When renting a home or apartment, you need to be very watchful and observant at all aspects. Aside from ensuring the safety and security of/around the property, you must also be vigilant about your rights as the tenant. And to help you out with this, here are few tips and advice.
Understand the local law
Know the law about landlord and tenants around your chosen neighborhood or city. Remember, the law differs from one state to another (and there are some really crazy laws out there) so make sure to know the one that applies to your chosen location.
Inspect the property
Aside from inspecting the overall structure of the unit, you must also check the water supply system, locks and doors, plumbing and etc. Make sure to ask the landlord about their maintenance rules and policies.
Read and understand your lease
Your lease is your legal contract between you and the landlord. It might contain extra clauses that are not legally allowed by the local law. Make sure to read it thoroughly before signing. Also, don’t hesitate to ask your landlord if there’s anything that needs further clarification.
Take photos before moving in
Before moving in, make sure to take photos of the property. Take photos of all the rooms, corners and other areas of the house. Take photos of the included appliance and if there’s anything that needs repair, take a photo of it and send it to your landlord for proper maintenance. Remember, do these before you move in to avoid any kind of trouble or conflict.
Pay rent on time
To avoid any kind of conflict with your landlord, make sure to pay your rent on time. Better if you pay it in advance as it can give you a good impression and might score you some sort of “good tenant” discount.
Establish and maintain good relationship with your landlord
Paying rent on time can give you a good impression with your landlord. A simple smile or hi with your landlord can also go a long way. Sending him/her a simple gift or greeting card during special occasion or holidays is also a good way.
Save all your emails and text messages with your landlords, especially those that contain important information. Don’t rely on verbal promises as it can easily be twisted without hard proof. So document and save everything for future reference.
Take photos before moving out
Before you move out and leave your rented unit, take photos of it as a proof that you are leaving it in good well maintained condition. This can be very helpful and valuable if you want to get your security deposit back.
Try to leave with a good relationship with your landlord
Try to leave the rented property on a good note. Make sure that you and your landlord are in good terms before you move out. This way, you can make him/her a valuable reference or contact person for your future rental applications.
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