Following these four confidence boosting tips will help first time renters feel in control when renting a home for the first time:
A good rental agent generally has your best interests at heart, but ultimately real estate professionals and property landlords want the same thing: to get their property rented.
You, on the other hand as a first time renter are looking for a fair deal on a quality home to lease. As such, you’ll need to be your own advocate and watch your back.
Here are 4 ideas to help you keep focused and on track:
- Know what you want – this is the first rule to getting what you want.
- Ask questions – really the only bad question is the one you didn’t ask.
- Take pictures – document every flaw and take notes or you my be charged for it later.
- Demand everything in writing – if its not written, its not guaranteed.
Show them you’re someone to be taken seriously and chances are they will.
- Do some research about the neighborhoods you’re interested in living in before you actually start looking. This will give you a rough idea of what you can reasonably expect from the local rental market (e.g. size, condition, rates and lease terms.)
- Take time to learn all the local rental jargon to minimize the risk of misinterpreting what the landlord or rental agent is saying. Once you sign on the dotted line you are committed and it will be too late to renegotiate.
Depending on your desired location, the rental market can be pretty hectic. Some properties move quickly, and others take longer to lease. Knowing which describes rent homes in your area can help you determine on how fast to move through the process and can help you time your move appropriately.
Be sure you gather all the necessary documents that you’ll need to finalize a rental before you actually go to view it. This will show the property manager that you are serious.
The items often needed to secure a rent home include:
- tax returns
- pay stubs
- bank statements
Be confident and ready to answer questions about your recent pay and credit history, especially if it isn’t perfect.
Unfortunately, these days there are plenty of rental scam artists who target unknowing renters, particularly renters searching online.
Take care when looking for a rent home on sites like Craigslist and the local classifieds. Remember, don’t hand over any personal or financial information before you meet with a qualified landlord or licensed rental agent in person.
Finally, and most importantly never sign anything before reading it, and you should not put any deposit down on a rental property you haven’t first seen in person.