There is something about me that many of you may not know. I guess to say that it’s a little known fact would be misleading, since most people who know me pretty well do know, but I digress. Years ago, (1992 to be exact) I was a leasing agent at a large apartment complex. It was probably one of my favorite jobs ever because it allowed me to interact with people, and since I’m a definite people person it was a fun job. Aside from that aspect of it, it actually helped me later in life when I moved from the area and was looking for homes for rent.
Some people figure when they find a home to rent, they sign the lease for the determined amount of time and that’s that. Nothing could be further from the truth. Something that I always wanted people to know is that when they take possession of the home that they are renting that they insist on doing a walk through with the leasing company or whomever they are renting from. It’s important to make a list of anything that shows damage before you take possession, or to let the leasing agent, owner, real estate agency know within a few days if you find anything that could be considered damage and that you could be held responsible for later. I know it seems petty, but making a list of things like worn spots in the carpet, burn marks on the kitchen counters, anything of the such is important so that when you decide to move on to something else later, they don’t want you to pay for the damage that you didn’t do. It’s the best way to protect yourself. We always did a walk through with the person, and wrote down room by room any problems that there may have been, then both signed and were given a copy.
Also before signing your lease, make sure you ask questions about what the price of rent covers. In some places it covers water, sewage and mothly rent, and in others it may just cover the price of the property itself and you’ll be responsible for paying for water/sewage seperately. Find these things out before you sign on the dotted line and you won’t end up with any surprise fees. Also make sure and ask about the fees for late rent. Most places give you a few days grace period after the day it’s due and then fees start adding up for every day after that you’re late. It will be in your lease (or should be), but it’s always good to know these things up front.
Keep these things in mind when you’re planning your move and it should be without too many surprises.