It can be exciting to head out into the world and search for a home or an apartment to rent. It won't truly be your own, but it's as close as you can get right now and it's just as stimulating. However, you need to make sure that you protect yourself every step of the way. Here are a few tips to help you do just that:
1. Do Your Paperwork Early On.
If you're looking for a home or apartment to rent, there's going to be paperwork involved. By having all of these prepared beforehand, you will not only help speed up the rental process, but there's a very good chance that you will also impress your prospective landlord. If you can, make sure that you bring a rental application that has been completed with written references and an up-to-date credit report. Remember, if you go unprepared, you may lose the property to someone else who had their paperwork in order already.
2. Carefully Examine the Lease Agreement.
You may want to jump right on signing that lease agreement. However, this could turn into the biggest mistake that you could make. Take the time to read over the lease. More often than not, you'll find something that itches you the wrong way. If you do, discuss this with the landlord. If you want, you can even offer a couple of alternatives. Offer the landlord flexibility, but tell them that you feel that these provisions are just unacceptable for you at this time. If you eventually cannot get the landlord to budge on the clauses in the lease agreement, it will be up to you to decide whether or not you should walk away or if you can deal with it. Just remember that after you sign your name, there's no taking it back.
3. Get Everything in Writing.
If you and your landlord come to an agreement verbally on something, make sure it is in writing. This is particularly true for those things that they told you while trying to talk you into signing a lease. If there is not a written record of promises made, it will be very challenging to enforce. Plus, landlords will not always remain the same during the duration of your lease. So, if you don't have a written agreement, you can rest assured that the next landlord in line is unlikely to honor any verbal arrangements that you made previously.
The best thing you can do to ensure that you are protected as a tenant and that your search goes smoothly is to speak to a professional with a tenant services company, such as Two Rivers Investment.