Depending on where you decide to live, apartments can have many perks that are included in the rental. This can consist of off-street parking, free maintenance, community pool, or workout centers. The landlord will likely be quick to point out all of these perks to you when you come to visit. However, there are a few things they will probably leave out. I, Mark Roemer, am writing this blog to fill you in on the specifics your landlord likely forgets to tell you.
Keep in mind; apartment renting can be quite a daunting task for all involved parties. It is not likely your landlord is leaving anything out maliciously. I have been renting apartments for the better part of a decade. Sometimes the visit is rushed, and I fail to remember to tell the prospective tenants certain things. Other times, I assume, based on the age of the would-be tenant, that they would already know such things. In either case, below you will find a list of things your landlord might be overlooking when showing you the apartment for the first time.
Depending on the size of the complex, some landlords require tenants to obtain renter’s insurance. This could be a result of the landlord not wanting to have a hefty bill for insurance on their end or simply because his insurance will not provide any benefits to the apartment dwellers. Regardless of the reason, it would be best if you did your homework. Several companies can insure your property while you are living in someone else’s property. Review these companies and make a decision that fits your needs best. Don’t worry so much about the price of insurance. Just because it may cost less is of little significance if you are unable to be reimbursed. It would be best if you always chose the policy that covers your possessions. If disaster strikes, you don’t want to worry if you are going to be able to replace your items quickly and easily.
There are parts of the world where one person is moving out, and another is moving in the same day. In these instances, the landlord will have little to no time to make repairs or modifications to the apartment. When you arrive at your new residence, take an extra 30 minutes to walk around the place and take pictures of prior damage. Do this before any of your stuff is moved in. This will save you when it comes time to get your security deposit back.
After you take the pictures, showing an empty house, make sure that you send them to the landlord. This can be done by email, text, or snail mail. Remember, if you submit any crucial communications to your landlord, make sure you send it registered mail. This will provide you with the assurance that they have received the letter.
Taking pictures will allow you to have a leg to stand on should you ever have to present evidence in court. This can stem from the landlord wanting to charge you for damages, or simply refusing to return your security deposit.
If you don’t enter the apartment with a pet, you are going to need to get approval from the landlord. There is an ever-growing number of landlords that are refusing to let tenants keep pets. They are well within their right to do so. However, if you are considering getting a furry friend after you already occupy the house, you are required to ask the landlord. Failure to comply with the rules in the lease can find you in the middle of an eviction. I suggest you hold off until you get a home of your own or find a pet-friendly apartment.
When it comes to pets, always ask. Sometimes landlords may say they do not allow pets, but when questioned will allow up to two cats or a small dog. Don’t be deterred by the number of apartments that do not explicitly allow pets. Remember, until you ask, the answer will always be no.
Utilities and Maintenance
Generally, tenants are responsible for paying for their services and all maintenance on the property. However, with increasing competition comes more attractive offers. Speaking from experience, I know that there is nothing worse than having to deal with an empty apartment. All the associated bills with that unit will have to be paid by me. In the past, I have been known to provide tenants with paid utilities and even general maintenance.
If your lease is not clear, make sure that you ask the landlord who is responsible for these items. It is a terrible feeling to find out later that you have additional bills that you were not expecting, especially if you are near the threshold of what you can afford every month.
While it is true that you are living in someone else’s house, you still have rights. There is so much more than merely being responsible for paying the rent on time. For example, did you know that landlords must give you a proper notification before entering your domicile? They must give you a minimum of 24 hours’ notice before entering your residence. This is just one of many things you are entitled to as a paid occupant of their building. Most cities have a booklet that outlines the rights of all tenants. Take the time to get this book and read it from cover to cover. There are many other facts that you need to know.
I, Mark Romer, hope that you have found this helpful. There are many nuggets of information that tenants are not privy to. It is in your best interest to find out what you need to know so that you can have a more enjoyable rental experience. The above list has been a few things that landlords fail to mention to their prospective tenants. This is in no way an exhaustive list, but the items I feel are the most important for tenants to know.