The Complete Renter’s Guide

The Complete Renter’s Guide

Every now and then, there’s that lucky person that gets to buy a house for their first place to live. For the rest of us, typically, our first house is a rent house. Some people even prefer renting over ever buying a house. But there’s a whole list of rules that comes with renting a house. A renter must follow every rule set by the landlord, otherwise you may find yourself facing a big loss of money.

Renting a house can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be. We’ve created the complete renter’s guide to making this process a little easier on you. First off let’s start with some definitions!

Renter – that’s you! The person renting the house.
Landlord – the person who owns or manages the house you’re renting.
Lease – This is a contract between you and your landlord regarding the property.
Security Deposit – a set amount put towards the house to guarantee your spot and cover property damages.

The Hunt

When looking for a house to rent, your biggest concern should be your budget. You have to account for your rent, utilities, food, gas and miscellaneous purchases. So maybe make a budget before hand. For tips on how to make a budget, check out this blog post here.

You’re next concern is location. Is your house close to work? What school district is it in? What is the neighborhood like? These are all important factors to consider when thinking about location.

Finally, always bring a list of questions to ask when going to look at a rent house:

  • Are the utilities paid through the renter or the landlord.
  • Are pets allowed?
  • What maintenance is included?
  • Can you decorate?
  • Are appliances included?
  • Where can I park?

Found the Perfect Place?

Awesome! The hard part is done and you’ve found a great house. The next step should be signing the lease… But there’s a few things you need to do first. You need to ensure that the house is really the perfect house. Go through the house and check a couple of things:

  • Check the faucets
  • Check for internal damages (walls, floors, etc.)
  • Open and close windows
  • Look at storage space
  • Test outlets
  • Test kitchen appliances
  • Check locks
  • Flip the lights
  • Check gates and fences

So you’ve decided you like the house… the next step is to go through the application process. In this process, landlords check your previous rental history, credit history, etc.

If you’ve passed the application process, it’s time to get the lease. It is VERY important that you read the lease the entire way through before signing it so you’re not forced to be in horrible conditions.

Now That You Have the House

Make sure you call your utility providers about two weeks before you move in to ensure all of your utilities will be ready by the time you move in.

When you move in, be sure to fill out an inventory and condition form. You’ll write down anything damaged within the house. Without that form, the landlord can charge you for damage done by the previous renter.

Make sure you pay all of your utilities and rent on time, every month. Most rentals and utilities count towards your credit score, so if you pay late, it can affect your credit score negatively.
For more tips regarding credit, check back every week for a new blog post or follow us on social media!

Enjoy your new rental home!