If you decide you’d rather rent than own a home, be mindful of potential pitfalls. Here are some things you might consider before you sign the lease.
Do your homework. You can find out a lot about an area and its rental properties with a little research online. One such resource is apartmentratings.com. You can search properties by location, read tenant comments, see photos and pricing. Be aware that some neighborhoods can be more inclined toward crime and gang activity. Many law enforcement agencies publish crime maps online.
Read the lease. Know exactly what you agree to. For example, you don’t want to find out after the fact that you are responsible for repairs to problems that existed when you moved in. Or, that you aren’t allowed to have guests stay more than two days. Or, that you have to pay for utilities you thought were included in your rent. If the lease is long and complicated, you’re better off taking it home to read. Or have an attorney read it for you.
Amend the lease. If the terms don’t meet your approval, you may alter them with the consent of the landlord. Strike through the language you want taken out and/or write in the language you wish to have added. Both you and the leasing agent should sign your initials beside each change to show your mutual consent.
Document the condition. You’ll likely have to pay a deposit before you move in, such as one month’s rent. Before you do, take pictures of everything that could be construed as damage. Check for stains or marring on carpets and floors, cracks in walls, burns on counters, cracks in fixtures, etc. Ask the property manager to provide the checklist they use in their inspections. Most places have such a list. If not, make your own. Just be sure to document anything you think doesn’t look right.
Get promises in writing. If your inspection reveals needs for repairs or replacements, ask the landlord to perform them as a condition of your lease. Don’t settle for oral promises—get them in writing with the landlord’s signature. Specify exactly what is to be done and when it will be complete. The same goes for property features in general. If you’re paying for amenities such as a swimming pool and clubhouse, then the pool should be clean and the air conditioning in the clubhouse should work.
Get renter’s insurance. The landlord will have insurance on the building. But you are responsible for insuring your belongings. Generally, renter’s policies are not expensive. But not having one can be very expensive. Ask your neighbors for their recommendations on insurance agents.
When you are ready to move into your new apartment or rental home in Grass Valley, Rocklin, or elsewhere in the Placer County and Nevada County areas, give Ernie’s Van & Storage a call: (800) 949-7836, or get your free moving quote now.
Rental Facts in Grass Valley and Rocklin:
- Median Rental Price - $959
- 58.59% of Homes & Apartments are Renter Occupied
- Median Rental Price - $1,885
- 30.12% of Homes & Apartments are Renter Occupied