Tips for Tenants

Know your rights when you rent a house or apartment

1. Paperwork

Have all of your paperwork in order. The best way to rise to the top of the applicant pile is to have items prepared for the landlord. Get references from your previous landlords, employers and friends. If you can get a copy of your current credit report, that would be great. However, we order one as a condition of application.

2. The Lease

Always review the lease and read it before you sign the lease. If you have any questions or need clarification on any items, make sure you ask and get your answers. You should know if there are any restrictions or provisions in the lease that you may find unacceptable, for instance, the landlord may have a restriction on pets or how many pets you can have, or the landlord might have limits guests, design alterations, or other items. Always read the Lease Agreement and ask questions.

3. Put it in Writing

If you have made any modifications, additions or separate agreements with the Landlord, always reduce the agreements to writing. This will help both parties avoids disputes or misunderstands. Always keep copies of these agreements. If you have an oral agreement, follow it up with a letter or an email, setting out your understanding of the oral agreement. For example, you might ask the landlord that you want to paint a room a different color and he agrees. Follow that up with a letter confirming this.

4. Renter’s Insurance

As a tenant you can purchase renter’s insurance that will cover you for losses due to theft or damage. There are some policies that cover you in case you are sued by someone in the rental property that has been injured due to your carelessness. It is advisable to check the various policies with your insurance company.

5. Privacy Rights

The landlord is required to give you at least 24 hours notice if he wants to enter his rental property. Usually the landlord wants to enter the property to inspect for damages and needed repairs, not to check up on the tenant. The landlord may enter the property in cases of emergency.

6. Repairs

The landlord is required maintain a habitable and livable property. To that end the landlord should make sure the tenant has adequate heating, water, electricity, painting, in good repair, clean and safe. You have the right to ask for maintenance repairs and to expect that landlord takes care of these types of repairs. We want you to contact us when you have needed repairs so we can inspect the rental property and make the necessary repairs.

7. Privacy Rights

The landlord is required to give you at least 24 hours notice if he wants to enter his rental property. Usually the landlord wants to enter the property to inspect for damages and needed repairs, not to check up on the tenant. The landlord may enter the property in cases of emergency.

8. Communication

The best way to keep problems at a minimum is communication. Talk over issues with the landlord, check on the repairs, and discuss solutions and options. Keeping a line of communication open nearly always results in a win-win situation to all the parties.

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Houses for rent A. C. Goldt Realty