Becoming a Mobile Home Tenant? 6 Questions You Should Be Asking Before Signing the Lease
So, you’re looking at mobile homes for rent in Michigan. You’ve been driving around town, you’ve viewed multiple mobile units, and now, you think you’ve finally found the perfect mobile home to call your own.
But before you pull out your pen and sign your name on the lease, it’s important that you ask a few questions first. If not, you could end up making a simple mistake, which could end up costing you a lot of time and money.
How Long Is The Lease For?
While this might seem obvious, not all leases are created the same. While some leases might be for a full 12 month period, others might only be for six months or even just for the summer.
Sometimes, a landlord might be willing to offer you a discount on your rent if you’re willing to sign onto a longer lease. So, it’s important to ask your landlord about the length of the lease, before ever signing your name to anything.
Are There Any Fees For Breaking The Lease?
In the event that you need to move out of your rental unit prematurely, it’s possible that you’ll be asked to pay a fee to break the lease.
Sometimes, this can be as little as one or two month’s rent, but depending on your contract, you could be asked to pay out the remaining month’s rent or possibly lose out on getting your security deposit back.
On the other hand, some landlords might be a bit more relaxed when it comes to breaking your lease and you might not have to pay anything if you’re able to find someone to sublet the unit from you and take over the lease.
Am I Allowed To Make Any Improvements To The Unit?
You’ll obviously want to make your new mobile home feel like your own once you move in. But before you go and start painting the walls or putting up wallpaper, it’s best to talk to your landlord about it and get permission in writing first, before signing the lease.
Most of the time, any improvements that you make will need to be approved beforehand. You might also be asked to return the rental home to its original condition before moving out, or you run the risk of losing out on your security deposit.
Will I Need To Get Renters’ Insurance?
Having renters’ insurance is always a good idea. But sometimes you may not be able to afford it, especially when moving into a new place and having to pay for all the associated moving costs.
Some landlords might be okay with this. However, some might have a stricter lease that requires you to have insurance coverage. If this is the case, it’s best to shop around and get multiple quotes from different companies before signing up for a policy.
Do I Have To Pay Utilities?
Depending on how generous your new landlord is, you may or may not have to cover all of your own utilities. Usually, if your rent is a bit higher, some of it may go towards paying for utilities such as water, sewage, or electricity.
But if the rental price seems to good to be true, you’ll probably have to dish out a bit more and pay your utilities yourself. If this is the case, see if you can ask your landlord for a history of the utility bills at that address.
Some mobile homes may be more energy efficient than others. So, getting a better idea of what the utility bill will cost is an important factor to consider before signing the lease.
How Much Is The Security Deposit?
Most of the time, a security deposit will equal one month’s rent. However, this is not set in stone and some landlords might only ask for a smaller nominal fee of a few hundred dollars.
Keep in mind that by law, security deposits are always refundable, as long as you uphold your end of the lease and maintain the rental unit in an acceptable condition. If you fail to do so, you may risk losing some, if not all, of the security deposit when it comes time to move out.
Looking to find cheap mobile homes for rent?
Whether you are looking for a cheap mobile home for rent or looking for an upgraded model, michiganhousesonline.com is a great place to start your search.
Either way, remember that you should never rush into signing a lease. Be sure to read through the document thoroughly and discuss these six important questions with your landlord before putting your name on the dotted line.
Eric Worral has owned and managed rentals for over 9 years. Currently, he does marketing for RentPrep’s tenant screening & credit check service for landlords and property managers. He’s also the co-host of the “RentPrep for Landlords” podcast where he shares tips and insights on managing your rental properties.