By MACKS Realty
Before the Search
Before meeting with a realtor, it is a good idea to write down what you consider to be your “must haves.” Include the desired location (make it specific if you can), the amount of rent you wish to pay within a range, square footage, amenities like a pool and mail delivery, security system, washer or dryer, pets or no pets, and any other amenity about which you feel adamant. Let the realtor do the homework of finding those properties that match your criteria. Once the realtor gets back to you with a list, ask to have the listings be emailed or faxed to you, along with photos when available. Then narrow down your list, so that you’ll save time both for yourself and for your realtor.
Selecting the Right Place
Do a careful walk-through of any unit you’re serious about. The best time to ask about repairs and improvements is before you commit and a few things to consider would be: the water pressure, water heater size, security, mail delivery, generator and typhoon shutters, and handling of maintenance requests. It’s also a good idea to take measurements of your larger furnishings (and take along a tape measure) to see how your things will fit…or what things you’ll need to buy.
Read your lease thoroughly and make sure you understand it. Don’t be afraid to ask.
Leases and rental agreements should always be in writing, even though most states allow them to be oral (spoken). The lease or rental agreement is the key document of the tenancy, setting out important issues such as:
- the length of the tenancy
- the amount of rent and deposits the tenant must pay
- the number of people who can live on the rental property
- who pays for utilities
- whether the tenant may have pets
- whether the tenant may sublet the property
- the landlord’s access to the rental property, and
- other terms and conditions
At time of move in, make sure all of the repairs and terms of the lease agreement have been met. A move-in inspection report should be filled out that notes the condition of the unit, and signed by both landlord and tenant. This is a useful form to have during the move-out inspection, especially to compare any discrepancies in terms of the condition of the unit.