If you’re a first time renter, we don’t blame you for feeling daunted right now. After all, rents are climbing at near-record rates across the US.
Meanwhile, competition for quality rentals has reached a fever pitch in major metro areas, with the likes of NYC, Houston, Los Angeles, and Chicago seeing intense battles among tenants for new listings.
However, with a little bit of research and savvy, any first-time apartment renter can find their perfect home in no time. Make sure to keep these essential tips in mind if you’re hunting for your first rental.
1. Know Your Finances
Before you apply for a rental, you must have a crystal-clear picture of your own finances. As this rundown of common home renting mistakes explains, your rent is only a portion of what you will spend on an apartment.
You may also need to cover insurance, building fees, utilities, services, and any pet fees that might apply.
Meanwhile, knowing your own finances and what you can afford will allow you to make realistic applications that are more likely to be accepted by landlords.
2. A First Time Renter Needs Rental Insurance
Anyone renting a home for the first time should not forget about the importance of insurance. Granted, insurance is not legally mandated for any rental home resident in America, but it is highly recommended.
Insurance will cover you in the event of a robbery or accident that is not your fault, such as an electrical fire. Without renter’s insurance, you will bear the full cost of any damage or loss of belongings that occurs in your rental home.
3. Know Your Rights
With first time renter apartments, your risk of running into an unscrupulous landlord is high. Most landlords are professional, ethical operators. However, some may try to take advantage of you if they learn that you are not aware of how the rental market works.
This is why you should always read up on your rights as a tenant so that you know what you are entitled to.
Don’t forget to read up on landlord responsibilities for your state, as your landlord will be obligated to provide certain services and protections on your behalf. When you know your rights, no landlord can mess with you.
4. Know Your Landlord
With apartment living, it’s also crucial to know your landlord. As mentioned, there is no shortage of dodgy dealers out there, who may rip you off or subject you to sub-par living conditions.
Before signing anything, always check your online landlord database to see what previous tenants have to say. This is a very quick and effective way to avoid being saddled with a bad rental.
Find Your Perfect Home in 2022
The current US housing market is enough to make any first time renter nervous. However, by preparing beforehand and knowing exactly how to avoid bad rentals, you can find the right home for you.
For more pro tips on locating and securing your dream home at the right budget, we have got you covered. Make sure to consult our dedicated Real Estate guides for tips and hacks you can trust.