First time renting - what is the process?
This is the first time I will be renting. I have no idea what happens and what the process is and what to look out for.
I am looking to rent privately. Is it safe?
How much money will I need and what will I have to pay first? When you go to an inspection do you have to sign anything or pay anything? What do I need to take? And what happens after the inspection?
- Anonymous8 years agoFavorite Answer
I have rented from a Landlord who had large multi unit homes and I have also rented from an apartment complex with a manager. It depends on the area of the residence weather it is safe. If you see graffiti just a block from the home, or you see a lot of homes around the residence that seem to be unkempt, it most likely is not the best place for you. If, on the other hand, it appears like a nice area with up kept lawns and you see children playing on the street, it most likely is a safe place to live. Best bet might be to walk around, but if you get a gut reaction to an area, trust it and don't go there if you have a feeling it could be unsafe. Are you renting in an area close to where you were living? If this is the case, talk to people you know. They might be able to provide some insights into the things to watch for, or the specific areas that you might want to steer clear of. You'd be surprised what you can learn about the area by asking some questions.
My husband and I started our process by writing down some addresses going there to get a feel for the area driving around and see the outside of the place. Parking was important. The house needed to look ok too. From there we made an appt. to see it. We had our checkbook in hand, but we went to see a few more just to be sure. Before setting up the appt. find out the rent and what type of security they will require. This will help save some time. If you decide to rent a place, call the contact person back and you will go meet with them either to sign the lease or to exchange money for keys, if it is a month to month. If you are looking for more long term living situation go with somewhere that has a lease. Month to month landlords and tenets only generally need thirty days notice to move out. A lease offers protection from the landlord asking you to leave at the end of the month unless the lease is ending. If your lease is ending you will often be asked to sign a new one, or you might be told to leave, but being asked to leave does not happen to often if you are a good tenet.
As for the inspection, take pictures that have a date stamp on them for when you move in. You can't always count on the Landlord to be through with this. The apt. complex where my husband and I lived had the most comprehensive list. This place had a management group handling everything, and by far it was the most maintained compared to the private residence we rented from. In the winter they were out there snow blowing at 7 in the morning, and in the summer they kept the lawns maintained, luxuries that a private residence may not provide, esp. if the landlord does not live there. Trash was also easier at the complex. There was a dumpster we could just take everything to. We lived in a different area with the private residency. We had to buy Special city bags and the landlord would come every couple of weeks to put the trash on the curb. When things broke the management ppl were in the office most of time, where as our landlord at the private residency was not always reachable. My husband one time had to track down his work number to call to tell him the pipes had blew up in the basement and it was basically raining in the basement. The building had a water heating system. The driveway was not always plowed when we needed it to be. This may not be the case with every private residency apt, but this was just our experience. If you go with a complex, see if the parking lot is well lit at night, and there should be lights on at all times in walkways. Look at the people walking around. Do you get a bad feeling about more than one person? Do you here alot of yelling coming from the apt. with open windows? Do the entryways in the buildings look maintained, does the building smell ok? Some places have smells like smoke or weed. Same idea for the residences. Do you see maintainace people around mowing or fixing things? Good indicator that things get taken care of. Do the people outside seem approachable? If you move in, they will be your neighbors. Lots of children? It could get kind of loud there. Do you like dogs? Do you see a lot of people walking their dogs? Washer and dryer available? Even our private residence apt had one. Always have to pay but it was easier than running to the mat every time we needed a load washed. Look for water stains on the ceiling to make sure there isn't a history of leaking. Watch the traffic pat turns of the road outside. If it is really loud you can ask if it quiets down at night, or if it is a main road used often. Or maybe that isn't important to you. Look for how clean the apt is and weather the carpets are fraying or seem like they haven't been changed in forever, esp. if you have allergies.
Good luck in your search. Always trust your gut though. And if you are nervous about meeting some stranger at some apt for the first time, bring someone with you that you trust for an honest opinion. They might see things you miss.
- E&LLv 78 years ago
You must realize when looking for a place you should be spending no more then one third of your take home pay on rent. In most cases you will need to put down a security deposit and first month's rent BEFORE getting the keys. Security deposit is usually equal to the rental amount. If you have a pet they may also charge either a non refundable fee or deposit of easily 200-300 or more per pet. If you have never had utilities in your name they may also require a deposit up to one months bill to be made before turning on electricity, gas, cable.
When it come to inspection, some landlords are thorough, but it is up to you to protect yourself and do your own documented inspection BEFORE moving in. Take pictures with the date on them. That way if the landlord tries to keep your deposit for stained carpet you will be able to prove the condition at move-in. Do NOT expect them to prove your case for you, it is your responsibility. In most cases a landlord should write down everything which is damages, down to marks on floor and carpet, then you would have an opportunity to walk thru, review what they have noted and add your own. This process is usually only done if you have a professional landlord or management company handling the process, otherwise YOU are on your own to note prior damage.
- goulartLv 44 years ago
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