Breaking Down 8 Rental Tips Every Tenant Needs to Know About

It’s a jungle out there! Seriously! Let’s say you’ve lived the dorm life in college, and you’ve had a taste of being out there on your own. You’re ready for the big time now: it’s called “renting a home.” This means you have an actual dwelling, complete with prospects for roof leaks, fridge breakdowns, theft, vandalism, rent payments, black mold, and so many other problems, too many to count, and guess what: you’re responsible for all of it! It’s a big deal. Being in a dorm room is one thing; renting an apartment or home is a totally different ballgame, hence we have these rental tips for you to focus on.

Are You Ready to Rent? Check Out These Rental Tips:

Rental tips are like quartzite nuggets for the drifter looking for some direction in life. After all, you’re just fresh out of college — or perhaps looking to upgrade from studio to 2-bedroom, to 3-bedroom, to 4-bedroom — and you need to make sure you’re on the right track. Treat this checklist like the bible of rental tips. This will be your rental real estate religion:

There you have it: eight rental tips. But be sure to follow the links to get more background on them. Trade secrets. Killer knowledge.

You’ll be an Expert at Renting Very Soon

Rental tips like these will ensure that no matter what situation, wherever you live, your opportunity  at a rent-to-own home or apartment won’t ever go sour as long as you always follow protocol, the necessary steps, legal guidelines, and advice to ensure that you not only cover your own bases, but provide the best possible dwelling for you or your family. Don’t get lax — there might be a quiz later!

Check them out at RTO Reviews for more info about what they can do for you right now.

Treating the Prospective Neighborhood Like a Shopping Day at the Mall

You know that timeless show “Clueless” with Alicia Silverstone? It paved the way for mallrats, Paul Blarts, segways, mannequins, food courts, and lots and lots of bubblegum, but who would’ve thought that there was even a shred of knowledge lending to the art of house hunting? Or in this case, renting? (For all intents and purposes, this even applies to home mortgage help with H.O.P.E. to Own!)

Like, Seriously, Shop Around Your Neighborhood for the Best PropertiesClueless Home Renter

You can’t beat this particular strategy out of all rental tips available. Not only do you get in on the trends for real estate in your neighborhood — everything from what’s selling, to what prices have dropped, to location, to safety issues — but you also get to research any specific laws in your area just to make sure you’re kosher (and the landlord would be kosher as well).

Perhaps a side street in the neighborhood doesn’t have any speed bumps, making it a hazard for little children. Or your particular apartment or rent-to-own home happens to be close to downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, for ArtPrize. Consider easements, too. Municipal codes for parks and playgrounds. These are all relevant issues to consider when shopping around your neighborhood for rental prospects. As if….

This is especially true regarding apartment complexes. Feel free to peruse — like you’re shopping at the local Gap store for a new pair of khakis. You want to make sure the units (pants) are top notch and maintained regularly, complete with amenities. Visit the clubhouse. Maybe there’s an in-ground pool available as well. Is it maintained well? Consider that, for sure. Focus on your priorities. This is smart searching and buying (renting, actually), because you certainly don’t want to get stuck in a lease with a unit that makes your life miserable.

Who Knew Renting Would Be so Competitive?

Like we may be seeing soon with March Madness, competition will get wicked. Take advantage of that and shop smart. Selective. Particular. But in order to do that, you’ve got to follow this rental tip and SIGN UP RIGHT HERE TO REGISTER AND BUY YOUR FIRST HOME!

Who Gets to Fix the Faucet: Tenant or Landlord?

This can be as confusing as the Edward Nygma with the riddles, and if I were Batman, I’d get some ground rules down on what guidelines to follow in spite of the many situations you could be involved in with a landlord, property management company, or apartment complex. Get some rental tips together and make sure you’re prepared — because Batman’s always prepared.

How a Superhero Would Get a Faucet Fixedreal estate Batman

Basic rule of thumb: your landlord has one expectation to fulfill: a habitable environment for the tenant (in this case Batman, who has a bat cave with minimal plumbing, it seems). A habitable environment is defined specifically as a dwelling providing adequate heat, water and electricity. It has to be safe. So in the case of a leaky faucet, you then ask the ultimate question: will the tenant or landlord fix the problem? Good question….

Batman would just do it on his own, but here’s the thing: by law, landlords are required to repair or replace items that have been damaged through normal wear and tear. That simply means if the faucet started leaking over time, chances are the question of tenant or landlord is answered by the latter. If the tenant broke the faucet, however — tenant or landlord? You guessed it: tenant.

The Question of Tenant or Landlord Not Entirely Black or White

You can tell automatically that the question of tenant or landlord isn’t necessarily an easy question to answer, because any situation regardless of real estate trends for 2015 — debatable even in a court of law — can have differing viewpoints. Perspectives. Opinions. It can get pretty confusing.

This is why, in fact, it’s important that you have this all set up, written out, and agreed upon immediately even before you sign a lease. That way whenever anyone asks the question of tenant or landlord as far as repair and replacement are concerned, the answer’s pretty easy — as easy as Batman beating the pulp out of the Joker.

Yes, Your Landlord Is an Actual Human Being and Not the Terminator

It’s sad that everyone thinks of a landlord as that cybernetic killer, preying on the innocent and taking your money. Your landlord is not the Terminator, people. Arnold Schwarzenegger would retch at the thought. In truth, your landlord’s probably one of the most harmless mammals known to man, and if you really get to know your landlord well, that mammal might actually be adorable! (Not really)

The Unfortunate Stigma of Your Landlord

This does contribute to the negative connotation simply because we don’t like to address concerns with landlords. Your landlord just might evict you — shudder at the thought! Bear this in mind, please: if it real estate terminatorwasn’t for you, the tenant, your landlord wouldn’t have a shred of revenue come in! Your landlord needs you.

Additionally, by law, your landlord has a responsibility to you — to the well-being of the dwelling as far as maintenance and safety are concerned — which means his or her first priority is to ensure that all your needs are met. Rental tips for the up-and-coming home renter never saw this coming as positive as it is: you can talk to your landlord about your problems, and he or she will address them immediately.

Just be upfront and honest. If you’re having trouble paying this month’s rent, bring it up immediately. Don’t hide. Don’t give your landlord a reason to start banging on your door.

If you’re getting really sick of hearing that faucet drip, be honest: let your landlord know. It’s his/her job to get it fixed. By law, it’s a requirement.

Communication Is the Key to Success as a First-Time Renter

I’d venture to say that your landlord probably appreciates it. Honesty, openness, laid-back. The reverse is the same for landlords far and wide. They won’t normal tenants on their books, people. Not crazy people. So when they’re facing the decision of signing a rental agreement for a rent-to-own home with the H.O.P.E. Program and a particular tenant, it’s clear that the decision has to be a sound one.

You ensure your landlord’s confidence in the best way — by always being a tremendous communicator. Even during Judgment Day.

 

The Crucial Importance of Renters Insurance

You may heard of renters insurance but wonder why on God’s green Earth would you ever need it. Who knows — you may not need it at all. After all, you technically don’t own anything in the home except for your typical belongings: perhaps a TV, some clothes, a phone, and maybe a few other things. It’s not like you can’t have any policies already for such things, but believe me — renters insurance is a real thing for tenants, and not only can it be a smart option for you (if you have high-priced items in your place, such as a laptop or computer), but your lease might actually require that you obtain it.

You Would Then Need to Consult With an Insurance Company About Renters Insurance

See what your options are. In the end, you’ll be thanking the fates for the decision you made, perhaps surviving a very nasty fire in your rent-to-own home from H.O.P.E. to Own, and having all your personal belongings reimbursed — all because you were smart enough to take out a policy for renters insurance!real estate fire

It’s particularly imperative that you do consider renters insurance, because your landlord’s policy won’t cover any of those damages. The only damages he or she would be covered on would be any of the included appliances and the structure itself. Basic rule of thumb: if you bring it into the home or apartment, chances are your landlord’s insurance policy won’t cover it at all.

Protect Your Own Property

And it’s affordable, just so you know. So out of all the rental tips you get to apply, this one won’t cost you a fortune. You can expect perhaps approximately $350 annually, covering a total of $50K in reimbursements for your stuff. That’s a pretty good deal in my opinion. Take advantage of it.

Why You Should Ask Questions Before Painting Your Rent-to-Own Home

This rule you’ll read about out of all the rental tips you’ll pick up does happen to be very particular. By particular, I mean involving a landlord who will immediately throw a temper tantrum over the fact that you, the tenant, thought it would be a good idea to have your daughter paint a flower on the beautiful white drywall! Be careful here. Even if you’re in a rent-to-own home from the H.O.P.E. Program, you’re limited on what you can do as far as renovations and improvements are concerned (at least until you sign off on a lease and own the home with a mortgage).

Think About It: You Don’t Actually Own That Rent-to-Own Home (Yet)real estate paint

Therefore, by law, you can’t make any improvements on your rent-to-own home. No painting. No additions. No installed shelving. In many cases, you may not even be able to purchase pets, or even fish. Who knows. In general, if the landlord’s in charge of repairs of everything from the furnace to the gutters on the roof, legally and fairly, you must not change anything as far as the structure and makeup of the dwelling.

Let’s back up, though, for a moment…. Remember: your landlord’s not a mindless terminator out to get your money. Rather, chances are you might even see that your rent-to-own home lease agreement doesn’t even say anything about improvements at all, meaning legally — since it’s not in the writing — you can probably paint a room or two.

Here’s the basic rule of thumb, though: ask. Always bring it up with your landlord first. Get the approval in writing — as a real estate attorney would, yet again, advise — and you’ve definitively covered all your bases.

You Live in It, Not Own It

That’s the basic truth about renting, rent-to-own homes, and tenancy. It’s a trade-off. Just know, though, that you might get lucky: you might get a landlord who’ll let you paint the living room hot pink! You won’t know unless you ask, and that’s why this is quite the premier tip as far as rental homes are concerned.