What you should know before renting

  • October 20, 2017
  • Andrew McLeod

After scouring the internet every hour on the hour, booking viewing appointments and touring a city for weeks on end, congrats! You’ve finally found the perfect (or near perfect) place in a great location to call home.

So what’s next? According to landlords, proving yourself a prepared and honest person during your lease signing is the most important step towards successfully renting a new pad.

To make a great first impression on your new landlord and quickly and seamlessly sign your lease agreement, here are some tips all landlords wish their tenants knew before renting a new place.

Entering a contract with a landlord demands cooperation and understanding from both sides

Having trouble finding a time to meet? Clear your schedule. Certain appointments and meet-ups with friends should not take precedence over signing a lease or getting first and last months’ rent to your new landlord. The more flexible you can be, the better.

Trust us, a landlord does not want to wait to get a lease signed when the right tenant comes along. Even though there are plenty of renters vying for your potential digs, if you seem trustworthy and have great references in your tenant application, landlords will really want you as a tenant. They will do their best to slot you into their schedule so make sure you offer the same courtesy. Minimal back and forth and prompt arrangement of your lease signing prove the commitment and professionalism that landlords wish all their tenants demonstrated.

Be prepared when you attend a viewing

Make sure when you view a potential apartment you bring everything you may require to sign a lease on the spot. In tight rental markets, some apartments could be taken even five minutes after your viewing ends so it’s best to head to a viewing ready to rent. The general necessities for your landlord to perform a rental background check will include identification like a passport or driver’s license, a copy of your credit report and proof of employment and income. If you have no rental history or you’re not making at least two times your rent you may also be required to submit the details of a guarantor. Don’t forget names and phone numbers of people who will give you excellent recommendations when your landlord calls them for your tenant reference check.

Read your lease thoroughly with the landlord in person

If any concerns with the agreement arise, talk to your landlord about them at the time of signing your lease. Don’t wait until after you’ve signed a lease to inquire about wording or clauses. If you don’t fully understand what something means, ask for clarification. If you’re not happy with the answer, try to come up with a compromise or, if it’s a big enough deal, kindly say you appreciate their time but don’t feel the place is a right fit for you. Landlords don’t want to rent to someone who is unhappy. When tenants are happy from the get-go they are more likely to keep their apartment in tip-top shape.

Get renters' insurance

Often tenants believe they are always covered under their landlord’s insurance. This is false. In cases of theft or if someone’s been injured in your unit, the landlord’s insurance likely won’t cover any costs incurred. Tenant insurance is not only a smart policy to pick up, it is quite often a mandatory part of renting a flat and you may require proof of insurance as part of signing your lease agreement.

And what about after you’ve signed your lease? A great next step is to meet with your landlord a second time in the apartment to go over any fixes you’d like made to the place. After you’ve taken care to promptly fill out the necessary inspection forms, feel good that you’ve done your due diligence as a tenant and enjoy decorating your new space!

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