If you currently do not have the financial means to purchase a home, one fantastic alternative is to look into renting an apartment or house instead. You won’t have any trouble finding a property to rent where you and your family can enjoy some quiet time together. The experience of moving into a new house or apartment is unquestionably quite exciting; nevertheless, it can be difficult to choose the ideal house or apartment that satisfies both your requirements and your goals. There are many things to consider before you sign on the dotted line, however, such as how long you plan to live there and what kind of budget you have.
In this blog post, I’ll talk about 10 important things you need to think about before renting a house.
A 15-Point Checklist for Potential Tenants of a House
There are a lot of things to consider before renting a home, and the process can be overwhelming. Here are 15 important considerations you should make before signing on the dotted line.
1. Assess Your Needs and Set a Rent Budget
Moving into a new rental home or apartment will cost you a lot of money in the form of a security deposit, moving expenses, and brokerage fees. That’s not all. You may also have to pay the first month’s rent in advance. The best way to determine how much you can afford to spend is to create a budget.
There are instances where you will have to settle for a larger home or apartment in a well-established neighborhood. So, think about what you need and see if it makes sense to put more money into that new, larger apartment.
2. Research the Area Where You Want to Rent a House
Check the neighborhood and location before renting a house or apartment. People often sign the contract without researching the neighborhood. Know if your future home’s neighborhood meets your needs. Check to see if this apartment or home is close to all the services you require, such as grocery stores, gyms, hospitals, and schools. Get familiar with the public transportation options for getting to and from your place of employment or school from this location.
3. Do a Physical Inspection of the House or Apartment
Before renting a house, it is very important to do a thorough physical inspection of the apartment. Make sure that everything from the couches to the sinks is in working order. You, as the tenant, are obligated to visit the apartment or the owner in order to get a feel for the place and to discuss any modifications you might want. If they’re important, the landlord will probably think about them before you move in. Physical inspections help clear up any misunderstandings that could arise later on between the parties.
4. Understand What is Included in the Rent
If you know this upfront, you can better plan your monthly spending. You will clearly understand how much you will have to spend on rent and utilities every month.
The biggest mistake people make when renting an apartment is not understanding what is included in their rent. This can be a costly mistake, as you may end up paying more than you anticipated for things like utilities. Before signing your lease, make sure you read the fine print and know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. Inquire with the property owner about whether or not the rent covers the cost of gas, water, electricity, and internet service.
5. Address Rent and Payment Due Dates
There are no down payments to worry about if you choose to rent a home rather than buy one. There are numerous advantages to renting a home rather than purchasing one. I have written an article exclusively on this topic: Top 7 Benefits of Renting Over Buying a House. However, you may have to pay a security deposit, which is usually equal to one or two months’ worth of rent. It will be held by the landlord until the end of your lease. You will also be responsible for paying your rent on time, and you must be able to show that you have done so. If you are late on your rent, your landlord may impose a fine or evict you from your home. Therefore, discuss rent and payment due dates before signing a rental lease agreement.
6. Discuss Expenses on Maintenance and Repairs
The conflict between the owner and tenant may result from clauses requiring yearly and monthly maintenance. So, before renting the apartment, a tenant should know everything there is to know about the rules. Water taps, electricity boards, and wiring might not be at the top of your list of maintenance tasks, but major interior or exterior damage repair as well as wall color can become contentious. Therefore, before signing the lease agreement, be sure to clarify who is responsible for the upkeep and repairs of the home/apartment. When it comes to upkeep and repairs, some landlords will foot the bill, while others will make you foot the tab. Notifying your landlord of any property damage as soon as possible is preferable to putting it off.
7. Know about the Landlord
When looking for a place to rent, it’s important to have some background information on the landlord. Knowing how to deal with your landlords is crucial so that you can have a comfortable stay at your new home. Getting feedback from the owners’ previous tenants will help you in this regard. Their previous tenants will be able to tell you about the landlord and the atmosphere of the building. You can also get information about the property from your real estate agent.
8. Ask Landlords If They Allow Pets
If you love pets and don’t want to leave them behind when you move into a new home, you might want to find a new home where pets are allowed. You need to know the rules for whether or not pets are allowed in the house or apartment that you want to rent. Some landlords do not allow pets on their properties. However, there are some great rental houses available on the market that allow pets and even have pet-friendly amenities. To avoid further conflicts with your future landlord, you must make it clear whether they allow pets or not. And, needless to say, you should make the decision accordingly.
9. Discuss Brokerage Commission
If you are finding a rental house or apartment with a real estate agent, you will need to pay a brokerage commission. What amount? It depends on many factors and can vary from a fixed amount to one-half of a month’s rent to an entire month’s rent. Therefore, it becomes essential to discuss the brokerage commissions early on when renting through a broker. It is always a wise decision to go with a RERA-registered broker to avoid future issues.
10. Facilities Available in Society
Renting an apartment in society or on a builder’s floor is an option. Taking an apartment or flat in a builder’s building is easier than taking one in society. Make a thoughtful, informed decision. The choice is yours. The owner must disclose potential additional costs, such as those associated with an additional parking space, a club membership, swimming pool access, door-to-door service, or membership in the Residents’ Welfare Association (RWA), that you may incur later. If the owner fails to disclose additional costs, you should avoid renting that property.
11. Ask for the Rental Agreement
In order to avoid any confusion, it is important to have a signed contract from your landlord before moving into a new home. The contract needs to be signed by both parties, with the landlord keeping the original and providing you with a copy. A landowner has the right to demand immediate eviction if no formal agreement has been received. I hope you get the point. If you are renting a home or apartment, one of the most important things you can do is make sure you have a signed rental agreement.
12. Understand the Rental Agreement’s Inclusions
Your rental agreement will include a number of provisions to prevent any misunderstandings with the landlord in the future. Lease agreements for a rental property that last longer than 11 months must be registered, according to the Registration Act. The following are the main points:
- Indicate when the tenancy began and ended.
- The monthly or quarterly rent payment schedule
- The security deposit amount
- Service and maintenance fees
- Responsibility for paying for repairs and maintenance
- The terms of eviction/termination
- The notice time for moving out
- The availability of electricity, water, and power facilities
13. Apartment Documents
Whether you rent an apartment through a broker or directly from the owner, you should verify that there are no liens or other legal claims against the property. So, it’s in your best interest to look for important documents like the deed, the most recently paid utility bills, and any information you can find about the people who lived there before.
14. New Landlord
In the event that your landlord decides to sell the home you now rent, what plans do you have in place? In such a circumstance, your tenancy will be transferred to the new landlord, and your payments will continue as usual. The agreement is binding on the new homeowner. A new lease may need to be drafted if either you or the landlord wish to make significant modifications.
15. Take Security Deposit When You Move Out
When moving out of an apartment, it might be difficult to decide what to do with the security deposit. You are uncertain as to whether you want to take it back or leave it. Oftentimes, landlords do not promptly refund the security deposit. Therefore, it is generally prudent to collect the security deposit a few days before moving out of a rental apartment. If there are any damages to the property, it is likely that the landlord will deduct the amount from the security deposit. Therefore, invite the landlord to the property in advance to assess any damages. My colleague, Prity Vishwakarma, has written an excellent article on this topic: “How to Get the Full Security Deposit for Rent Back When Moving Out.“
In conclusion, renting a home can be a great option for those who cannot afford to purchase a property. It is a significant decision and should be considered carefully. There are many important considerations to make before signing on the dotted line, however. It is important to assess your needs, set a rent budget, research the area, find out about the landlord, calculate utility costs, look into parking and transit options, consider the size of the space, inspect the property, review the lease, check for pet restrictions, inquire about move-in and move-out fees, and be aware of tenant rights. Taking the time to weigh all of these factors will help you make an informed decision about which rental property is right for you.
A copywriter, blogger, content strategist by profession, and an information junkie by heart. I have a penchant for reading, researching, writing, and anything related to creating persuasive content. For me, writing is something that ignites my creativity and helps in keeping me on cloud nine. I have been working in the content writing domain since 2006. Be it blogging or copywriting, I create better content that fuels conversations and skyrockets search traffic.