As a renter, you’re likely all too familiar with the phrase “you get what you pay for.” And while that may be true in some cases, it doesn’t have to be your reality when it comes to finding a quality place to live.
In fact, by taking a few simple steps, you can ensure that you not only find a great rental property but also protect yourself against any potential problems down the road.
So what are these steps? Below, we outline four of the most important ones for renters everywhere.
Keep them in mind as you search for your next place and you’ll be on your way to living happily, without breaking the bank.
Get Renters Insurance
One of the most important aspects that are often overlooked is renters insurance. This type of insurance protects your personal belongings if they’re lost, stolen, or damaged. It also provides tenant insurance coverage in case someone is injured while on your property.
While your landlord may have insurance for the rental unit itself, it likely does not cover your personal belongings or provides any liability protection for you.
So be sure to purchase a renters insurance policy before moving into your new place.
Get Everything in Writing
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people choose to rent without a formal lease agreement.
And while the process of signing a lease can seem tedious, it’s crucial to your protection as a renter. A written lease agreement outlines the terms of your tenancy and provides both you and your landlord with a clear understanding of what’s expected.
So if there are any problems down the road, you’ll have something to refer back to. If your landlord doesn’t want to give you a lease agreement, that should be a major red flag.
Do Your Research
Before signing on the dotted line, be sure to do your homework on both the rental property and the landlord may have insurance for the rental unit.
Start by reading online reviews and see what other renters have had to say about their experience. Once you’ve narrowed down your options, schedule a time to tour the units in person and meet the landlord or property manager.
This is also a great opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the rental process or the property itself.
Also, be sure to drive by the rental location at different times of day to get a feel for the neighborhood and see if there’s street parking available.
Know Your Rights
As a renter, you have certain rights and protections under the law. Familiarize yourself with these before signing a lease agreement so that you know what to expect from your landlord.
For example, in most states, landlords are required to make necessary repairs promptly and cannot evict tenants without cause. And if your landlord does try to evict you without cause, they must give you ample notice and follow the proper legal procedures.
By knowing your rights, you can protect yourself against any potential issues down the road. If you’re ever in doubt, reach out to a local renters’ rights organization for guidance.
Although it may seem like a lot of work upfront, taking these steps will save you a lot of headaches down the road.