Measures to Take Before Leasing a Rental Home

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( — May 4, 2022) — Finding the right rental home can seem like an arduous undertaking, especially if your desired locale has an abundance of options. While a little bit of effort is always involved in finding a suitable residence, there are a number of ways for you to simplify your search for the perfect rental home. Doing your homework in advance of signing a lease will help ensure that you’re able to make an informed decision and dramatically reduce your odds of winding up with a lemon. So, before you get started on any paperwork, make sure to take the following measures.  

Research the Location 

Before committing to lease a rental home, it is imperative that you take the time to research its location. For example, if the rent for a home you’re looking at seems impossibly low, there’s a good chance it’s located in a location that you may not find ideal. It’s possible that the location in question is a fair distance from schools, businesses, and various other important locales. Furthermore, the area may have a weak job market, lack of decent schools, or high crime rates.

Another reason to research the location is to confirm that you aren’t being ripped off. For instance, should you discover that similar homes are being rented for much lower prices in the same area, you are well within your rights to request an explanation from the property owner. So, before making your decision, take care to carefully research local rental rates.   

Explore the Property 

Some people have a habit of renting properties sight unseen. In many cases, these individuals are relocating from far away areas and wish to have a place lined up in advance of their big move. While the desire to have a residence ready and waiting is perfectly understandable, you’re taking a huge risk by signing a lease before personally setting foot inside the property. 

If you are absolutely unable to do an in-person walkthrough before moving in, you should take a thorough virtual tour of the home. Ideally, this tour will be guided by a friend, family member, or someone else in the area that you fully trust. Throughout the course of your tour, carefully make a note of any potential issues you’d like to see addressed before moving in. Furthermore, make the property owner aware of these issues and confirm their commitment to fixing them before signing a lease. Texas-based home-seekers are urged to remember this tip when looking at houses for rent in Austin.   

Screen the Landlord 

It’s easy to see why so many landlords put prospective tenants through a rigorous screening process. After all, in the absence of dependable renters, they wouldn’t be able to make money from their respective properties. Just as landlords want to avoid getting stuck with bad tenants, tenants should take measures to avoid getting stuck with bad landlords.  

As such, you should never sign a lease without first doing some online research on the property owner and/or property management company that oversees the home. Keep in mind that even the best landlords are likely to have a few negative reviews floating around the web. However, should a sizable majority of feedback for a certain landlord prove overwhelmingly negative, it’s probably in your best interest to seek out other potential rentals. 

When reading feedback, keep an eye out for complaints that pertain to a landlord’s approach to property management. Should you discover that they habitually place maintenance requests on the back burner and rarely make repairs in a timely manner, this should certainly be cause for concern. Furthermore, if previous tenants have complained about a landlord being virtually impossible to get a hold of, you should consider whether signing on with this person is a risk you want to take. As the property owner, part of their job is staying on top of maintenance issues, especially renovations and repairs – and if they make themselves difficult to contact, this is likely to present a problem. 

When looking for prospective rental homes, it’s important to approach the situation with caution. After all, getting locked into a lease for a home that doesn’t suit your needs can cause copious amounts of stress and bleed your finances dry. So, no matter how idyllic a picture the property owner paints, make a point of crossing your t’s and dotting your i’s before proceeding to fill out any paperwork.