Important Things to Consider When Looking for a Home to Rent

A couple sitting on the floor in a rented room.

There are a variety of reasons for which people have bad experiences when renting homes. Maybe you and your landlord never see eye-to-eye, the property wasn’t properly maintained by its previous occupants or the location is outright inconvenient. So, the next time you find yourself on the hunt for a suitable rental home, it’s imperative that you do your homework. A little research and discernment can go a long way in ensuring that you don’t get stuck with a lemon. Anyone in the market for the right rental home would do well to consider the following factors. 

The Terms of the Lease

When trying to find a home in a hurry, many people won’t hesitate to sign leases that are far from fair. While wanting to get moved in as soon as possible is perfectly understandable, not fully understanding the terms of your lease can come back to bite you in a big way. With this in mind, make a point of carefully reviewing the terms of your next rental home’s lease.

Since most of us aren’t well-versed in technical real estate terms and conditions, it may be a good idea to have the lease reviewed by a seasoned realtor or attorney. Although this step may strike you as a bit cumbersome, it stands to save you a considerable amount of stress in the long run. Having a perfect understanding of your lease can help prevent any misunderstandings regarding late fees, pets and other common subjects about which renters are frequently unclear.  

For good measure, you should also carefully review your area’s landlord-tenant laws. This will ensure that you fully understand your rights and responsibilities, as well as those of your landlord. 

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The Condition of the Property

If the condition of the home is unsatisfactory or you feel that it was misrepresented, bring this to the attention of the landlord before signing the lease. Once you’re moved in, the property owner will have less incentive to address any issues that existed prior to your arrival. However, if you moving in is contingent upon certain problems being fixed, the landlord is likely to tackle them in an expedient fashion. 

Even if the property appears to be meticulously well-maintained, you’d do well to give it a good once-over before proceeding to sign a lease. Additionally, make a point of photographing any problems – or prospective problems – you come across. Not only will this help bring certain issues to the landlord’s attention, it will ensure that you’re not blamed for these problems when you move out.     

The Location of the Property

Before giving serious consideration to a certain property, take care to research the area in which it’s based. Even if the home in question is located in a city or township in which you’ve resided for a long time, a little bit of research may reveal unsavory things about certain neighborhoods that you were never aware of. This step is particularly important for people who are relocating to new cities, states and townships and have little to no familiarity with their new locales. 

Policies Regarding Customizations

As any seasoned renter can confirm, some landlords are far more amenable to customizations than others. While some people will let you do just about anything to a rental home, others won’t even allow you to repaint or install wall-mounts for televisions. So, if the terms of your lease fail to make the customization policies clear, make a point of asking your landlord for clarification before moving in, as this can save you both a big headache down the line. 

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The Landlord or Property Management Company

Before proceeding to move into a rental home, do some online research to confirm that the individual landlord or property management company in charge of the house has a solid reputation. The absolute last thing any renter wants is to be stuck with a perpetually disagreeable landlord or overly-strict property management company. As such, Lone Star State residents on the hunt for Texas homes for rent should avoid skipping this crucial task.

A couple holding a model house in the garden.

Depending on the location, price range and various other factors, finding a rental home that perfectly suits your needs can be an uphill battle. However, while locating the right rental home can be a challenge, it’s far from impossible – especially if you’re not opposed to putting in a little work. So, instead of hastily entering into a rental agreement you’ll ultimately regret, take the factors discussed above into careful consideration before committing to a specific property. 

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