Renting a home is often an affordable way to get your own space. It comes without many of the responsibilities of full ownership. Still, when moving into a rental, you need to find out what’s yours, and what belongs to someone else. Portions of your property, after all, still belong to your landlord. What can you do to prepare for a move, and take responsibility for your specific duties?
Preparing to rent means you need to get ready. That will likely mean a multi-tiered process.
1. Review and sign your lease
Most rental properties will come with a lease. This is your contractual permission to live in the property. It will list your responsibilities for property upkeep. It will also list the costs that you must pay, like rent, utilities or homeowners’ fees. Many states require certain items to come listed in leases. After you've signed, your signature will indicate that you will follow the rules of the lease.
In rental properties, the landlord will assume certain responsibilities for property upkeep. However, that doesn’t exempt you from your own duties. You’ll likely have to keep the home clean and sanitary. You’ll also likely have to abide by rules on pets, guests and property stored in the home. Look through your lease to familiarize yourself with your listed responsibilities.
If you have any questions, ask the landlord for clarification. Negotiate with them to make any changes on the lease before you sign. Do not sign until you have the changes in writing. If necessary, let third party counsel review the contract.
2. Visit the home
You’ll usually be able to inspect a property before moving in. Keep an eye out for any potentially-unsafe areas. Ensure the owner makes repairs to broken-down or damaged items. Ask the owner to explain how to operate any systems in the home. They can show you how to use appliances, utility systems and security apparatuses.
3. Obtain renters insurance
Many property owners will require you to carry renters insurance. This coverage insures your liabilities and personal belongings inside the home.
For example, if you cause a kitchen fire, you’ll likely be responsible for repairs. You can use the policy’s liability coverage to repay the owner for the losses you might cause them. Likewise, if a fire damages your personal items, you can use this coverage to replace them. Remember, you’ll need to select adequate coverage limits for the value of these risks. Ask your insurance agent to help you determine what’s best.
Don’t hesitate to do your due diligence when preparing for a move. The more initiative you take, the better you can prepare to inhabit the rental.
Also Read: Steps Before Moving Out of a Georgia Rental