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Time for You to Be on Your Own? Avoid These Four Most Common Mistakes That First Time Renters Make

When the time comes for you to move away from your parents’ house or college dorm, you look forward to being on your own. Now you just need to find a place where you can enjoy your newfound freedom. But you need to understand that your enthusiasm can cause you to take decisions in a hurry. The first time renters are prone to making costly mistakes while moving into a rental property due to their inexperience.

Below are the most common mistakes that first time renters make. Being informed about these mistakes will help your find the right rental property, so that you can enjoy the freedom to the fullest.

Mistake #1: Not knowing your budget

First of all, you need to know how much rent and other related expenses you can afford. Make a realistic assessment of your finances and only then start apartment hunting. It’s a good practice to keep the amount of rent under 30% of your income. Also factor in the security deposit that you would need to pay to rent a place. Most landlords require tenants to pay a month’s rent for security deposit.

Mistake #2: Not being prepared to compete with other rental applicants

According to the National Association of Realtors, there are nearly 40 million people living in rental properties in America and the number will go up between 5 million and 6 million over the next one decade. Unfortunately, the rental market is tight due to lack of available rental properties. So you need to be prepared before submitting a rental application. Your credit history and background will be under scrutiny, so keep your finances in order and make sure you have good references who can vouch for your character and personality. You will also need your social security number, a photo ID, contact information for your employer and payslips for your rental application to be considered.

Mistake #3: Not paying attention to the lease before signing it

You need to go through all the terms and conditions laid out in the lease carefully. You will be able to protect your rights only when you know what they are. If you have any confusion, clear it with the landlord or his representative before signing the lease. Consider your individual situations and ensure that the clauses in the lease suit your lifestyle. For example, if you want to have a pet, make sure the lease doesn’t prohibit it. It also makes sense to have the knowledge of state-specific tenancy laws, so that you know your rights and obligations.

Mistake #4: Not inspecting the home before moving in

Before moving in, you should carefully inspect each item and appliance. If you find any item damaged or in poor condition, write it down. Discuss it with your landlord and even have him sign a paper containing the information about the condition of each of these items. It will avoid any confusion when you move out. The landlord won’t be able to charge you for damages that you didn’t cause.

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