Are you getting ready to rent a house? If so, have you thought about what you should look for? Do you know what questions you should ask your potentially new landlord? And, finally, how exactly should you rent that house? These are all good questions that we are going to answer in this article.
What is the most important thing that you should look for when renting a house? It’s a simple answer and you have heard it before – location, location, location. Not only is this important when you are buying a home, but also when you are renting.
If you live in one location and you have to travel a long distance to get to work, you probably won’t be happy. Or, if you have children and they go to public schools, then you want to be sure that you rent a house that is in a good school district. Or, perhaps on your leisure time you like to spend your time fishing. Then, being close to a good watering-hole is important. Location, location, location,…it’s so important!
Another important factor to consider is cost. Rent and utilities should not exceed 36% of your total income. Renting a nice home is important, but don’t let it financially ruin you.
After you have found a house that is for rent in a suitable location and at a cost that you can afford, there are some important questions that you need to ask your potential landlord. Questions such as:
1. How long does the landlord intend to rent the house?
2. How long will the current rate of rent be guaranteed for?
3. Can they estimate how much the next increase in rent will be?
4. Are pets permitted? If so, what type of pets and are there any size or weight limitations?
5. Who is responsible for maintaining the landscape?
6. If painting is required, will the landlord provide the labor and materials?
7. Can the landlord provide an estimate on electrical, gas, sewage, and garbage costs?
8. Can the landlord provide you any details about neighbors that live in the area?
9. Is a security deposit required and, if so, how much?
10. Does your initial payment include first and last month’s rent or just the first month’s rent?
These are important questions to ask your future landlord. Their answers will help you to determine your initial investment and your future costs. These answers will also help you decide how cooperative your future landlord may be. Don’t hesitate to ask these questions.
Renting a house is quite a process. Once you have found a house that meets all of your expectations, then you need to sign a contract with your new landlord. But, before doing that, the landlord may ask you to fill out an application. Don’t be surprised if the landlord asks you to do this… the information you provide the landlord will help ensure him that you are a suitable renter.
The landlord must provide you a contract to sign. If he does not have one, he can buy one from Office Depot or he can secure one from his real estate agent. It’s the landlords responsibility to provide you that written contract and don’t rent a house without that contract.
Once the landlord has provided you a contract to sign, it’s in your best interest to have someone to thoroughly review that contract before you sign it. This person might be a real estate attorney or a close family member that has experience in contracts. Make sure that every word of the contract is reviewed.
Renting a house does not sound complicated, and it’s really not. Just be sure that you cover the above fundamentals and you should be safe. Good luck on finding that house that you are looking to rent!