Renting has become more and more popular for families who couldn’t afford a buying a new house. But more than a necessity, people start to rent for flexibility and lifestyle bonuses. In a time of inflation and rising prices in real estate, more Americans than ever are choosing to rent long-term.
There are many benefits to renting, such as having a landlord pay property taxes and a maintenance crew to make updates and repairs as needed. However, often renters make common mistakes when renting a property, resulting in pitfalls that could be costly in the future. This blog is a guide to all renters to avoid these mistakes before entering a property and signing a lease.
Major Mistakes Renters Make
Here are 8 common mistakes renters make and how you can avoid them.
Mistake 1: Not prioritizing rental needs and wants
Renters often make the mistake of not identifying their needs and wants at first. It’s crucial to rent out an apartment based on what you wanted in order to achieve a happier experience. Turns out, renters fail to prioritize their needs in a rental in the first place. Each renter’s needs are different. Therefore, you need to look for what you would like to have the most including, favorable neighborhood/location, access to public transportation, parking area, lifestyle amenities, security system, building features, pet policies, and much more.
Mistake 2: Renting a unit sight unseen
Often people rent an apartment based on the description and pictures of the property they see. Sometimes distance makes it difficult to see an apartment prior to moving. In this situation, it’s best to ask friends and family who live nearby to provide you with insights of the rental house. However, renting a property without seeing it is a big mistake that often renters make.
You can also check online reviews and visit the apartment in person. Touring for an apartment helps you make the right choice.
Mistake 3: Not taking price into consideration
Budget is the first and one of the most important factors that renters always take into consideration. However, often renters make the mistake of renting an apartment without looking at their budget. Determining the price of the property helps in paying the monthly rent on time. A general rule of thumb is to make sure you have 2.5 times more earnings than the rent you’re going to pay. Apart from house rent, you should also consider other monthly expenses, such as student loans or car payments.
When you choose the rental property, know what expenses are included with the rent and what will be added on as extras. Since the real estate market is growing with inflation, you should also be ready to see your rent go higher. Finally, research the rental market in the city and metro as well to give yourself an idea of what to expect.
Mistake 4: Failing to understand the lease terms
A big mistake renters make is failing to understand the lease terms when signing the lease documents. So, you’ll want to make sure you understand the policies for late rent, subletting, pets, roommates, visitors, parking, etc. Before you come into any problem, make sure you know about the rental laws that might vary state-wise.
If know the importance of leases in rental properties, ask all the questions before signing the lease so that you don’t run into any problems later.
Mistake 5: Ignoring Amenities
Most renters forget to consider amenities in the rental property. So, never make this mistake of ignoring the amenities no matter whether you are renting an apartment from a large property management company or from an independent investor.
An amenity could be anything from swimming pools, fitness centers, or laundry facilities. Find out how often the machines are maintained and how much it typically costs to complete a load of laundry so you can include that in your budget.
Find out how frequently the machines are maintained and its cost to complete a load of laundry in order to include that in your budget.
Mistake 6: Ignoring the neighborhood
If you are going to pay for the rental, make sure to check with your neighbors to know the building’s maintenance and safety measures. Also, always know the street criminal records by questioning the local area police. If you find your neighborhood and street quite adverse to live in, consider staying away from renting out an apartment there.
Mistake 7: Underestimating Renter’s Insurance
A landlord’s insurance policy doesn’t cover the tenant’s personal property. If anything goes wrong such as a fire in the house, there is a high chance your precious possessions might get damaged and you couldn’t get the cover of your loss since you weren’t getting covered in the landlord’s insurance. So, after you sign the lease, checking & understanding the renter’s policy should be the first item on your list before making your final choice of renting out the property. Renter’s insurance may pay for you to live elsewhere until you can return to your apartment.
Mistake 8: Paying Rent Late
Paying your rent late can impact your credit score negatively and lead to eviction. Most renters make the mistake of paying the rent late and either get evicted or affected financially. Some landlords charge a late fee that costs anywhere from $75 to $200 per day.
If an emergency comes up and you will be late with your rent, be sure to let your landlord know as soon as possible. You may be able to work something out with them.
Get Rental Property Management by Professional
At sunset Property Managment, we help landlords and property owners with rental property management by experts to make it simpler and easier. So, if you own a property, give yourself peace by hiring a professional property manager to manage your investment.