Renting has many advantages to tenants, which include not having to worry about essential home improvements, property taxes that can cost an arm and a leg, and they have much flexibility on their lease framework, being able to move in or out almost at any time they want.
However, in return, these tenants also have their fair share of responsibilities to maintain a good rental experience for themselves and the landlords.
So, what do you do when renting a property? How do you keep the rental property in a stable state?
Here are the eight standard tenant must-dos when renting a home or a property.
Know your neighborhood before moving
One of the first responsibilities of a tenant is to examine the area or neighborhood where he or she intends to rent a property. This is your responsibility to yourself that you are aware of the type of neighborhood you are opting for since you owe it to yourself to choose a great community to live in.
Start by assessing the safety of the area. You can do this by studying the area’s crime rates or talking to the police department regarding security. Then explore the site to find how amenities are conveniently located nearby. These local amenities should include the general ones you need, such as restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, public transportation options, vehicle parking rules, convenient stores, and gyms, or only specific ones suited to your lifestyle.
Read and understand the lease’s terms
Understand that your lease’s terms and conditions would significantly influence how you are liable to your property during your entire stay. Therefore, make sure that you thoroughly read and understand the terms and conditions set by your landlord. Take time to read it. You do not have to sign it after merely scanning through it. Instead, go home and allot sufficient time to sit down and read through it.
You can also hire a Realtor or a lawyer to examine the content and make sure that everything is fair and within the standards of rentals. You need to be meticulous on all the details stated in the lease’s terms and conditions, including policies on having pets inside the property, how maintenance is distributed between the tenant and the landlord, timeframe of rent payment, policies on breaking the lease and security deposit, and policies on subletting the property in case you need to be away from some time.
Inspect and document the property before moving in
There are cases when the property has many underlying issues that later on manifest in broken pipes, leakages, etc. This would later become a significant inconvenience for you, and for you to avoid this, take note of this critical step before moving into your rented property.
Document through photos the entire property, including all the nooks and corners, to note all pre-existing damage to the property. Send these photos and observations to the landlord so they can address these issues. You can also ask for a move-in/move-out checklist. This checklist assesses the state of the property before the tenant moves in and upon the tenant’s moving out. This also assesses if there is damage done to the property.
This will ensure mutual benefit for both the landlord and the tenant. The landlord can identify damages on the property as soon as the tenant moves out and protect the tenant from paying for damages that already exist in the property upon his or her entry.
Get renter’s insurance
What do you do when you are struck with a natural disaster while renting a property?
Accidents and disasters are unexpected events that can impact your life while living on a rented property. Natural disasters, such as fire, typhoons, and even break-ins and theft, are unfortunate cases. The good thing is, you can regulate the impact of these events by securing a renter’s insurance.
While your property may already be covered with the landlord’s insurance, this does not cover particular items inside the property. This is exactly what a renter’s insurance offers – the assurance to replace your items that have been affected by unfortunate incidents, such as water damage, fire, or theft.
Also, the renter’s insurance aids the tenant with the medical bills in cases of injuries that occur inside the property.
Generate automatic bill payments
Paying your monthly rent is one of your responsibilities as a tenant. Generating automatic bill payments means that you never have to worry about paying late or totally forgetting to pay your monthly rental due. Set this up with your landlord. If your landlord prefers the traditional way of paying bills, just set up a reminder on your calendar every month.
Direct communication on maintenance
As a tenant, usually your landlord takes care of the expenses for maintenance inside your property. Should you find any issues, contact your landlord immediately to have the problem fixed.
Clean the entire space
You never know who the last tenant was or even when the property was last cleaned. Upon moving, conduct a deep clean of the space to get rid of unwanted residues of the previous tenant.
It is a sanitary must to make your stay comfortable. Also, keeping the entire rental property clean is, of course, one of your responsibilities as a tenant.
Ask permission on customizations
Some landlords are keen on keeping the property looking as is, while some allow customizations. Regardless, you need to ask your landlord if you want to repaint the walls or redecorate the entire space to your preference.
Some landlords even appreciate this as this adds value to their property so they even shoulder half of your customization expenses.