Precautions to Take When Renting For the First Time
Renting for the first time can be daunting, especially if you have just moved out of your family home or are preparing to move in with your partner. When you decide to rent, there are several precautions that you need to take to ensure that you and your finances are protected for the duration of your time in the accommodation; this guide will help to explain the key ways in which you can protect yourself when renting.
1. Take out Renters Insurance
Renters insurance is vital for anyone that decides to rent property, as this will help to care for your possessions in the event of threats such as fire and theft. Although your landlord may have an insurance policy in place to protect their assets, this will not cover your own possessions, and so it is important that you are able to create a separate policy for your own belongings.
As to cheap insurance, Insurance Geek can help you to find comprehensive policies that can assist you in securing the compensation you need in the event of damages.
2. Perform an Inventory
Next, to protect yourself against any charges incriminated by your landlord on vacating the property, it is important that you take a full inventory of the home before you move in. Not only should you create a checklist that details what items are already within the home, but you should also take pictorial evidence to support this inventory, and prove that it is correct. This visual inventory should include pictures of any damage within the building, ensuring that the landlord in question does not charge you for any issues or repairs that are related to this damage.
3. Protect Your Deposit
In most cases, you will put down a deposit in order to pay for any damage that you incur during your stay. However, you need to make sure that your deposit is protected from your perspective as well. Although, in the UK, there are government-funded deposit protection schemes which can help to ensure that disputes are settled easily, in the USA, you need to be savvier when it comes to looking after your deposit, and you should always perform an inventory and check the lease agreement for the necessary terms and conditions.
Additionally, in some states, such as Texas and Illinois, there is a limit on the security deposit amount that landlords can charge, and you should be aware of this.
4. Understand Your Tenancy Agreement
Lastly, before you commit yourself to a rental agreement, it is vital that you are able to understand your tenancy agreement. You should check this agreement to ensure that it covers all of the terms that you need, and that you understand how to extend the agreement if necessary. This means that you should avoid rushing into a lease or tenancy agreement which you do not agree to and check that you have read all of the different terms, such as the landlord’s stance on repairs, pets, and your ability to have guests.