What Tenants Should Consider When Searching for a Rental.
Budget: If the rental you’re looking at is a financial stretch for you, then it might not be worth the extra stress of trying to afford it. Maybe you’ll be just as happy with something a little smaller or not updated that is more affordable, so you have extra money for savings or vacation and other things. While your home is essential and you should be comfortable, being stretched to the maximum your budget allows can be uncomfortable. Plus, you want to ensure you have a cushion in case something happens and your income fluctuates.
Location: Is it close to work, your gym, daycare, or other places that you’ll be going to frequently? If not, being far away and spending a lot of commuting can take its toll. Are you flexible and okay with finding new businesses to work with, or do you need to look at something closer to the ones you work with now?
Amenities: Does it come with all the appliances you need? If not, are you willing to purchase them at your expense? If so, what will you do with them afterward? You might rent the property for many years, but if you decide to move out or the owner chooses not to renew the lease after the first year, will you be able to take the appliances you purchased and install them at a new place? Or will you be stuck trying to sell or store them?
Suppose you plan to buy a property soon. In that case, you might need them, but if you plan to rent for a few years, then having your appliances in an area where they’re typically included with rentals can reduce your rental choices since many landlords don’t want to remove and store their appliances if tenants have and want to install their own.
Condition: Is the property well-maintained, or does it show a lot of wear and tear or evidence of poor repairs? Unless the current owner just bought the property, if you can see that repairs are done poorly, the same will likely happen when you’re living there, leading to more repairs and vendors coming in and out while renting.
Lease Contract: Are you okay with the terms of the contract? Is the landlord or Houston, Texas property management company asking for something unreasonable? Make sure that any changes you verbally agree to are in writing in the contract. If the landlord offers you a discount or promises to make improvements, then you should not only have it in the contract but also, by what timeframe, and if it doesn’t end up happening by the deadline, what is the penalty to the landlord or your recourse?
Most landlords will do what they say, but occasionally you’ll have a landlord promise to replace something, and afterward, the landlord decides they don’t want to do it until you’re halfway through your lease, or it just may never happen. It’s easier to ensure that the landlord will follow through and honor their commitment to making the change if there’s a financial penalty in writing in the lease, like a discount on the monthly rent until the change that was promised happens.
Make sure you protect yourself by knowing what you agree to, and if you have any questions about your lease, you should ask them before you sign it! Finding the right property and signing a lease can be a daunting experience, but the more you know, the less chance you’ll be in a situation later that you’d rather have avoided.
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