There are lots of laws in place to protect tenants, but even with these in place it’s easy to get screwed by an unscrupulous landlord or letting agency. Here are some tips for renting property that will stop you getting ripped off.
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[ctt template=”4″ link=”vUcNi” via=”yes” ]Here are some tips for renting property that will stop you getting ripped off when you sign your rental agreement and more.[/ctt]
Use an honest landlord/agency
There are lots of agencies and landlords out there using dishonest methods. You should do some research before choosing an agency or landlord. It can often be beneficial to go through a property management group. Check that this company has a good online reputation and a professional website. If you’re going through an independent landlord, consider how you found them. Don’t trust ads that have hardly any information and don’t have much professionality about them.
Check your deposit is protected
When renting property, you’re often required to leave a deposit. Check that this is FDIC protected – the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation will insure your deposit and pay it back to you after your tenancy if a landlord is unable to do so. Landlords are required to protect the deposits of tenants, so research this to make sure it is the case.
Be careful of joint tenancies
If you’re moving into a property with other people, check whether it’s a joint tenancy agreement. Such agreements require everyone in the property to pay their rent on time. If someone falls behind on their rent, you could be liable for the payments. Similarly, if there’s any damage to the property, this may affect everyone’s deposit and not just the person who caused it. These agreements are generally only worthwhile if you’re sharing a property with people you trust – sharing a joint tenancy with strangers could be risky and is best avoided.
Record any damage when your move in
When you move into your new home, make sure that you make a record of any damage and notify your landlord. You don’t want to be blamed for damage that was already there when you moved in. Some letting agencies will go around the property taking pictures of every room – they may then give you this photographic evidence with a contract. This can be used as proof to show a landlord that the damage was already there.
Read your contract
Before you sign on the dotted line, always take your time to read the small print in case there’s a hidden snag in there. If a landlord tells you a property will come pre-furnished, you may want to check that this inventory is listed in the contract so that you know exactly what you’re getting. If a landlord says they will do repairs before you move in, check that these are included in the agreement. If you’re moving in with other people, make sure that their names are included on the contract. Not all landlords are obliged to make repairs to your property when it comes to general wear and tear, so it’s also worth checking that the agreement states that your landlord has to pay for this.
This is a contributed post.
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