Ensure Blog

5 Need to Know Rental Agreement Tips

Rental agreementMoving from one rental to the next can be a monumental task.  The most important aspect of any move is making sure it’s the right move. Of all the needs people seek to fulfill, the most important is safety and security in their living space.

So you’ve found a spot you like, and you’re ready to pull the trigger.  Are you prepared to sign the lease?  Follow these 5 tips to secure your rental and your peace of mind.

Check for damages

Most, if not all, rentals require a security deposit for anything broken during your contract.  You want to make sure your landlord knows the state of the property upfront.  Don’t get stuck paying for damage caused by the last tenant.

Walk through and carefully look at the condition of the residence.  Make note of any damage you find.  Discuss any and all issues with the landlord before signing the lease.  Also, it’s never a bad idea to take timestamped photos as well; this offers one last line of defense should a question arise.

Know what’s included

Before committing to a lease, assess the utilities you need and make sure they are available.  This list could include parking, laundry, or appliances.  Make sure you see these utilities during the initial walkthrough.  Five minutes spent investigating the on-site laundry might save you hours of time driving to a laundromat. 

Also, it’s important to check which cable and internet providers are available in the area.  This question can be significant when housing ads boast free cable or internet services.  Make sure these services meet your needs.  

Confirm renting policies

Make sure the life you plan to live in your new rental meshes with the leasing policies.  If you’re unhappy with the color of one of the rooms, make sure you’re allowed to repaint the walls before making any changes.  Don’t assume anything.

Speak with your leasing agent about pets you wish to bring with you.  Make sure that your rental allows the specific pet you own.

Finally, ask about any other policies on the rental agreement.  This might include visitor parking or guidelines for community spaces.  Now’s the time to ask any and all questions about what does and does not fly.

Get everything in writing

If everything checks out, it’s time to get it in writing.  Ask your leasing agent for a copy of the rental agreement and make personal copies of any signed documents.  Make sure this includes the status of the property, provided utilities, and a list of any policies.  If it’s not in writing, it was never said.

Ensure your happiness

You’ve done all the legwork to transition into a new rental.  Following the guidelines above, you have protected yourself from many leasing pitfalls.  But there’s no preventing unforeseen risks like burst pipes, fire, or theft.  These events can cost thousands of dollars to fix and can leave you extremely vulnerable.

Renters policies cover these unknowns and add peace of mind to your new rental.  For as little as $4 a month, you can add additional coverage to your existing auto insurance plan and insure your rental as well.  Renters policies also cover personal items taken from your vehicle, such as jewelry, laptops, and iPads.  Buy that peace of mind for $4!

Need help insuring your rental?