to find out more about the landlord.

Contributors: Shane Lee from RentHop

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#7 Amenities

Features and amenities of a place are a huge part of renting. Before starting your search, you should think about all the must-haves and all the things you are willing to give up in exchange for cheaper rent. Usually, the more amenities a place offers, the higher the rent. You might be able to save a couple hundred of dollars by giving up the option to have laundry in the unit.

Contributors: Shane Lee from RentHop

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