Leasing – Tips and More

 Tips For Tenants

It is good to know your rights when it comes to leasing. The law fluctuate from state to state. But it is best to use common practices to protect yourself. Here are 10 tenant tips that can help you with leasing.

1. Bring your paperwork.

In the event that you end up in a dispute with the landlord, the best way to win over a prospective landlord is to be prepared. To get a competitive edge over other applicants, bring the following when you meet the landlord: a completed rental application; written references from landlords, employers, and colleagues; and a current copy of your credit report.

2. Review the lease.

Prior to signing and moving  in, carefully review all of the conditions of the tenancy. Your lease or rental agreement may contain a provision that you find unacceptable — for example, restrictions on guests, pets, design alterations, or running a home business. For help reviewing your lease or rental agreement.

3. Get everything in writing.

Many time verbal agreements are made or accepted. To avoid disputes or misunderstandings with your landlord, it is a good idea to get everything in writing. Keep copies of any correspondence and follow up an oral agreement with a letter, setting out your understandings. For example, if you ask your landlord to make repairs, put your request in writing and keep a copy for yourself. If the landlord agrees orally then send a letter confirming this.

4. Protect your privacy rights.

 One of the most common and emotion-filled misunderstandings arises over the tension between a landlord’s right to enter a rental unit and a tenant’s right to be left alone. If you understand your privacy rights (for example, the amount of notice your landlord must provide before entering), it will be easier to protect them.

5. Demand appropriate needed repairs.

Know your rights to live in a habitable rental unit or houses. Majority of landlords are required to offer their tenants livable premises, including adequate weatherproofing; heat, water, and electricity; and clean, sanitary, and structurally safe premises. If your rental unit is not kept in good repair, you have a number of options, ranging from withholding a portion of the rent, to paying for repairs and deducting the cost from your rent, to calling the building inspector (who may order the landlord to make repairs), to moving out without liability for your future rent.

6. Talk to your landlord.

It is always a good idea to keep communication open with your landlord. If there’s a problem — for example, if the landlord is slow to make repairs — talk it over to see if the issue can be resolved short of a nasty legal battle.

7. Purchase renters’ insurance.

The landlord’s insurance policy will not cover your losses due to theft or damage. Renters’ insurance also covers you if you’re sued by someone who claims to have been injured in your rental due to your carelessness. Renters’ insurance typically costs $350 a year for a $50,000 policy that covers loss due to theft or damage caused by other people or natural disasters; if you don’t need that much coverage, there are cheaper policies.

8. Protect your security deposit.

To protect yourself and avoid any misunderstandings, make sure your lease or rental agreement is clear on the use and refund of security deposits, including allowable deductions. When you move in, do a walk-through with the landlord to record existing damage to the premises on a move-in move-out statement or checklist.

9. Protect your safety.

Learn whether your building and neighborhood are safe, and what you can expect your landlord to do about it if they aren’t. Get copies of any state or local laws that require safety devices such as deadbolts and window locks, check out the property’s vulnerability to intrusion by a criminal, and learn whether criminal incidents have already occurred on the property or nearby. If a crime is highly likely, your landlord may be obligated to take some steps to protect you.

10. Deal with an eviction properly.

Know when to fight an eviction notice — and when to move. If you feel the landlord is clearly is the wrong (for example, you haven’t received proper notice, the premises are uninhabitable), you may want to fight the eviction. But unless you have the law and provable facts on your side, fighting an eviction notice can be short-sighted. If you lose an eviction lawsuit, you may end up hundreds (even thousands) of dollars in debt, which will damage your credit rating and your ability to easily rent from future landlords.
_ _ _
 Tips for Landlords

1. Always a good idea to screen tenants.

Don’t rent to anyone before checking credit history, references, and background. Haphazard screening and tenant selection too often results in problems — a tenant who pays the rent late or not at all, trashes your place, or lets undesirable friends move in. Use a written rental application to properly screen your tenants.

2. It is a good idea to get it in writing.

Be sure to use a written lease or month-to-month rental agreement to document the important facts of your relationship with your tenants — including when and how you handle tenant complaints and repair problems, notice you must give to enter a tenant’s apartment, and the like.

3. Handle security deposits properly.

Establish a fair system of setting, collecting, holding, and returning security deposits. Inspect and document the condition of the rental unit before the tenant moves in, to avoid disputes over security deposits when the tenant moves out.

4. Make timely repairs.

Stay on top of maintenance and repair needs and make repairs when requested. If the property is not kept in good repair, you’ll alienate good tenants, and tenants may gain the right to withhold rent, repair the problem and deduct the cost from the rent, sue for injuries caused by defective conditions, and/or move out without needing to give notice.

5. Always provide secure premises. Don’t let your tenants and property be easy marks for a criminal. Assess your property’s security and take reasonable steps to protect it. Often the best measures, such as proper lights and trimmed landscaping, are not that expensive.

6. Provide notice before entering.

Be familiar and learn about your tenants’ rights to privacy. Notify your tenants whenever you plan to enter their rental unit, and provide as much notice as possible, at least 24 hours or the minimum amount required by state law.

7. Disclose environmental hazards.

If there’s a hazard such as lead or mold on the property, tell your tenants. Landlords are increasingly being held liable for tenant health problems resulting from exposure to environmental toxins in the rental premises.

8. Oversee property managers.

Choose and supervise your property manager carefully. If a manager commits a crime or is incompetent, you may be held financially responsible. Do a thorough background check and clearly spell out the manager’s duties to help prevent problems down the road.

9. Obtain appropriate insurance. Purchase enough liability and other property insurance. A well designed insurance program can protect you from lawsuits by tenants for injuries or discrimination and from losses to your rental property caused by everything from fire and storms to burglary and vandalism.
10. Resolve disputes.
It is always a good idea to try to resolve disputes with your tenants without lawyers and lawsuits. If you have a conflict with a tenant over rent, repairs, your access to the rental unit, noise, or some other issue that doesn’t immediately warrant an eviction, meet with the tenant to see if the problem can be resolved informally. If that doesn’t work, consider mediation by a neutral third party, often available at little or no cost from a publicly funded program.

_ _ _

How to Get a Copy of Your Credit Report

You can order your credit report by mail, phone, or online at www.annualcreditreport.com or directly from the websites of the three major national credit bureaus:

If you would like referrals to the vendors and affiliates we work with,

Send us a Message

 

Verification

714-470-8600
Info@apartmentsales.com

 

Always seek Professional and Legal help.