First-Time Renters Tips – We have some tips that will help you as a renter, whether it be your first or third, there are a few things that can go your way, if you have the time to research. Most people would rather buy a house, but they soon face the realization that the cost for mortgage and insurance is out of their budget, so they adopt to lease. Whether it be an apartment or home, the same rules apply, except for the yard.
When you meet the landlord, try to be presentable. For example, you might not want to wear your baseball hat backwards or smoking cigarettes on the property. This could all have an impact when you go to sign the lease.
The landlord is probably going to ask you for a check to cover a credit check, so be sure to bring your checkbook. Also, when you get accepted, you will probably be asked for first, last and security, meaning that your new $1200 a month apartment will cost you $2400 plus the deposit to move in.
Talk to the neighbors if you get a chance. You can learn a lot about the place by being friendly with one of the neighbors. Ask them what they think of the place, how the landlord is, etc. – get a feel for your new home before you sign anything.
You should never go over your budget. Most finance professionals tell you that you should be paying 1/3 of your gross income, so if you make $5,000 per month before taxes, your rent should not be more than $1,666. Of course, I understand this is not always feasible in certain markets, but it is a good percentage to try to stick to.
Clean up your credit. If you have delinquencies all over your credit report, I seriously doubt you are going to get approved for any apartment. Landlords want to get paid every month! Work on fixing your credit while you stay with a friend on the couch.
Read the lease. This is a legally binding agreement you are signing – make sure you read it twice.