6 Tips for Tenants
September 13, 2016
Being a tenant isn’t as easy as it sounds. Although only renting, tenants have just as many responsibilities as the landlord. Here are six tips for tenants that you may find helpful.
Be Prepared with Paperwork
When you are attempting to rent a place to live, you will want to be prepared with as much paperwork as possible. You may be facing competition for a property, so you will want to get as much of an edge as possible.
You can make yourself look like a good, reliable tenant by bringing the following items to a meeting with your landlord or the property management company: completed rental application, written documentation from landlords and employers verifying your reliability as well as a recent credit report. You can order a current copy of your credit report directly from Equifax, Experian or TransUnion. If you have credit problems, take the necessary steps to repair your credit.
Examine the Lease
Make sure you know what all of the conditions of the lease or rental agreement state before you make a commitment and sign. Remember, a lease is a legally binding contract, so it is important that you are aware of all the details. Look for specific provisions regarding pets, guests, design changes or operating a business out of the home. If these provisions are unacceptable to you, you may have to look elsewhere.
Request and Keep Copies of Documentation
You can steer clear of arguments or misunderstandings with your landlord by getting all agreements in writing. If you make an oral agreement with your landlord, be sure to follow it up with a letter, and keep copies of the correspondence. An example of a request you might make would be for repairs.
You should send a letter following an oral agreement and keep a copy on file. Be sure to put all written correspondence in a safe place so that you can refer to it when necessary.
Know Your Rights Regarding Privacy
Disputes often arise over a landlord’s right to enter the premises and a tenant’s right to privacy. Know what your rights are so that you can protect them. For example, you should be aware of the amount of notice the landlord must give before entering the rental unit.
Insist on Repairs
As a tenant, you have the right to live in a unit that is habitable. Landlords must provide proper weatherproofing, electricity and water as well as an overall safe and sanitary unit. If your landlord fails to make proper repairs you have options, such as notifying the building inspector.
Get Renter’s Insurance
At some point, you may face losses from damage or theft. Your landlord’s insurance policy will not cover these losses. Buying renter’s insurance is a smart option. It also covers you anyone sues over claims that being harmed in your unit was your fault. You may get a policy that covers damage from natural disasters.