Since the housing market collapsed, several house owners have turned into renters. As more and more homeowners lost their homes to foreclosure or simply because they had to sell their property, homeownership around America has dropped. The competition for finding the perfect apartment can land a potential renter into the hot waters of scarcity.
Think long-term, and avoid some of the most common mistakes tenants make when renting an apartment.
1. Changing Apartments too Quickly
Most landlords don’t prefer tenants who have moved more than twice in three years. No wonder, though – what can be the reason for such frequent change of plans? A landlord may likely suspect such a tenant of inappropriate behavior, a contract breach, and so on. Most landlords are looking to sign a long-term lease. Remember, your landlord wants you to stay put (if you’re a good tenant).
2. Not Having a Stable Career
If you’re changing jobs too often, it may be a warning sign to your landlord. Firstly, this shows them that you’re an impulsive person who can’t stick to a decision. Secondly, it tells them that your income isn’t stable enough.
If you’re changing jobs too frequently, there’s a chance there will come the point when you go through a transitory period when you’ll be low on cash. This may affect your landlord’s decision to stick with you for the long run.
3. Not Taking Pictures upon Moving In
Almost everyone has a camera on their smartphone or a digital camera. Use it to your advantage and document the condition of your property when you’re moving in. You’ll want to make a note of all kinds of pre-existing damage.
Make a list of all the damages you see, send it to the landlord, put a date on it, and get them to sign it. Moreover, before you sign any lease, get all of the major repairs in writing that the landlord has promised they’ll make. For instance, a landlord may promise they’ll fix a pool when you’re moving in.
4. Not Checking Out the Neighborhood
One of the most unpleasant discoveries one can make after getting into a home is figuring out that they’ve moved into a troublesome neighborhood. If you’re not a fan of the idea of waking up in the middle of the night because there’s a train passing by or don’t want party animals as neighbors, you should investigate the area.
Even though some problems can be obvious, others may need deeper probing. Feel free to ask your neighbors about the area you’re about to move into. This will help you kill two birds with one stone. Not only will you find out the state of the neighborhood, but you’ll also get to know your (potential) neighbors.
5. Not Comparing Rates
They say that something is worth as much as we’re willing to pay for it. This is a good way of explaining why some properties can have drastically different prices even when they’re of the same quality and are located in the same neighborhood! If you want to rent a place at a fair market price, you should take out some time to compare the prices of a few similar properties.
Familiarize yourself with the average price for a dwelling and then use your research to bargain with the landlord.
6. Looking for a Property You Can’t Afford
Remember this rule of thumb: strive for the best but remember to stay within your limits. Even though several Americans report spending half of their income on rent, we strongly advise you to earn 2.5 times more than you rent. In other words, try to look for an apartment that you can afford, or you may run into two problems:
● The landlord may decline your proposal
● Even if your application is accepted, you may run out of funds quickly
If you’ve made it till the end of this article, chances are you know a lot more than the average tenant. This can make your rental experience as seamless as they come!
If you haven’t hired a property manager already, click here to learn more about our services and how an experienced property manager can share some of your burdens.