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Benefits of Renting

While there are some renters who view renting an apartment or a house as a
failure, there are others who see the benefits there are to be gained from
renting a property as opposed to purchasing a property. Some of the benefits of
renting include the ability to save money while renting for the purpose of
purchasing a home, few maintenance requirements and the inclusion of amenities
which the renter would not likely be able to afford if they were to purchase a
home instead of renting. Although there are some negative aspects to renting an
apartment, this article will focus exclusively on the benefits of renting a

The Ability to Save Money

Being able to save up a great deal of money for the purpose of making a down
payment on a dream home is just one of the many great advantages to renting a
property. Many homeowners were able to realize their dream of homeownership
only after living in a rental property for a certain amount of time. Although
renting is often criticized as throwing money away because it does not result
in equity, the ability to save money while renting is unparalleled

Rent for an apartment is usually considerably less expensive than the monthly
mortgage on a home. The home is also typically much bigger than the rental
property but in cases where the renter is renting for the sole purpose of
saving money, the value of renting cannot be denied. Depending on how long the
renter stays in the apartment, they may save hundreds or even thousands of
dollars during the course of the rental agreement.

No Maintenance Properties

Another advantage to renting a property is there is typically little or no
maintenance required by the renter. This is especially true in an apartment
situation. The renter may be responsible for small items such as changing light
bulbs but more extensive repairs such as leaks in plumbing or clogs in drains
are typically handled by the maintenance staff of the rental property.

Additionally common areas such as grassy areas or gardens are maintained by the
maintenance staff. The exception is usually when the renter rents a home as
opposed to the apartment. In these cases the renter may still not be
responsible for small repairs but might be obligated to take care of items such
as maintaining the grass.

Worthwhile Amenities

Another advantage to apartment living is often the amenities offered to
residence. Such amenities might include usage of the pool, an exercise room,
meeting spaces and a theater room. In most cases these amenities are offered
free of charge to resident and their guests. Many renters who might be able to
purchase a home would not likely be able to purchase a home with amenities such
as a pool, fully equipped exercise room and a home theater.

These items are often considered luxurious and are not available in the
majority of homes which are on the market at any particular time. In fact
searching for homes which specifically have these features may severely limit
the number of search results and may result in no search results at all when
these features are searched in conjunction with a typical price range. However,
those who rent can enjoy access to these amenities. They may pay more in rent
than those in a comparable apartment complex without these amenities but they
are also still likely saving a considerable amount of money each month as long
as they are budgeting wisely and have chosen a rental property within their
price range.

Some House Renting Tips You Need To Consider

If you are considering renting a house, you need to know a few house renting
tips. When you are looking around for a house, you want to consider the
location, what needs to be done outside the house as far as lawn care and the
over all size of the house. If you only need two bedrooms, you do not want to
rent a house with three or four bedrooms. This will not only be a waste of
space, but will cost more on utility bills.

For someone with children, you might have to consider the yard size and how
much space you will need for the children to play. Will you need a fenced in
yard or some type of storage shed to store the children's toy? If you have
pets, you want to find a place were you can have a pet and a yard might be
necessary to put your pet outside to relieve themselves. The yard is always a
consideration when you have children or pets.

For children, you will want to know if you can erect a swing set or a small
child's pool. The reason to find out this information is that these two pieces
of equipment can ruin the grass surrounding the area. Property owners may say
yes with conditions that you fix the area and plant grass after you leave the
property. They may also just charge you an extra fee to repair the area when
you leave.

Usually when house renting, the yard work becomes your responsibility. You will
need to consider the size of the yard, the work needed to be done and then you
need the necessary equipment to care for the yard. House renting means a little
more freedom than renting an apartment, but along with that does come more
responsibility. You are going to need a lawn mower, a weed whacker and some
shovels or a snow blower if the area has a snowy winter.

House renting uses more gas and electricity than what an apartment does,
therefore, you need to consider the utilities into your budget. You will also
have a water bill along with any other bills associated with house renting.
Always make sure you examine all the pros and cons of renting a house before
making a final decision. If you have the slightest doubt about anything, you
should ask questions and if you do not like the answer that may be your clue
that the property is not suited for you or your family and it is time to walk

Sometimes renting a house that is larger than you are used to can become
frustrating. There is more rooms to clean, windows to wash and more yard work
to take care of. However, renting a larger home can be rewarding since everyone
has his or her own space. You also might have to consider television hookups and
phone hookups. If the house is larger, you may need more televisions and phones
to make everyone happy.

Before Renting an Apartment

Renting an apartment is a very serious decision which warrants a great deal of
attention before a final decision is made. When choosing an apartment to rent,
renters have a variety of factors to consider including, but not limited to,
price, size, location, amenities, whether or not they want a roommate and how
long they want to stay in the apartment. Those who plan to rent an apartment
should consider all of their options before making a decision to ensure they
are making the best possible decision. This article will discuss the importance
of considering all of the possible options as well as the possibility of having
roommates and the importance of reading contracts carefully.

Consider All of the Possible Options

When renting an apartment, the renter should first investigate all of the
options available to him to ensure he is able to make an informed decision.
This is important because the renter may not even be aware of all of the
available options until he starts to for an apartment. The best way to find out
what type of apartments are available is to do some research on the Internet and
in newspapers and rental magazines and then start visiting apartments which seem
interesting. In visiting the apartments the renter will get a better idea of the
size and types of amenities which are available in his price range. He will also
begin to learn more about the types of amenities available. This is important
because not all apartments will offer the same amenities. Renters may not find
what they are looking for unless they visit a few places before making a

Consider the Possibility of Roommates

Deciding whether or not to have a roommate or multiple roommates is one of the
important decisions a renter will have to make. This is an important decision
because roommates can make a living situation either significantly better or
significantly worse depending on a number of factors. These factors may include
compatibility of the roommates, ability to pay the rent and ability to assist in
the household activities.

Having roommates can make an apartment more affordable. Often larger apartments
may be more affordable for two people than a smaller apartment would be for one
renter. Additionally, apartments designed for two or more people often have a
larger overall living space with a larger kitchen, dining room and family room.
This makes the possibility of roommates very appealing to some renters.

However, there are some caveats to making the decision to live with a roommate.
Care should be taken to carefully screen potential roommates to ensure they are
not potentially harmful. Strangers do not present the only potential roommate
problems. Problems may even occur when the roommate is a trusted friend. In
these cases, compatible living styles may be the issue. For example, if one
roommate likes to stay up late and listen to music or watch television and the
other roommate likes to go to sleep early there can be some conflicts if
compromises are not made. Also, if one of the roommates is particularly neat
and the other rather messy, conflicts may arise.

Read the Contract Carefully

Whether a renter opts to have a roommate or not and regardless of the type of
apartment they select, the renter should be careful to read the contract before
signing it. This is important because a rental agreement is a legal document and
the renter should understand this document before they sign the agreement. Many
renters may never need to know the exact information in their contract document
but if a dispute arises, the renter should be aware of his rights. Additionally,
the renter should pay special attention to any sections of the contract which
specify the landlord's ability to evict the tenant. Contract sections
specifying the requirements of the renter are also very important. This may
include requirements for breaking the lease agreement in the event that the
renter has to move before the lease period ends.

Apartment Hunting Tips

Apartment hunting can be very daunting for some potential renters. Often the
variety of options available to these renters is a source of overwhelming
frustration for the renters. With so many appealing options it can be difficult
to choose just one. However, there are some tips which can help to ease the
process of apartment hunting. The process of finding the perfect apartment can
be broken down into three simple steps. The first step is to set a budget. Next
the renter should research their available options and then comparison shop to
determine which option is the best.

Set a Budget First

For many renters the most important consideration is how much they are willing
to spend on an apartment per month. For this reason it should come as no
surprise that the first step in the apartment hunting process should include
establishing a budget. Renters should consider their monthly income and
subtract out all of their monthly expenses from this amount. Monthly expenses
should include all bills which are paid regularly as well as money spent on
food, entertainment and miscellaneous items each month. The renter may also
wish to subtract out an additional amount to allow for some savings each month
as well as emergencies. The total left after these subtractions is the amount
the renter is able to spend on an apartment per month. Once this amount is
established the renter will have a better understanding of the type of
apartment they are able to afford.

Research Available Properties

Once a budget has been established, the renter should begin researching the
properties which fall within his budget range. It is likely to consider
properties which are slightly above the range as well as properties which are
slightly below the range. Doing this will allow the renter to see if there is
an opportunity to either make improvements on the amount of monthly spending to
allow for the renting of a more expensive property. The renter can also
determine whether or not they feel there is the opportunity to negotiate a
lower rental rate on a particular property.

When initially researching properties, the renter does not necessarily have to
visit each property. Most of the pricing information can be obtained from
resources such as Internet websites, newspapers and rental magazines. Since
pricing is the primary concern at this point, the initial research will enable
the renter to eliminate properties which are too far out of their price range.

Comparison Shop

Once the renter has narrowed down his list of possible apartment complexes to a
more manageable number it is time to start visiting these properties. It is
during this step that the renter will really get a feel for the quality of the
apartment as well as the amount and quality of amenities offered by the
complex. This is very important because this information can be used to decide
between properties which are otherwise very similar.

The comparison shopping process is also worthwhile because it gives the renter
some bargaining power in negotiating more favorable rent rates. Renters who
have visited a number of apartments likely have a good idea of the going rate
in a particular area for a particular size apartment. These renters can use
this information to potentially convince some leasing agents to lower their
prices at least a little bit. There will not likely be huge drops in price from
these negotiations but it will likely be enough to be considered worthwhile.

Breaking a Lease on a Rental Agreement

Most rental agreements have a section regarding the renter breaking the lease
agreement. While there is also likely a section or several sections regarding
when the leasing agent can evict the renter, the section on breaking the lease
should be of particular interest to those who might be in a position to have to
break the lease some day. Renters should understand these contract terms so they
can make an informed decision. Additionally the renter should consider all costs
associated with breaking the lease. This includes both financial costs as well
as emotional costs.

Understand the Contract Terms

Renters should review their rental agreement carefully before signing this
document. The rental agreement is a legally binding document which should be
given proper consideration before entering into the agreement. This is
important because understanding these terms will be essential if the need to
break the lease becomes a reality.

Rental agreements typically do allow the renter to break the lease but not
without some form of penalty. This penalty usually comes in the form of
requiring the renter to give a specified amount of notice before the contract
is up and also requires the renter to pay a sum of money to break the rental
agreement. A notice of 30 days and a lease break amount equal to one month's
rent are common penalties associated with breaking a lease, however, individual
leasing agents may impose penalties which are either harsher or less severe.

Consider the Costs of Breaking the Lease

As previously mentioned there is typically a fee associated with breaking a
lease. This fee is often set equal to one month's rent. While paying this fee
may seem excessive there are some instances in which it is an economically good
decision to break the contract even though there is a financial penalty imposed.

Consider the example of a homeowner who is the process or relocating due to a
job change. The homeowner may opt to rent an apartment in the new state while
the house is put up for sale in the previous state. If the renter enters into a
12 month contract under the supposition that it will take this long to sell the
old house and purchase a new house, he may be surprised if his other house
sells quickly and he finds a home in his new state rather quickly. This may all
occur within a matter of 2-3 months.

The renter has the option to stay in the apartment until the rental agreement
nears expiration and then start looking for a home. However, this option runs
the risk that the home he previously found will not likely be available. The
renters other option is to place a bid on the new house and plan on breaking
the lease if he is able to close on the new house. In this case, the renter
would be saddled with both a rent and a mortgage for 9-10 months. This will
likely be significantly more expensive than the price the renter would pay to
break the lease.

Breaking the Lease is Not Always a Financial Decision

The decision to break a lease is not always completely a financial decision.
There are sometimes emotional components which factor into the equation. For
example a renter may have only 1-2 months remaining on his rental agreement
when he is offered a dream job which will require him to relocate immediately.
Although breaking the lease that late in the agreement is usually not
financially wise, the renter may make this decision to avoid missing out on a
dream job.

Caring For a Rental Property

Those who live in a rental property may have questions regarding how they
should care for their domicile. While treating the property with respect and
not intentionally doing damage to the property should be understood there are
other gray areas where renters may not be sure what their rights and
responsibilities are in the rental situation. In most of these cases, these
questions can be resolved by carefully reviewing the rental agreement. This can
provide the renter a great deal of insight regarding which items will be
corrected by the leasing agent and which items are the responsibilities of the

Treat the Property Like it Is Your Home

The heading to this subsection is certainly appropriate in theory but in
reality it may not be true. The theory behind treating a rental property like
it is your home is that you should treat the rental property in the same way
you would treat your own home. This means the renter should not intentionally
damage or otherwise neglect the rental property. It also implies that the
renter should care for the rental property by making necessary repairs as they

However, the reality of this heading is not true because renters are often not
free to treat a rental property like it was their home. Homeowners are free to
make modifications at any time to their property. Renters do not have this
option and are only allowed to make modifications which are permitted by the
contract agreement. These permissible modifications are usually rather
insignificant in nature.

Seek Assistance from the Property Manager When Warranted

Renters should also seek assistance from the property manager when there are
repairs which fall under the jurisdiction of the property owner or manager.
Such repairs might include items such as unclogging drains, fixing appliances
and making modifications to the residence such as installing lighting features.
Although the renter may be capable of performing some or all of these actions,
the rental agreement may specify these items are the responsibility of the
property owner or manager. Renters who attempt to fix these items may be held
liable for damages which occur during these attempts.

Similarly, the rental agreement may imply, by omission, that certain items are
the responsibility of the renter. These may be small items such as changing
light bulbs or similar items. In these cases the renter is free to make the
adjustments. However, in other situations where the rental agreement specifies
the apartment manager will handle certain complaints, these complaints should
be called to the attention of management.

When the Property Manager Isn't Doing His Job

Renters may encounter a problem where the apartment manager is not being
responsive to his complaints and is not addressing situations which are brought
to his attention. When this occurs the renter may have no choice but to bring
this to the attention of the property manager's supervisor. When a property
manager is required to make certain repairs and address certain issues and
fails to do so, he is creating a hazard for the members of the community. This
is why the renter should not allow these transgressions to occur. The renter
should also not be fearful of retaliation by the property manager because the
contract will likely specify the renter's rights to complain to a higher
authority about the quality of service they are receiving.

Things To Consider When Renting With Pets

When you are looking for a place to rent and you have a dog or a cat, you may
find the apartments available are few and in between. Many property owners
today do not want to rent their properties to owners of pets. The reason is
because of bad experiences in the past, or they do not like pets. If this is
the situation, you may have a hard time finding a place where your pets will be
welcomed. If you do find a place that will allow renting with pets, you may have
to pay an extra pet deposit or even a higher monthly rent.

If you are renting with pets, and decide after a while, you do not want pets
anymore, you want to have a clause in your rental agreement that will lower the
rent if you are paying extra or that the property owner can inspect the place
and return your pet deposit. The property owner and you as the renter should
agree to this prior to signing the rental agreement. You do not want to have
monies held for a pet you do no longer have in the apartment or house.

Renting with pets is sometimes the hardest thing to accomplish. You may find
that places that allow pets are not as nice as a place that does not allow
pets. You should always look at many places rather than just a few before
making a decision. Another issue with renting with pets is that you may find
the apartment or house that previously had pets, attracts bad behavior from
your pets. There is one sure way to find out if there are pet urines spots that
could attract your pets to follow suit.

Property owners can do this before returning pet deposits as well. Take a black
light and go over carpets, walls and hardwood flooring to see if there is
evidence of pet urine. This works well for finding out if there could be
potential problems with your pets. If you do find areas with urine, you should
point these out to the property owner before your pet enters the rental unit.

You are going to find that most property owners will not accept pets. There are
some however, that do but you need to know how to present your pet. If you have
a dog, it is a good idea to explain the age, how long you have had the dog and
if it has any behavior problems. Property owners also look at the type of dog
you have because many homeowner insurance policies will not provide insurance
if you have a certain breed of dog. This will be a deciding fact for property
owners even if they allow pets.

If you have a fish aquarium or a small rodent such as a hamster, it may not be
a problem with a property owner. You just have to learn how to present your pet
in a way that is flattering and not negative.

Things To Check On Before Renting A Home

There are some things to check on before renting a home. The first thing to
check is the average utility bills. You can find this information by calling
the utility company and requesting a printout of the last year's monthly
charges. This will give you an idea of what the monthly charges would be for
you as well. Renting a home with new windows, doors and insulation will provide
lower utility bills, therefore, you should always find out if the home is
insulated and check the windows for seals.

You should always check the basement for leaks as well as termite tunnels. Many
property owners do not know about the conditions in the basement because they
pay more attention to the living quarters. You will want make sure there are
hook ups for the washer and dryer, a drain and check the pipes to make sure
they are in good condition. The stairs should be in good conditions as well as
have a hand railing. Many property owners have no idea what conditions the
stairs or railing are in when they are renting a place.

Other things to look for when renting a house are the attic, outside area and a
garage if there is one. The attic should be dry and you should not be able to
see any outside light coming in through the roof. It is always a good idea to
see if there are any vents in the attic, although this is not as important as
finding out if there are leaks. The attic should be insulated as well, this
cuts down on lost of heat and help to keep the cool air inside if you run an
air conditioner.

When renting a house you want everything to be up to standards so you will have
an affordable place with all the things need to keep your energy bills down. You
some place where you can be comfortable and relaxed in knowing everything is
working correctly. If the house you are renting has central air, you want to
inspect the unit to make sure it is not corroded or damaged.

Check the neighborhood. You want a safe neighborhood to live in and the only
way to do this is by asking the property owner, who may not know or by calling
the local police department. Walking through the neighborhood may also give you
some clues. You might even see some of the neighbors outside and be able to ask

The closest school and the transit system is another thing to ask about when
renting a home. You want your children in a good school or if sending them to a
different school, you need to know some information about the buses as well as
how often they come through the neighborhood if they do at all in that area.
Once you have answers to your important questions, it is always easier to make
a decision if the place and area location is right for you.

The Apartment Leasing Agreement Protects You When Renting

The apartment leasing agreement protects you when renting a home or an
apartment. The agreement drawn up by the property owner not only protects the
owner, but it does protect you. If you have an apartment leasing agreement,
what you can do and what you cannot do are outline in the lease. If there are
areas that need more clarification do not sight the agreement until the
sections are clarified so you understand them completely.

In the apartment leasing agreement, the rent due date as well as the penalties
for late rent and failure to pay rent are very important to look closely at
before signing. Normally, you are given a five-day grace period for paying the
rent before any late fees are accumulated. At this time, the property owner can
issue additional fees or a five-day pay or vacate order. You cannot fight this
common practice. If you sign the apartment leasing agreement, you are aware of
the outcome if you fail to pay the rent.

The apartment leasing agreement should also include a check in and check out
section. This is where you and the property owner do a walk through to examine
the condition of the property. If you notice anything not on the list, it
should be added for your protection. This part of the leasing agreement is
vital when renting an apartment as well as a home, commercial property or a
mobile home. Everything should be noted even the condition of the attic,
basement and living quarters. If you forget something and sign the lease, you
can be held responsible for the problem that was forgotten on the agreement.

One you have done a walk through and have everything documented, you may even
want to do a walk through with a camera or a video camera and send it to
yourself. This envelope will have a postmark that will verify the date and
condition of the apartment when you moved into it. It may be wise to send one
to the property owner as well, so there are no misunderstandings. Anything you
see that might present a problem with you living there should be reported to
the property owner right away. If something needs fixing, see that this is done
before you move into the rental or very soon after to keep good communications
between the two of you.

Do not always count on the property owner to be polite if you do not pay the
rent on time. If you live in a state with laws against displacing people during
the winter months and you stop paying your rent, you might find yourself in
court anyway. Some property owners are adamant about the rent and do have
lawyers that may find loophole in the law.

Therefore, do not just stop paying your rent and think you are safe. In today's
society, even utility companies do not shut off your utilities during specified
months, they just send it to a collection agency and be done with it.

What Does the Rent Include?

There is no simple answer to the question of what is included in the rent. This
is because the answer will likely vary from one apartment complex to the next.
Some apartment complexes may include a variety of items within their rent while
others may charge renters additional fees as needed and still others may require
the renters to register directly with individual public utilities and handle
these expenses on their own.

Likewise some apartment complexes may include additional features with the
price of the rent while others may charge additional fees for these features. A
pool, exercise room, meeting room or theater are just a few examples which may
be offered by an apartment complex. In most cases the use of these amenities
are included in the price of the rent but there are exceptions where the renter
is charged an additional fee for the privilege of using these amenities.

Consider the Price of Utilities

When considering the price or a rental property, the renter should first
determine whether or not utilities are included in the cost of the rent. This
is significant because depending on the size of the property and the climate of
the area, heating and cooling costs can be rather expensive. In most cases, the
renter is responsible for the cost of their own utilities and their apartment
is individually monitored for usage and the renter is billed monthly by the
utility company. However, in the case of an individual renting an apartment in
a private home as opposed to an apartment complex, the homeowner may collect
money for utility uses in another way. Depending on the agreement between the
homeowner and the renter the monthly rent may be set at a rate which includes a
contribution to the utility costs or the renter may be assessed a pre-determined
percentage of each utility bill on a monthly basis.

It is important to consider the price of utilities when they are not included
in the rent because failure to do so can lead to unpleasant surprises in the
future. For example a renter in a particularly cold climate may rent a spacious
apartment for a great rate only to find out later that the cost of heating the
apartment makes it difficult for the renter to afford to live in the apartment.

Consider Amenities which are "Free"

When renters are selecting an apartment, they should consider the amenities
which are "free" as opposed to the amenities for which the renter is charged an
additional fee. The word free is used in quotations in the heading of this
section to indicate these amenities do not always come without a price. A
renter may not pay a usage fee for some amenities but it is very likely the
privilege of using these amenities is factored into the monthly rent.

As an example consider two 800 square foot apartments in the same geographical
area. Each apartment may have a similar layout and comparable square footage
but the monthly rents associated with these two apartments might be quite
different. In examining the amenities you might notice the higher prices
apartment has access to a pool, an exercise room and a theater all for the use
of residents while the lower priced apartment offers no such amenities. In this
case the residents of the more expensive apartments are actually paying a higher
monthly rent as a result of the amenities offered.

In a case such as the example above, renters should weight their options
carefully. If they can afford to pay the more expensive rent, they should
carefully consider whether or not they wish to pay a higher fee for use of the
amenities. A renter who doesn't like to swim, belongs to a gym and does not
have a great deal of free time to watch movies may decide they would be better
off selecting the lower priced apartment without amenities.

What Question To Ask When Renting An Apartment

When you are looking at apartments, there are some questions to as when renting
an apartment. You need to know if the locks are changed. Not all property
managers change the locks and count on previous owners turning in all the keys.
You might want to ask for the locks to be changed, or ask if you can change
them. This will protect you in the future if there are any extra keys
unaccounted for by the property owner.

Another question to ask when renting an apartment is about the utility bills.
You want to find out the monthly bill and if there is a budget plan, you can be
on to spread out high bills during the winter months. Most property owners have
this information, but if they do not, you can call the utility companies and
they will tell the information for that address.

When you think about another question to ask when renting an apartment, you
might forget the obvious question about grace periods for late rent. Some
property owners give you a five-day grace period to pay the rent, if you go
past this day, there may then be additional charges added on for late fees. You
need to know this in case it would ever happen. If you are in between paychecks,
you might want to save some money so you are always ahead a month.

The last question to ask when an apartment is if there are any smoke detectors
in the building and are they working properly. In addition, you need to know
the fire exits that are available to get out of the apartment in the event of a
fire. This is very important for anyone renting or buying a home or apartment.
You want to make sure there is a safe exit in case the need arises. Many people
forget this question when renting an apartment or a house. You might even think
of some more questions from past experiences. Ask all the questions you need to
have answers for before signing any lease to ensure your peace of mind.

Some other questions to ask that most people forget about are the school
district, the neighborhood reputation, if there is public transportation nearby
and garbage collection schedules. These are just some more questions that people
forget to ask. Another very important question would be about parking rules and
regulations if you are going to park on the street. Many cities and towns that
have winter weather with snow and for other reasons do not have parking on
streets after a certain time.

You will want to find out this information because, you may find yourself in
need of a parking place that might be farther away from your home. This could
become an issue if you have to walk a good distance late at night by yourself.
If you think about it, any question is a smart question when renting an
apartment. You want to have something that can accommodate you and not have you
accommodate it.

Vacation Rentals

Many vacationers opt to rent a home in their vacation destination rather than
staying in a hotel. For these vacationers, this is a worthwhile option because
it gives the vacationer a more comfortable place to stay with features such as
cooking facilities which are not typically offered in commercial hotels.
Finding these vacation rentals can be significantly more difficult than simply
making hotel reservations but many vacationers report this to be a worthwhile
effort. However, some care should be taken when renting a vacation home to
ensure the quality of the home meets the expectations of the vacationers.

Finding Vacation Rentals

Finding a vacation rental property can obviously be much more difficult than
simply renting a hotel during the vacation. Of course some vacationers will be
lucky and have a friend or family member who owns a home in a particular
vacation destination and is willing to rent it out to others. Those who do not
have this type of fortunate situation have other options for finding a vacation
rental property.

Many homeowners in popular vacation destinations rent out their home during the
peak season. These homeowners may allow a realtor to handle the transactions.
Contacting realtors in the area of the vacation destination and inquiring about
available rental properties in the area is one way to start the search. The
realtor will likely be able to assist you in finding a home for rent.

There are also many popular websites where homes for rent are listed directly
by the owner of the home. Searching the Internet can lead you to a reliable
source of homes for rent. These homes are usually divided into categories by
region and will likely provide you instant access to available dates. It will
likely give useful information such as whether or not pets are allowed, the
number of bedrooms and bathrooms as well as the size of the home and the
proximity to nearby attraction. The listing may also provide useful information
regarding the furnishings of the home. Some rental properties may include items
such as bedding and cookware while some may not.

Ask Questions before Renting a Vacation Home

Vacationers who wish to rent a vacation home as opposed to spending their
vacation in a hotel should exercise a certain amount of caution in selecting a
property to rent. Being cautious will not only enable the vacationer to ensure
his rental property meets his expectations but will also help to avoid
potentially dangerous situations. One way to avoid these potential problems is
by asking a great deal of questions during the process.

Renting a vacation home through a rental agency is ideal for safety purposes.
In these situations the agency handles the entire rental giving the renter the
security of knowing they are not walking into a potentially dangerous
situation. However, even in this situation the renter should ask some important
questions. These questions will be explained in the subsequent paragraphs.

How old is the property? Potential renters should ask questions about the age
of the property and whether or not appliances, plumbing and electricity have
been updated. This is important because this type of information can mean the
difference between a comfortable stay in the property and dealing with problems
related to the age of the home.

What is included in the rental? While most rentals include the basic
necessities, there are some rental agreements which only include the use of the
house and furniture. Renters may be required to bring along bedding, towels and
even cookware.

How often is the property rented and how is it maintained? These two questions
are inter-related because properties which are rented often see significantly
more wear and tear than properties which are only rented a couple of times per
year. Properties which are rented often should employ a maid service to clean
the property thoroughly between each rental and possibly during longer rental

What is the exact location of the property? Asking this question will enable
the vacationer to determine whether or not the property is ideally situated for
the purposes of the vacation. For example a vacationer on a ski trip would want
to be situated close to the mountains while a vacationer more interested in a
cultural vacation might be interested in a downtown location which will likely
be closer to museums and other locations of interest.

Vacating The Premises When Renting A House

If you plan to vacate the premises when you are renting a house, you must abide
by the lease agreement. Most leases require thirty to sixty days notice that you
are vacating the house. Your lease agreement will also have required time you
must live in the house before the lease is expired. If you sign a one-year
lease and plan to leave after the year is up, you must give proper notice. This
is done in writing as well as verbal. Tell the property owner of your decision
and hand him or her a written latter as well.

You will still have to pay the monthly rent and clean the house you are renting
to receive your security deposit back. You need to leave the house in the exact
shape or better, as it was when you rented it. After you vacate the property,
the property owner has thirty to sixty days to return your security deposit or
a portion if it with a detailed explanation of what was wrong. If any security
deposit monies are withheld, you are entitled to detailed list as to why and
what it was for. If you do not receive this, you can take legal action.

Renting a house and vacating the premises requires you to turning all keys that
are for the house or any other areas of the property. When doing so, you are no
longer allowed to enter the house or visit the property. You should also
remember to change your address and the utility bills. You should take all
garbage and place it in the right area, the property owner or new renters can
place it out for pick up. Never leave anything there that the property owner
will have to pay to haul away, this will more than likely be ducted from your
security deposit.

When vacating the premises of the house you are renting, if the property owner
can rent the house out sooner than later, you may receive a prorated amount of
rent to pay if you have already vacated the premises. This is always nice
because you do not have pay a full months rent at two different places. If you
are required to prorate the rent, then you can take the monthly payment amount
and divide by the number of days in that month. This gives you a daily amount
that you times by the number of days you owe rent for on that rental.

You will also need to make sure the utilities are changed into the property
owners name or the new tenants will put the utilities in their name. Never take
anything for granted, ask questions to find out the right answer for what to do.
Then you can give the utility companies your new address so they can send you a
final bill. In addition, have the water meter read right away. Sometimes they
are a little slow, which might result in a higher bill than expected when it
arrives in the mail.

Understanding The Renting Agreement

When trying to understand the renting agreement, you might have some
difficulties if you do not understand what is being said. The first part of the
renting agreement is your information as well as any other applicant who will
reside in the apartment. The standard lease agreement will include abandonment
of the property, repairs and alterations as well as sub-letting.

The information you supply about yourself is important for checking out your
history and current working situation. If you supply wrong information, you
might be denied the apartment or house. Always print your information so it is
eligible, but sign your name at the bottom. The more information you supply,
the better your chances are for being accepted for the rental.

The renting agreement will also include the rules of breaching the contract,
drug offenses that are committed in the house and property owner access and
inspection. The renting agreement will also include a clause for lawful use of
the property, disclosure of lead paint, maintenance, parking, late fees and the
rent. It will also verify the security deposit, hold over of the tenant,
terminating and vacating the property, utilities and it will discuss
surrendering the premise.

Although every state has different laws governing the specifics related to the
renting agreement, it all says the same thing, just with different time frames
and punishments. If you are accused and convicted of having drugs on the
property, the renting agreement will state what will happen to you. This
protects the property owner from possible forfeiture of the property in

The renting agreement discloses who is responsible for repairs and what repairs
you are subject to as well as the property owner. The property owner does have a
right to inspect the premises at any time with proper notification. If you read
the renting agreement before signing, you will know your rights as a renter and
what is expected of you while renting said property.

The renting agreement otherwise known as an apartment lease will be specific in
some areas and vague in others. If you have any questions about the vague
statements, ask for clarification to ensure you understand your part of the
agreement. Some property owners do not fill out all the parts of an apartment
lease, if you feel this needs to be filled out completely, you may want to
mention that before signing anything. If you do not need that area filled out,
make sure there is an X through that section so nothing can be added after you
sign the agreement.

If you sign a rental agreement, make sure you receive a copy from the property
owner before moving in. This will ensure that you have one to refer back to if
you need clarification on anything. You should keep your rental agreement in a
safe place with important papers and keep it until you receive your security
deposit back after you move. This will be the only legal document you have that
protects you as well as the property owner.

Tips for Finding a Rental Apartment

Finding a rental apartment is not always easy. Depending on occupancy rates in
a particular area, it actually might be quite difficult to find available
apartments that are also within your price range and meet all of your
pre-determined requirements. However, even in areas where there is not a great
deal of competition for the available apartments, renters may still have some
difficulty finding the perfect apartment. This article will offer some tips for
finding a rental apartment that suits all of your needs.

Figure Out Your Needs

The first step of any apartment search should begin with the potential renter
carefully identifying all of their needs in an apartment. This list of needs
will be different for every renter. While some renters are simply looking for a
place to eat, bathe and sleep other renters may be looking for a living space
which will serve a number of purposes including working, entertaining and
participating in leisure activities or hobbies. When making this list of needs
the renter should consider the options they cannot live without as well as the
options they want to have but can live without. It is important to make this
distinction because the renter will want to ensure the apartment they choose
has all of the features they need and ideally a few features they want.
However, an apartment which does not have all the required features may become
an uncomfortable living situation very quickly.

Do Your Research

Once a renter has a good idea of the basic features he is looking for in an
apartment, he should begin researching his options. Researching apartments can
be done on the Internet, through the newspaper or through rental magazines.
Renters may use one of these research methods exclusively or may combine a few
of the methods to form a customized strategy for researching apartments. The
research phase will give the renter an idea of the types of properties
available for rent in the area.

Comparison Shop

The next step is the process of comparison shopping. This basically entails
visiting several different rental properties and touring these facilities.
During the tour the renter will get a good idea of available options as well as
the costs associated with these options. This is helpful for two very important
reasons. First it gives the renter a good idea of the types of apartments
available within their budget. Second it gives the renter the ability to
bargain regarding price. Renters who have proof of other apartment complexes
offering more favorable rental terms, may be able to entice another complex to
lower their prices slightly.

Ask for Recommendations

Renters can also help themselves in their search for an apartment by seeking
recommendations from trusted friends and family members. These recommendations
can be taken to be much more worthwhile than recommendations offered by the
apartment complex from previously satisfied tenants. It is important to note
the apartment complex is likely to only offer testimony from tenants who were
happy with their rental agreement. For this reason, opinions offered by friends
and family members are much more valuable because they do not have a vested
interest in the rental property and simply offer their honest opinion. Friends
or family members who share your interests and personality traits can be very
helpful in offering recommendations for apartments because it is very likely
you will be happy with the apartment they recommend.

Consult the Better Business Bureau

Finally, renters should consult the Better Business Bureau (BBB) before making
a final decision and choosing an apartment complex. This can be very helpful
especially if the renter finds a particular apartment complex has a number of
unresolved complaints against them. While a lack of complaints is not
necessarily an endorsement, it is a good sign if the complex has been in
business for number of years without a slew of unresolved complaints.

Tips To Know For Renting A Home

If you plan to rent a home, you need to know some tips for renting a home as to
what you can and cannot do. You will need permission from the property owner
before you make any cosmetic changes to the home. If you want to paint the
walls or change the look of the woodwork, you will want to obtain permission.
If you do not have permission from the property owner, you could be in
violation of the lease agreement.

If you have a yard, you can pretty much make this as beautiful as you want, but
you cannot let the property go without proper care. Whatever the stipulations
are for the yard and care need to be respected. If you are renting a home,
always ask the owner how they expect the yard to look and what they expect from
you. By finding out more information, you and the property owner will get along

If the home has a pool or any other outside recreational equipment, you need to
know how to take care of the equipment and keep it in good working order.
Renting a home with kids and a pool will require even more attention. You will
want to keep the kids away from the water when you are not around, this may
require putting up a fence around the pool and the owner will have to okay this
first. Some owners will find this unacceptable, so this might not be a good
place for to rent.

There are many tips for renting a home, you might think about different tips as
you begin to look for homes. Not everyone will know exactly what he or she wants
or needs until they find it. Sometimes you will find a home that is just what
you have been looking for without even knowing it. Even if you find a home or
apartment you like, you should fill out the rental application, but maybe look
at a few more places to make sure. This just helps you reassure yourself that
you have found what you are looking for in a rental unit.

If you need a home with so many bedrooms or you need a place that has a
handicap accessible ramp for a wheelchair, you will have to discuss alterations
with the property owner. For the most part, ramps are going to be at your
expense and if a property owner likes your application and references, you will
more than likely be able to accommodate a wheelchair if there is enough room
required by the housing authority.

If you need things changed in the house itself, this might be an expense that
the property owner may not want to share. This could result in you paying for
something out of your own pocket for a rental that only benefits you as long as
you live there. You should always talk to a potential property owner about your
needs if they are not something that occurs everyday for them.

Should You Rent A House Or An Apartment?

Deciding whether to rent an apartment or a house can be a very difficult
decision for some renters. There are certain advantages and disadvantages to
each option. The renter should carefully consider these points when making his
decision. Whether or not an apartment rental or a home rental is ideal for a
particular renter will largely depend on his personal preference as well as his
current needs in a living situation. For some renting an apartment is perfect
while others find a home rental meets their needs best. This article will
examine the advantages and disadvantages of each situation to help readers make
a more informed decision regarding the type of rental situation which may be
beneficial to them.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Renting a House

There are many advantages to renting a house as opposed to an apartment. One of
the primary advantages is this situation affords renters who would normally be
unable to afford to purchase a house the opportunity to live in a house for a
much more affordable price. Another advantage to renting a house is it may
offer the renter many more options. Apartments are usually pretty standard in
terms of size, number of bedrooms and number of bathrooms. Renters who have
specific needs such as five bathrooms and three bedrooms may have a difficult
time finding an apartment with these specifications but may find rental homes
which offer these options.

Location is often another advantage associated with renting a house. Apartments
are usually situated in more commercial areas while houses available for rent
can usually be found in more residential areas. Many renters favor this
situation because it makes their rental property feel more secluded. Many house
rentals also include a backyard which is desirable for renters with children or

One of the major disadvantages to renting a house, is there may not be a great
deal of certainty regarding the amount of time the renter will be allowed to
rent the house. While a contract may protect the rights of the renter for a
certain period of time, there are no guarantees the homeowner will extend the
contract beyond the existing terms. This means as the contract is due to
expire; the renter may be given notice that the house would not be available
for rent in the future. Conversely, this situation is rare in apartments and
most renters are confident there will be the opportunity to renew their lease
each time it expires.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Renting an Apartment

Perhaps one of the most significant advantages of renting an apartment is the
amenities which are often available when renting an apartment in an apartment
complex as opposed to renting a home or even renting an apartment in a private
home. Amenities such as pools, hot tubs, exercise rooms, saunas, meeting rooms
and theaters are just a few of the amenities often offered when renting an

Affordability is another advantage to renting an apartment. Rent for an
apartment is usually significantly lower than rent for a house. Although the
apartment may be significantly smaller than the house, many renters find they
are only able to afford these options.

A lack of privacy may be one of the most significant disadvantages to renting
an apartment. Apartments are usually situated fairly closely together and most
apartments usually share a common wall with one of their neighbors. Renters may
find their neighbors end up knowing a great deal more about them than they had
intended simply because the living situation makes it difficult to keep one's
life private.

Having to contend with noisy neighbors is another downfall to renting an
apartment. As previously, mentioned apartments often share a common wall with a
neighbor. As a result renters may run the risk of having noisy neighbors who
listen to loud music or have boisterous friends visiting late at night.

Sharing a Rental with a Roommate

Sharing a rental property, whether it is an apartment or a house, can be either
a dream come true or a living nightmare. There are many advantages to having a
roommate; however, there are also disadvantages. When these disadvantages are
severe they can result in an uncomfortable living environment in some
situations and even a dangerous living environment in other situations. There
are a couple of ways a renter can protect themselves when sharing their rental
property with a roommate. This includes screening the potential roommate
carefully and including the roommate on the rental agreement.

The Advantages and Disadvantages to Having a Roommate

Having a roommate can certainly be advantageous in some situations. The primary
advantage is financial. Renters who opt to have a roommate, essentially cut
their rent in half if they opt to have one roommate or in thirds if they opt to
have two roommates. This is ideal for renters who would like to have a larger
apartment but would not be able to afford such an apartment without the
assistance of a roommate.

Another advantage to having a roommate is the opportunity to share household
responsibilities with the roommate. Of course this is only an advantage when
the roommate is willing to do his share of the work on a regular basis. If this
is not the case, it may result in a huge disadvantage which will be covered
briefly in the section on disadvantages.

One of the most significant disadvantages to having a roommate is a lack of
privacy. Those who live alone do not ever have to worry about not having time
to themselves while they are in their apartment. However, when a renter has a
roommate, there is no guarantee the renter will ever have any time to himself
while he is in the apartment.

Another disadvantage to having a roommate is the distribution of household
responsibilities may not always be even. Roommates should have a discussion
regarding the household responsibilities such as cleaning the common areas but
there is always the possibility that one roommate may not do his share of the
work. When this happens it can create conflict and resentment among the
roommates. This conflict can make the living situation quite uncomfortable.

Select a Compatible Roommate

When selecting a roommate, the renter should be careful to select a compatible
roommate. In the previous section we discussed how conflicts can arise when one
roommate does not do his share of the cleaning. However, incompatible cleaning
styles are only a small portion of the compatibility issues roommates may face.
One important issue is entertaining. If one roommate has visitors at the
apartment often, it can cause problems if the other roommate is not comfortable
with this.

Even the times in which the roommates normally sleep can cause problems. If one
roommate goes to bed early and wakes up at 4:00 am, it can be problematic if the
other roommate likes to stay up late and not wake up until 9:00 am. In this case
the roommates may not only begin to get on each other's nerves but they may also
begin to adversely affect the other's job or social life.

Include the Roommate on the Rental Agreement

Finally, renters should be sure to include their roommate or roommates on the
rental agreement. This is very important because it helps to protect all of the
roommates. Inclusion of all of the roommates prevents one roommate from being
able to ask another to leave unjustly. This may occur when conflicts arise but
inclusion on the rental agreement ensures each of the roommates has a right to
live on the property. Placing each of the roommates' names on the rental
agreement also prevents one roommate from not making their rent payments in a
timely manner. It will also help to prevent one roommate from being held
legally responsible for not paying the rent on time by the leasing agent.

Saving Money by Renting

For many renters the possibility of using a rental situation to save money is a
foreign idea. These renters often bemoan the fact that they have to rent a
property rather than purchase a property because they feel as though not owning
the property is basically throwing money away each month. However, this is not
entirely true. While there are certainly benefits to homeownership and building
equity homeowners can also benefit financially by renting an apartment rather
than purchasing a home.

While it is certainly true that money spent each month on rent does not get the
renter any closer to homeownership while each monthly mortgage payment makes the
homeowner one step closer to owning the property completely. However, this is
not the whole story. Renters should also consider the amount of money they will
be able to save annually for the purpose of purchasing a home by living in a
rental property right now.

A Smaller Apartment Can Lead to a Bigger House

Some would be homeowners find renting a small apartment can allow them to start
saving for the purpose of purchasing a house in the future. Renters who are
willing to sacrifice comfort now and stay in the smallest apartment possible
will likely be able to save the most money towards purchasing a home.

In general the monthly rent for an apartment is based on a value per square
foot. This value may vary slightly from one property to the next but is likely
to be very similar in properties in the same general area. This means
apartments which are smaller in terms of square footage are likely to be less
expensive overall. Therefore renters who would normally feel more comfortable
and able to spread out might opt for a smaller apartment just so they can begin
saving more money for their home purchase.

Budget Wisely to Save Money

Renters who want to save money for the purchase of a home while renting an
apartment should understand their monthly rent is not the only factor which may
prevent them from saving money while they rent. For example entertainment costs
should carefully be considered when a renter is trying to save money. Most
rental properties have a fully equipped kitchen making it ideal for the renter
to prepare meals at home as opposed to going out to eat. Renters who cut down
on eating dinner out may find they are able to save quite a bit of money each

Likewise renters who are spending an excess amount of money on superfluous
items may have difficulty saving for a house while renting an apartment.
Examining all current monthly expenditures can help the renter to determine
where there is the potential for financial savings. Making changes such as debt
consolidation may be one way to decrease monthly bills but this is certainly not
the only solution. Renters can make other changes such as canceling
subscriptions to premium movie channels, minimizing cell phone plans to include
only the amount of minutes used each month and making changes to insurance plans
to result in an overall savings. Changes to insurance plans may include having
your car and renter's insurance covered by the same carrier. Many carriers
offer discounted services to renters who are willing to bundle their services.
All of these slight changes can help to enable a renter to save money for a
home purchase in the future.

Renting with Dogs

Renters who have a dog or more than one dog may face additional challenges when
renting an apartment or a house. One of the primary challenges the renters may
face is finding a living situation which is acceptable to them and also willing
to accept their pets. This can be difficult as many rental properties do not
allow dogs at all. Those who do allow animals on the property may place certain
restrictions on they size and breed of dog which may reside on the property.

Finding an Acceptable Living Situation

The first step in renting with dogs is to find an acceptable living situation.
For those who wish to rent with dogs, the first question to be asked should be
whether or not dogs are allowed to live on the property. This is important
because it can save the renter a great deal of time. The renter may otherwise
invest a great deal of time learning more about the property or even undergoing
a credit check only to find out pet are not permitted.

For some dog owners, finding a rental situation which allows dogs is not the
end of the search. The renter should also confirm the type of dog he owns will
be allowed to live on the property. This may include both the size of the dog
as well as the breed as some apartment complexes place limitations on the size
of the dog and also prohibit certain breeds. Again confirming these facts early
in the search for an apartment can be a tremendous time savings especially for
those who own large or commonly banned breeds.

Renters should also consider the surrounding area when selecting a rental
property. An ideal location would be one in which there is an adequate location
to walk and exercise the dogs. Areas with large grassy areas may be ideal while
areas which do not have a location to walk a dog may be problematic.

Read Contracts Carefully

Renters who have dogs should read their contract carefully before making a
decision to rent a particular property. This is important because many
landlords may impose restrictions on renters who own dogs. These restrictions
may include, but are not limited to, requiring an additional security deposit
for the renter, requiring specific cleaning methods on the carpets after the
renter vacates the apartment and holding the renter responsible if the dog
engages in nuisance barking. Nuisance barking can be a problem in apartment
situations where the apartments are located close together and even share a
common wall. Renters should be aware that in some situations, nuisance barking
can be a cause for eviction. For these reasons, renters who own dogs should
take the time to familiarize themselves with the rental contract.

Take Care of Your Rental Property

Finally, renters who have dogs may have to take additional efforts to maintain
their apartment. This may include more diligent cleaning, especially of the
carpets. Renters with dogs should respond quickly to accidents in the house to
minimize the possibility of permanent staining and odors. Each accident should
be addressed immediately and every effort should be made to clean the affected
area completely.

Renters with dogs should also vacuum regularly especially if their dog is a
heavy shedder. This will help to keep the living environment cleaner and will
also minimize the amount of cleaning required when the renter vacates the
property. Regularly vacuuming will prevent hair from being embedded into the
carpet so deeply that it is difficult to remove.

Finally, renters with dogs should take care to pick up after their dogs while
on walks and to keep their dogs leashed while in common areas. Many cities have
leash laws and laws regarding picking up after dogs. Even if these laws are not
in effect, renters should follow these policies as a courtesy to their
neighbors. Additionally, keeping dogs on leashes during walks helps to ensure
their safety by preventing them from running into the street.

Renting Your Home To Someone, Use An Application For Renting

When you are renting your home to someone, you want to make sure they will take
care of the property as if it was their own. You want to find someone that will
follow the lease and not miss the monthly rent obligations. Renting your home
is always a gamble, but with proper credit checks, criminal checks and a
renting agreement, you can protect yourself, your property and the tenant. This
is always important to remember whenever you rent your home. You want someone
who treat it like his or her own and care for it.

Many times, you are better off having an application form for the apartment.
You can include personal information. This will cover name and alias, social
security number, current phone number, and current address. You can ask for any
felony convictions as well as property damages complaints. You will want to
include questions regarding previous residences that the applicant has lived
in, this is usually going back ten years.

You make ask about credit history as well as financial information such as a
bank name where they have a checking or savings account. Any bad credit should
be explained as well as any problems with evictions and small claims. There are
two other questions to ask on the application when renting your home to someone.
You should ask about their income and employment status as well as the name of
the employer.

Once you have all the information, you can use this to verify employment,
criminal history, credit history and you mat check with past property owners,
but this is not usually necessary unless they have questionable claims against
their credit history. Keep in mind there is fine line behind to much
information and not enough information. You want to be sure about the potential
renter, but do not overstep your boundaries or it could be misconstrued as
discrimination. You do have the right to refuse anybody, you just do not need
to go into a lengthy explanation that may raise a red flag. You have to be
careful about what reason you have for not renting to the party.

You can draw up your own rental application or you can obtain one from your
local housing authority. This is true for a rental agreement as well. As long
as you do not ask the wrong questions that are not appropriate, you can make
your own. You should however make sure you have all the information that is
needed to see if someone is a good candidate for renting your apartment or

Renters also should supply the right and truthful information on a rental
application. If a property owner finds out that the information supplied was
wrong, they can evict you for false misrepresentation. Always be truthful and
upfront about any information on the rental application and property owners as
well need to be truthful with you. This the only way for a property owner and a
tenant to get along and for both to be sure about their choices.

Renting Your First Apartment

You are setting out on your own and you are renting your first apartment. You
need to think about what you want and need in the apartment. Do you need a
furnished apartment or can you furnish the apartment yourself. Do you need an
apartment with utilities included or can you have utilities in your name. You
will also need to think about appliances, such as a dishwasher, stove and
refrigerator. Do you have these items or will you be renting your first
apartment with these items included. Once you know the answers to these
questions, you can begin looking for an apartment.

Renting your first apartment is always exciting, you are setting out by
yourself, you will have your own home to care for, and you will have more
freedom. With this freedom come responsibilities. If you have a job, you need
to set aside enough money to cover all the expenses of having an apartment. You
are going to need to make sure you can have people over without disturbing other
renters and you have a responsibility to keep the premises clean and damage free.

Renting your first apartment also means that you might have other duties to do
besides paying the bills and keeping the apartment clean. If you rent a lower
flat, you might have responsibilities for lawn care and maybe some weather
related chores as well. If you do not want these types of responsibilities, you
might only consider upper flats for rent. You do not want to over burden
yourself when renting your first apartment. You need to have time to do
everything that is required when renting your first apartment or house.

When it is time to find your first apartment, you can jot down a few questions
to ask the property manager, which should help eliminate apartments that are
not suited to your needs. When you call for information about the apartment, it
is wise to ask these questions before scheduling an appointment. If it is not
what you are looking for, then you do not want to waste time looking at the
apartment. You should always ask questions until you are satisfied that the
apartment will be right for you.

When you are renting your first apartment, you may tend to think that you can
have something just as nice as you had it at home. This may not always be true.
You can take even the most moderate apartment and make it a showcase inside even
if the outside has a bit to be desired. You do not want to over extend yourself
on rent payments.

You will also have to consider utilities, food, clothing, car expenses or
transportation costs and any other necessaries such as insurances. You will
find that your first apartment is like everything else. It is never something
that you would settle for, but it is the first one in a line of many you will
have before you marry or buy a home of your own.

Renting With Children

Renting with children is sometimes difficult. Many property owners will not
come right out and deny you because of the children, but they might find a
different reason so they do not discriminate against you for having children.
Children are hard on apartments and homes. You can have drawing on the walls,
fires, flooding, toys down the toilet and the noise inside and outside. Not
that children are bad, children are wonderful, but some property owners do not
want the responsibility of have to worry about what might happen if someone has

If you are renting with children, you have to have enough room for the children
to have bedrooms to sleep in and enough space for them to live comfortably. If
you have an upper flat and children, you will have to keep them quite so they
do upset the downstairs tenants. Most people with children try to rent lower
flats or a house to prevent this problem. This is always something to keep in

Children are sometimes mischievous and can unknowing create problems. Property
owners shy away from renting to families with small children because there are
many things that can happen with young children. If you have small children, it
is a good idea to explain that you do keep an eye on them at all times. Adults
who smoke with small children are high risk at anytime. Children who find a
lighter and want to experiment with it start more fires. If you smoke chances
are, a property owner may not rent to you for that reason, but also because
they do not want anyone smoking in the house or apartment. These are some
things to keep in mind when looking for a place to live.

If you have children, some property owners may request an additional amount of
money towards the security deposit. This is however, refundable if nothing is
wrong with the apartment or house when you leave. It is always a good idea to
keep a watchful eye on children when renting so that nothing does happen that
needs repair. As long as you have enough room for the children and yourself to
live comfortably, renting can be just as comfortable as owning. You do however
need to have enough room as required by law when renting with children. This
can be a problem if you have three or four children in a small three bedroom
apartment or house.

If you rent an apartment or house and have older children who come back to the
nest, you would be wise to discuss this with the property owner before they
find out. They may raise your monthly rent to accommodate for the extra person
on the premises. This is common practice, since you are the only one on the
lease at the time of renting the apartment. Older children that visit for a
week or two are not considered living with you, but any longer than that, you
will need to discuss with the property owner before problems arise from another
person living on the premises.

Renting Tips For Landlords

Renting tips for landlords include the application process, lease agreement,
the property itself and what is deemed actual wear and tear of an apartment. If
you have an apartment with carpeting over ten years old, there is going to be
normal wear and tear that you cannot charge a tenant for when the vacate the
premises. If someone rents the apartment or house for five years and vacates
the premises, you cannot charge them to paint the rooms. You can however charge
for any damage to the walls.

If you have a tenant that is causing problems with the other tenants, you can
seek an eviction notice even if there is a lease. You do, however have to prove
that a problem exists that is disrupting the other tenants. Just because you do
not like the friends of someone is no reason to start eviction proceedings. If
you feel there is an over abundance of traffic would be a reason to evict that
tenant, but you should talk to them prior to starting the eviction process.

If you rent to a large family, you can expect some repairs that may be needed
over the course of renting. It may be small, but if something clogs the toilet,
you may want to have the name of a plumber ready for the tenants to call if you
do not do your own work. This holds true for furnace repair, leaky pipes and
any repairs due to the age of the house and fixtures.

You should keep your properties up to standards or tenants can file a complaint
with the city or town because you are not providing proper accommodations. This
means everything should be working correctly and the tenants need protection
from the elements. You do however have some benefits if renting to low income
families, you might qualify for energy efficient repairs to your property
without a cost to you.

This work by signing an agreement that the parties will stay living there for a
proper length of time and you will not evict them. You can then have new windows
put in, insulation and even a carbon monoxide detect as well as smoke detectors
put in. In some states this called HUD, but other states may refer to it as
something else. You need to keep this in mind if someone asks you to make some
upgrades. You can also request an energy efficient inspection from the gas
company to see how to lower utility bills. This will make the property more
appealing to someone looking for a place to live.

You can outline your specific requirements in the apartment renting agreement
before the tenants move into the apartment. Always be very clear on your
requirements and guidelines for renting the apartment or house. If the rental
agreement is for a specific amount of people and no more than that, you have to
be very clear about that in the rental agreement.

This protects you as a property owner and it also protects the renter from any
misunderstandings that can and usually does arise. The lease should be very
specific about anything you want the renter to know before renting from you.

Renting From A Multi-Resident Property Owner

If you are renting are renting from a multi-resident property owner, you may
have some different clauses in your rental agreement than if you were renting a
house or an apartment. Many of these places have security locks and are set up
this way to protect the residents. If you hand out more keys to friends or
family, the traffic can upset neighbors and the property owner. Many of these
places are secure and people pay for the security in the rent. You need to
respect the property and not hand out more keys than what is needed by your
family. There are intercoms for visitors to use when they come to visit.

If there is an increase in traffic, other residents may see this as a security
problem that can result in you being asked to leave the premises. If you are
renting from a multi resident property owner, you should fine out exactly what
you can and cannot do with the apartment and the building itself. You may find
the guidelines and lease agreement has things listed that you may not be able
to comply with while living there.

Renting from a multi-resident property owner, you are going to have security,
but you will also have to allow for inspections of the property. In one case
recently, a multi-resident property manager did surprise inspections of all
apartments, looking for cleanliness, undocumented pets, damaged apartments and
inspection of appliances and flooring. This was legal because the rental
agreement stated that the property manger could inspect the apartment at
anytime with no notice.

Because this was a signed contract, no one could deny access to the property
manager, who did find some very interesting problems and conditions. You need
to know what you are signing and if it is a multi-complex, you will have a
different type of lease than with a single or duplex rental. If you have no
problems with surprise inspections or following strict guidelines then you
would have no problem living in one of these apartments. You do have less
privacy, but they are affordable places to rent.

When you are renting from a multi-resident property owner, you not only have to
follow the rules, but you also have to be careful about your neighbors. Some
property owners place tenants in buildings to keep an eye on things as well as
the property manger. This is common practice and can sometimes be a little
frustrating. If may be possible that you are renting near the property manger's
apartment and you are then going to be seen and heard all the time.

There are not many multi complexes with privacy. It seems that everything you
do is under scrutiny. If your rental agreement says no pets, that usually
pertains to fish aquariums as well. No overnight guest means exactly that. Many
people enjoy living in multi-resident buildings for the security, but they do
have some downfalls. You do have to follow the rules
and abide by the owners requests and inspections whenever they decide to do

Renting Eviction Notice And The Tenant

Renting eviction notices are never an easy thing to get away from if you have
had a few that show up on your court hearings when a property owner does a
criminal check. If you have one or two evictions, you may find that the
potential property owner will not rent to you. You will be considered a
high-risk renter that they may not want to deal with because the potential for
eviction is higher.

To avoid receiving the renting eviction notice, you should always pay your rent
on time, follow set guidelines in the rental agreement and if you decide to
vacate the premises because toy cannot pay, talk the property owner and try to
arrange to pay any rent that may be due. This not only keeps the case out of
court, but also puts you in better standings with the property owner.

The eviction process itself starts with property owner going to court to
receive a eviction notice that will be delivered by a process server or the
owner themselves. You usually have thirty days to vacate, but again this may
vary by state. After the thirty days, if you are not gone, a deputy sheriff can
come in and physical remove from the premises. If this happens, you will be
allowed to move your belongings out, but very quickly. You may have to schedule
a time with the sheriff to come back your property.

There is also a five day pay or vacate clause in most apartment leases that
require you to leave if you do not pay the rent. This can be enforced on the
sixth day of non-payment. Many property owners do not use this clause as much
unless the area is in high demand for rentals. Either way, if you do not pay
the rent, you are going to receive a renting eviction notice to vacate the
premises. You will have to leave and hope that the property owner does not take
you to court to receive any back rent that is owed to him or her when you
vacated the premises without paying. You might have to pay for storage on your
property as well.

You could choose to fight an eviction notice or even ask for more time. If you
are located in a state that has a winter law that states that families cannot
be evicted during certain months during the colder season, you will be safe for
a little while, but then the property owner can and more than likely will sue
you for the rent money and court costs.

If you feel your eviction is unfounded, you may wish to show up for court and
ask that the eviction be banished from your record and you will move within a
few days. Many people have done this and then they do not have this blemish on
their record. This however is up to the judge handling the hearing. You do have
to provide good reasoning as to why this should be removed from your record.

Renting Commercial Property

When renting commercial property, you need to know what you can do and what you
cannot do with the property. Commercial property is usually office space or
warehousing and storage. Renting commercial property such as an office or a
storefront may require some remodeling if it does not meet your needs, you can
discuss this with the property owner, who usually agrees as long as it adds
value to the property.

Just as with renting a home, apartment or a mobile home, you will have a lease
to sign, with rules and regulations specifically designed to protect the
property, property owner and you as the tenant. The condition of the property
will be noted and you must leave the property in the same condition or better
when vacating the premises. Renting an apartment and a commercial property are
different as to the condition, if you rent a warehouse, you might not realize
that backing into a supporting beam at a high speed and leaving a mark or some
evidence of the mishap can be considered damage.

Things that happen in commercial building may be accidental or unavoidable, but
you can be held liable for the damage. You need to discuss all aspects of
renting commercial property before you move into it. Because of the damage
clause being so general in a commercial rental, you need to document every
little detail right down to the condition of the floor. If you see lift truck
skid marks, you need to document this before you start using the building.

When you vacate the premises, you can do a walk through with the property owner
to explain any issues he or she may have about the condition. If all goes well,
you can expect to have a security deposit returned to you with thirty days. If
there are any discrepancies, you can then look back at the lease agreement with
the noted damages that already exit to see if they are indeed new damages or
older damages done before you rented the property. This is why it is so
important to keep proper documentation as to prior damages before renting.

Commercial properties are easier to rent than say a house or an apartment. They
are usually found everywhere and property owners need to fill the vacancies.
However, you still need to protect yourself. Not many offices are going to need
a lot of work to accommodate you, but if you do need to make some additions, you
should talk with the property owner before doing any of this work. You should
also find out if you could add more telephone lines if needed and maybe a few
partitions if that is how your office needs to be.

If you take the time to look for the right place to rent, you will find that
there are some nice commercial spaces with some affordable rent prices. You can
sign yearly leases or may even a two or three year lease depending on your
profession and need.

Renting An Apartment With Other People

Renting a house with other people does work for many people, but sometimes it
can be a nightmare. If you do rent a house with other people, you will want to
make sure that everyone's name is on the lease agreement. This protects
everyone involved from any future misunderstandings. Even the best of friends
can have a falling out when they live together. When renting an apartment with
others, everyone has a role in the rent, utilities, apartment care and yard
care if you have access to one.

Signing a lease with everyone who lives in the apartment will ensure that each
person is responsible for his or her share of the rent. This does not always
work out well if someone does not pay his or her share of the rent. Even though
one person is not paying their share, you will still have come up with that
portion of the rent yourself. The property owner still needs to receive
payment. This part of the lease will protect you in any court proceedings to
collect back rent yourself.

If you are renting an apartment with two or more people and one moves out, you
can find someone else to take their place and request a new lease agreement to
be signed from the property owner. This way everyone is still protected from
any misdoings. Most property owners will do a standard check on the new person
and either accept them or deny them as a potential tenant.

Renting an apartment with others is one way for people to save money and be
able to move out of their parent's house or some other living arrangement. If
you do live with other people, you need to share the responsibilities of house
cleaning, yard work and share the expenses of all bills associated with the
apartment such as utilities and food. Not all people, no matter how good of
friends they are can live together, therefore, you might have to make some
adjustments in order for everyone to be happy. Then everyone should do well
living together and sharing expenses for everything.

People who rent apartment apartments with other people usually want it to be
someone they know well. In some cases, you might be better off renting an
apartment with other people whom you do not know. This way, if something does
not work out, you do not lose friends and start problems within your current
circle of friends. If you have to take someone to court to claim back rent or
payment of utility bills, it will be easier if it is not a friend.

Either way, when renting an apartment with other people, you should have
everything in writing and leave nothing out. This way everyone knows what he or 
she is responsible for their share of what and what they can and cannot do. 
This is done to protect all persons living in a shared apartment or house. 
College students have more issues than others because there are sometimes five 
or six people sharing a house while going to school.

Renting An Apartment With Bad Credit

When renting an apartment with bad credit, you should keep a few things in
mind. A property manager will run a credit check, therefore, it is always best
to disclose any necessary information regarding your credit problems before
they find out. You can easily explain the circumstances in person before hand,
rather than having them find out about your bad credit and disqualify you as a
potential renter without even hearing your situation. Renting an apartment with
bad credit can be done if you take the time to jot down some explanations before
you even begin house hunting.

If you do have bad credit, you can do some things to make your credit history a
little more flattering by talking with a credit counselor, who may be able to
help you repair some of your credit problems. If you take the steps to improve
your credit, renting an apartment with bad credit might become a little easier.
Creditors and prospective property managers will see that you are making an
effort to correct your bad credit.

Even if you have never defaulted on your rent, bad credit can reflect badly,
especially if a property owner has ever had to take you to court for a judgment
of money award. If you have not paid that judgment, a property owner will more
than likely not rent to you because they do not want to go without the monthly
rent. You need to be very careful about paying your rent and paying on time.
Judgments for rent monies and eviction proceedings are not easy to explain
unless there are extenuating circumstances.

Renting an apartment with bad credit, just means you have to work harder to
convince a property manager that you are going to be a good risk. Some may ask
for a security deposit, first two months rent and the last months rent. If you
can accommodate this type of payment, a property manager may consider this when
checking your credit history. It may seem like a large amount of money to place
upfront, but it will protect the property owner and you in case you cannot pay
the rent. This is becoming more of a custom even if you have good credit.

Renting an apartment with bad credit is not always hard to do, but more so, you
have to show you are trying to improve and that you do have the funds to pay the
rent and utilities every month. If you provide income statements, current paid
utility bills and have the security deposit, you may find that the property
owner will find that you are a good fit to rent his or her property.

You just need to have all your documents readily available for the potential
property owner to see. If you take the time to explain and show that you have
are changing your ways, you might find a property own more wiling to work with
you, than if you have a attitude of not being concerned.

Renting An Apartment And Privacy Issues

Renting an apartment or even a house does have some disadvantages. The property
owner can enter the property with notice. Depending on the state where you are
renting has different time frames for giving notice. The most common advance
notice time frame is twenty-four hours. If you are not going to be home, the
property owner can still enter the property. This is a law and does not leave
any room for discussion. The owner may choose a different time if they choose
to, but they do not have to.

Some property owners prefer to enter the apartment or house when you are not
there to make repairs or even show the apartment if you are vacating the
premises. If the place is up for sale or rent, you have to allow access
anytime. Most property owners and real estate agents prefer the current
residents to be gone when the place is being shown. Most people do not like
this arrangement and no one can blame them. You never want people coming into
your home and looking or touching your personal belongings. You could discuss
this with the property owner and ask to be present, but in another room without
causing a distraction.

This is where privacy issues arise. Many renters do not want the property owner
coming into their homes for inspections or even for minor repairs. If you are
someone that feels this way, you might want to rethink renting the apartment.
Of course, any apartment lease you sign will have this clause included in the
agreement. Renting an apartment or a house from someone does allow him or her
access to his or her property at anytime with proper notice.

One thing a property owner cannot do is show up at your door at night without
notice. Some property owners may attempt this, but you do not have to allow
them into the apartment or the house. This however may strain the
renter/property owner relations. If you like where you are living, you will
want to stay in good standings with the owner. However, there is a fine line
between uninvited and invited. You might discuss this issue with potential
property owners before you even agree to rent the place. This way, any privacy
issues can be avoided in the future if you rent the apartment or house.

If you do find that a property owner is entering your home when you are not
there without proper notice, you can take some legal action, but again, you
must have proof. You could change the locks, but then you would be in contempt
of the lease agreement.

You must allow the property owner to have a new set of keys if you change the
locks. This would be grounds for eviction. You may try talking to the property
owner, but it may just be easier to move and find a property owner who will
respect your privacy and only enter the apartment with proper notice and when
you agree.

Renting An Apartment After Bankruptcy

If you have ever filed for bankruptcy, you might think that renting an
apartment after bankruptcy is impossible. This could be true, but most property
owners look at this as a sure sign you cannot file again for seven years and
think you are a good risk. The way the bankruptcy laws have changed, your
ability to rent an apartment or a house is not in jeopardy. If you have filed
bankruptcy in the past, you may want to explain this to a potential property

You might be able to explain away the bankruptcy because of loss of work,
change in marital status or any other reason that caused the bankruptcy. Most
property owners will listen and make a decision from there. If you have
documents from other property owners stating that you always paid your rent on
time, this is another plus to show that you are responsible where the rent is

Renting an apartment after bankruptcy does not always mean you will pay the
monthly rent, but if you do not pay the rent, the property owner can and will
seek damages through a court hearing and you cannot claim bankruptcy on this
judgment. When property owners look at your credit history, they will consider
the bankruptcy and if you do not have other credentials to support your ability
to pay the rent, they may regard you as a high risk.

Providing documents pertaining to all available income and assets will help the
property owner decide if you can easily pay the monthly rent and the utilities
while still have money for other necessities. Just because you have filed
bankruptcy in the past, does not have to mean you are a bad credit risk if you
can show that you are gainfully employed and have the means to support yourself
and /or family.

Once you know what apartment you are interested in, talk to the owner about
renting an apartment after bankruptcy to clear up any misgivings they may have.
This can only go without saying, the right way to prove yourself. Once things
are talked about openly, you will have a better relationship with the property
owner and a better chance of obtaining the apartment you so desire. You do have
to be honest and not make excuses, only the truth will prevail.

You do not have to give up your dream of having a nice apartment or even
renting a house if you have filed for bankruptcy, you just need to the
communication skills to sell yourself as someone who can pay the rent and take
care of the place. If you follow a few simple tips to presenting yourself in a
different light, most property owners will see this as a good show of faith and
consider you for a tenant.

Having the wrong attitude can mean being accepted or denied when it comes to
renting a house or apartment. You need to know exactly what to say and when to
say it if you really want the home.

Renting A Mobile Home

Renting a mobile home has a little more to it then just paying the rent. The
mobile home has one amount for rent and one amount for land rental. There may
be other fees associated with renting a mobile home as well, such as garbage
removal and snowplowing. Before you consider renting a mobile home, you should
always fine out what other charges will apply. Some mobile home owners will
include all the fees in the rent since they are responsible for paying for them.

Renting a mobile home and finding rental insurance may be a little difficult,
since the rates may be slightly higher than if you were to rent a house or an
apartment. When renting a mobile home, you will want to know where all the
pipes are, the furnace and the available storage. Because this is a mobile
home, you want to check for insulation and you should consider the age of the
mobile home and the outside appearance. Many mobile homes do not fair during
the aging process, this is why mobile homes depreciate so rapidly after you buy
one. It is always necessary to check everything.

Check the floors and the walls to make sure everything is sturdy and has no
weak spots. Renting a mobile home is similar to renting a house, but the
structure is different and the weather can cause damage depending on how severe
it is at the time. Some mobile home parks do allow garages in certain areas, if
you have a garage, you will want to make sure it is free of debris and that it
has a door opener and no leaks.

If you need a garage and plan to build one or even put up a storage shed, the
mobile park will have specifications on size, design, structure as well as
where you can erect the storage shed. If you do not ask permission, the park
manger can ask you to take it down or even move it, which could create more
problems. It is always better to talk this over with the property owner, who
can talk with the park manager to obtain any necessary information you may need.

Once you have all the information that you need, you will be ready to decide on
renting the mobile home or not. You will want to have a guideline of the mobile
park rules. There may be rules as to how many cars you can have parked on the
lot and when to place your trash out as well as what park curfews are for

You need to find out this information before renting a mobile home. You will
also want to know if there are any specific places for guests to park when they
come to visit. It may be that guests have to park a distance away and walk to
your home. This is common practice in mobile parks. If you have a driveway, you
might be able to fit a few cars on your lot.

Renting A Low Income Apartment

If you are renting a low income apartment, you should know some facts about
these rentals. The first thing to understand is the rent amount. These owners
receive benefits for being low income housing, therefore, the rent is based on
your total yearly income. Every year, you will be required to show a W-2,
social security statement, tax refunds as well as gifts of money and children's
income if it applies. This total is added together and analyzed using a special
equation to determine your monthly rent.

Your rent will be reduced or it may be raised depending on the income
guidelines. If your income does not fit into the qualifying range, you may have
to move. It is possible to make to much money to live in a low income housing
unit. If you meet the income guidelines, you will then be given a total for
monthly rent that you need to pay every month on the required day. If you fail
to pay, you can be subject to eviction.

Your income and rent are set for you and your family, if you would have some
else move into the apartment with you, you could face immediate eviction or
have to include their income in with yours and take a chance of not meeting the
guidelines or the number of people allowed in the rental. Renting low income
properties does help people who are struggling, but if you abuse the rental
agreement, you can face eviction and it may be harder to find other affordable

You need to present all monies received during the prior year and do not try to
hide anything. Even your tax return is considered income and will be included in
the analyzing report as being monies received even if you spent it all as soon
as you received it. You always need to be careful when renting a low income
apartment. You have to include everything and if you do not, you can be evicted
for failure to comply with the rules that are mandated by the state that the
apartment is located in at the time.

Many people forget about gift money when claiming income and available money
for a house income housing unit. If you do forget to disclose all monies and
someone does find out, you could face eviction or even a new review process
that could raise your rent and require you to pay back rent that was due. This
can cause hardship on many families.

If you keep in mind that low income housing is affordable and remember all
monies that need to be claimed, you should have no problems. Claim your income,
gifts, tax returns, children's income and child support as well as alimony. The
money is considered when calculating your yearly cash on hand and used to
determine your monthly rent. The monies you claim are for the prior year, not
for the present year that you are renting in at the time. Therefore, you need
to keep all your documents.

Renting A Beach House

When you are considering renting a beach house, you need to keep a few things
in mind. The first thing to consider is the location in regards to weather.
Will it be to cool during the summer months or will it be too cold during the
winter. You should also find out if the beach is private or will there be other
people walking by or using the beachfront. You need to find out if this is a
long-term rental, or is the property owner just renting the beach house for the
winter months. This makes a big difference if you are looking for a long term
property or more in the ways of a short term rental.

Renting a beach house can be very rewarding, but you should look at all the
positive and negative things that go along with renting a beach house. You
should consider asking about guests, who stay longer than a week to make sure
that this is not going to be a problem with the rent. The next thing to find
out is what your responsibilities are for upkeep of the outside of the
property. You may find that renting a beach house requires more work than what
you are willing to provide.

If you live in an area where snow is prominent during the winter months, you
have ask about snowplowing and then consider how you will get to work if you
are not plowed out in time. Most beach houses are on narrow roads that require
private plowing. This can become costly if the area receives large amounts of
snow over the winter months. If are renting a beach house in an area that has
no winter to speak of, you might have to consider different weather conditions.

Before renting a beach house, do some research on the area and the weather
conditions before committing to the rent. You want to be completely satisfied
with the beach house you choose to live in for a while. Ask as many questions
as you can think about to make sure renting a beach house is right for you. You
might even need to talk about the inside condition. Sand from the beach can
steep into carpets and it is not easy to remove. Hardwood floors can become
scratched and dull looking. You should always look at these areas for wear and

Depending on the location of the beach house, you might need to check the
outside for areas of wear from years of being near the beach. Renting a beach
house might mean some repairs are going to be needed if the weather causes any
damages. A beach house in an area where hurricanes are common might not be the
ideal place to set up a home.

There may be sometimes where you will have to vacate the property and in most
cases, leave your belonging behind. If you are sure about renting a beach
house, inspect everything and ask for any repairs that might be needed.

Rental Swaps

Some vacationers find a rental swap to be an ideal situation when they are
traveling. Homeowners, especially in desired locations, may find there is a
great deal of interest from others who would like to rent their home for a
short period of time. Typically this is about one to three weeks although it
may be longer or shorter in some cases. A rental swap is essentially where a
homeowner in one location offers the use of their home to another homeowner in
exchange for use of the other homeowners home. Ideally these swaps will take
place concurrently but in some situations swaps are organized at different
times of the year.

A Rental Swap Saves You Money

For many a rental swap is worth considering because it can result in a
tremendous financial savings. Lodging often accounts for a large portion of a
vacationers travel expenses. By eliminating these costs the vacationer may find
they are able to add additional aspects to their vacation. For example, by
eliminating lodging costs, a vacationer may have money left over in the travel
budget to see a few plays, eat dinner at extravagant restaurants or purchase
tickets to sporting events.

A rental swap, however, does not always automatically translate to a financial
savings. Consider the cost of staying in a hotel within walking distance to
major attractions as opposed to participating in a rental swap 10-20 miles away
from most major attractions. In the case of the rental swap, the vacationer will
most likely have to rent a car during their stay but might not have to do so
when staying in a hotel. The need for a car, whether or not the kitchen in a
rental swap will be utilized to cook meals and other factors should be
considered in determining whether a rental swap or hotel stay is more
financially logical.

A Rental Swap is More Comfortable than a Hotel

In most cases a rental swap usually results in a more comfortable stay than a
visit to a hotel. Of course there will always be situations in which the
quality and even the size of the hotel may be superior to the conditions of the
rental shop but for the most part, vacationers usually feel more comfortable in
a rental swap situation. Staying in a home typically provides the vacationer
with more privacy as well as the ability to spread out a little more. This can
be very beneficial for keeping the peace especially for large families who may
quickly feel overcrowded in a hotel situation.

There are Risks to a Rental Swap

While a rental swap may certainly seem appealing, there are some inherent risks
to this type of lodging situation. First of all the possibility of the rental
property not being exactly as described is a very real risk. Homeowners may
exaggerate the appeal of their property either intentionally or
unintentionally. Regardless of the intent of the homeowner, the vacationer may
still find themselves in a situation where they are disappointed with the
accommodations. This may be because the house is not as large or well appointed
as described or because the house is older and less well maintained than

Another risk to a rental shop is the possibility of the other homeowner not
noting the correct dates. Although this is also a possibility with a hotel, it
can be more troubling when the vacationer was counting on the rental swap for
their accommodations during the stay. While a hotel might make every effort to
accommodate the hotel guests when there is a mistake, homeowners in a rental
swap may not have the available resources to find an alternate place for the
vacationers to stay.

One final risk which exists in a rental swap, is potential damage to your own
property when you allow others to use the property. Homeowners can work to
minimize the trouble in these situations by screening those who they are
considering for a rental swap carefully. Additionally, homeowners can take
security measures by alerting the police as well as neighbors that a stranger
will be staying in the home. This will help everyone to be more vigilant and
aware of the potential for problems.

Rent to Own

Some potential homeowners who are not able to purchase a home right away
consider rent to own options instead. A rent to own option, often referred to
as a lease, is essentially a rental contract for the rental of a property which
includes the stipulation that the renter will be given the option of purchasing
the property at the conclusion of the lease. This type of rental agreement may
not be worthwhile for all renters but there are some who will find this type of
agreement to suit their needs quite well. In particular renters with bad credit
who might be unable to buy a home otherwise and renters who aren't quite sure
they really want to buy a home. It can also be a worthwhile agreement for
homeowners who are planning to sell their home buy may not want to sell it

When Your Credit is Bad

Potential homeowners with bad credit may find a rent to own situation may be
just what they are looking for to help them purchase their dream home. There
are a variety of financing options currently available and it is likely even
homeowners with poor credit can find a financing option but it is not likely
this option will be favorable. Homeowners with poor credit are often shackled
with unfavorable loan terms such as higher interest rates, requirements to pay
points and adjustable rate mortgages instead of fixed rate mortgages. In these
situations, it might be worthwhile for the renter to repair his credit before
attempting to purchase a home.

One of the best ways to repair credit is to maintain good credit in the present
and into the future. Most blemishes on credit reports are erased after a certain
period of time. Renters who have poor credit can work on repaying their current
debts in a timely fashion and with time their credit score will improve. During
this time participating in a rent to own program allows the renter additional
time to repair his credit and may also allow the renter to accumulate financial
resources which will enable him to purchase the home when the lease period is

When You Just Aren't Ready to Buy a Home

Some renters opt for a rent to own program when they aren't quite sure they
really want to own a home. In these types of agreements, renters are given the
option of purchasing the home at the end of the agreement period but they are
not obligated to purchase this home. This allows the renter to see what it is
like to own a home without having to commit to homeownership.

Renters who are renting a home may learn a great deal about homeownership
during the rental period. This may include information about maintaining the
landscaping of the property and dealing with conflicts with neighbors. It may
also entail caring for and maintaining a significantly larger domicile than
most apartment renters have to maintain. Some renters are not quite sure they
are ready to handle all of these issues and may use a rent to own agreement as
a trial period to determine whether or not homeownership suits them.

When the Homeowner Just Isn't Ready to Sell

Some homeowners offer a rent to own option when they plan to sell their home
but do not want to do so immediately. Some homeowners may be hoping for
property values to rise before they sell their home so they can either regain
the amount they have invested in the house or profit from the purchase price of
the home. These homeowners might choose to rent out their home during this time
and offer the renter the option of purchasing the house after a set time
period. This enables the seller to earn an income from rent while they are no
longer living in the home. The rent they charge to the renter is often enough
to cover the mortgage and yield a profit making it a financially wise decision
for the seller.

Breaking An Apartment Lease When Renting

Breaking an apartment lease when renting can pose a few problems if the
property owner is not as understanding as you would like. When you sign the
agreement, you need to be aware of what your options are for breaking the
apartment lease. If you have a yearly lease and after four months, you need to
break the apartment, you have to take some important steps to cancel the lease.
You cannot just decide to move and think everything is going to work out.
People, who think this way, usually end up with more financial responsibilities
than they would of, if they had followed the right steps.

The first thing to do is talk to the property owner so they know what is
happening and why. They may choose to work with you, so that it does
financially break you or cause them to lose a monthly rent on the apartment. In
some cases, the property owner will immediately place the apartment for rent and
try to find someone to take over the apartment. This can take some time or it
may happen rather quickly depending on the application process and the
communities need for housing.

In some cases, a property owner will have you pay to place the new
advertisement in the paper because you are breaking the lease agreement. This
is small amount of money to spend and you should not argue over this small
inconvenience since the owner is being nice enough to let you break the lease.
You need to make every available effort to help the property owner find a
replacement tenant or you become liable for the rest of the rent due.

If the property owner can find someone to rent the apartment, then breaking an
apartment lease will be painless. If they are not having any success, you are
going to be responsible for the rent and the utilities to keep lights and heat
in the place. The water however may be shut off unless it is required for
heating. Once the property owner does find a renter, the utilities will be
changed and you will no longer be responsible.

Breaking an apartment lease may require you to pay the rent for the entire
lease, but this is uncommon. If the apartment is not rented, you are
responsible and can be taken to small claims court to settle the remainder of
the rent. The property owner will win, if they did everything possible to rent
the apartment with no success. You will then have a judgment placed against you
to pay the remainder of the rent.

It is always best to communicate everything as you go forward. The property
owner is going to be more willing to make adjustments if he or she sees that
you are doing everything possible to help get the place rented. This might
include some extra cleaning or making the place look more inviting for
potential renters when they come to check the place out. You never want to
point out the negatives about the place.

Apartment Renting Checklist

Before you begin your search for an apartment, you need to make an apartment
renting checklist. This list will be your guide to inspecting the premises,
finding out your responsibilities and will help you decide if the apartment is
right for you. Your checklist should include, premise condition, yard usage,
parking information and utility costs. If you take the time to follow this
apartment renting checklist you will have a better idea about whether the
apartment is right for you or not.

The first section on your list should be the premise condition. This will
include, wall conditions, bathroom conditions, kitchen conditions and appliance
conditions if they are included. Take a good look at the flooring, carpets
should be clean, wood floors should be free of deep scratches, or this should
be noted on a lease report. Check the windows, to make sure they are sealed
properly and are the newer or older windows. Older windows seem to be a little
less energy efficient.

If you do find windows that are in need of repair because of drafts or
deterioration, you should comment on this the property owner. In some cases, he
or she may decide to replace the windows, but more so, they will probably have
someone come in and fix the existing windows. If the glass is cracked, you will
want this to be fixed as well. Note if there any storm windows as well what
there condition is before finishing with the windows.

The next part of your apartment renting checklist should be the parking and
yard conditions. You need to find out if you are entitled to a parking spot,
were it is as well as what, if any, are your responsibilities for yard work and
can you use the yard to entertain if you want. Sometimes upper flats do not have
yard privileges unless specified in the lease agreement. This is always
important to find out before signing any lease.

If you are renting an apartment with pets, you will be responsible to clean up
after your pet. If the other apartment has a dog, you need to know what the
expectations are for both of you as tenants. You will also need to know about
garbage collection as well as who is responsible for taking the garbage to the
curb or do both of you do your own.

If you decide to rent the apartment, you will want to take pictures or a video
of the entire apartment and mail it to yourself and keep it sealed until you
move out. This protects you and the property manager as well from any questions
about the condition of the apartment and anything that is included with the

Mailing it to yourself and keeping it sealed, protects you any cases there are
questions about the condition when you moved in and it will have a postmark
saying when the tape or pictures were taken. This important step should not be
forgotten about and needs to be done before you move into the apartment or

How Much Apartment Can You Afford?

Deciding how much apartment they can afford is one of the most important
decisions a renter will have to make. This decision will help to determine a
number of factors include the size and location of the potential apartment as
well as the types of amenities offered. Those who are interested in renting an
apartment will have to consider all of their current expenses in comparison to
their monthly cash flow. They will also have to determine whether or not there
are changes they can make to their current budget to make a larger or more well
situated apartment affordable.

Consider All of Your Expenses

When deciding how much apartment they can afford, renters should carefully
consider all of their monthly expenses in relation to their monthly income.
Expenses may include, but are not limited to, utilities such as gas, water and
electric, telephone, cell phone, Internet services, cable television, car
insurance, renter's insurance, gas for car, cost of commuting to work,
groceries and other incidental charges. Subtracting these costs from the
monthly income will give the renter a good idea of how much money they can
afford to spend on rent each month. Renters might also consider subtracting an
additional amount out of their monthly income to give them the opportunity to
save some money each month.

Expenses to be considered should also include expenses for entertainment
purposes such as dining in restaurants, going to movie theaters or cultural
events. Even movie rentals should be considered in this category. Considering
these expenses is necessary because otherwise the renter may not allot a
portion of their budget for such purposes and may find themselves unable to
participate in some previously enjoyed leisure activities.

Is There Room for Improvement?

When examining the monthly budget, renter should take the opportunity to
determine whether or not there is room for improvement in their current
financial situation. For example a renter may find they are able to minimize
their monthly bills by obtaining their car insurance and renter's insurance
from the same insurance carrier. The carrier may be willing to offer a discount
to a customer who utilizes their services for more than one type of insurance.
Likewise there may be the opportunity to minimize expenses by bundling services
such as telephone, Internet and possibly even cable television.

Also, consider entertainment expenses as an opportunity for financial
improvement. If a renter currently eats out in restaurants for dinner on both
Friday and Saturday of every week, they could consider limiting these dining
experiences to only one night a week or even only one night every other week.
This can result in a significant cost savings which may enable the renter to
afford a more expensive apartment.

Other areas where renters can sometimes cut expenses are on cell phone bills
and cable television bills. Examine your cell phone bill carefully. If you are
not using all of your minutes each month, it might be worthwhile to switch to a
plan with fewer minutes. This would lower your monthly bill without causing you
to make any sacrifices. One area where sacrificing might contribute to more
monthly cash flow is with cable television. Renters who pay higher fees for
premium channels can consider eliminating these channels. All of these small
changes to monthly spending can contribute to the renter being able to afford a
more expensive apartment which may be larger or in a better location than the
apartment they would be able to afford without making changes.

Is There a Need for Improvement?

Although trimming superfluous expenses is always a good financial strategy,
renters should determine if this is necessary in terms of their rental
situation before making drastic changes. Once a renter has established the
amount of money they can afford to spend in rent, they can start to look for
available apartments in that price range. If the renter is happy with the
choices available to them at this time, there may not be a need to make
financial adjustments at this time. However, if the renter is not happy with
the options available, financial changes and stricter budgeting are warranted.

Getting Your Security Deposit Back

For many renters the subject of the security deposit is somewhat of a touchy
subject. Most renters assume they should receive their security deposit back in
its entirety as long as there is no significant damage done to the apartment.
However, this is rarely true as there are number of factors which contribute to
whether or not the security deposit or a portion of the deposit will be returned
to the renter when they vacate the premises.

Did You Do Any Major Damage?

Certainly doing major damage to the apartment such as putting holes in the
walls, breaking appliances or tearing up the flooring may warrant the security
deposit being kept but even in these cases the leasing agent must justify these
costs. In other words the leasing agent cannot use one damaged item to justify
keeping the whole security deposit. Rather the leasing agent is obliged to
determine a cost to repair the item. If this estimate is large enough to
justify not returning the security deposit the renter should be informed of the
estimated cost of repairing the apartment.

Is Your Apartment Clean Enough?

All apartments should be cleaned thoroughly before the tenant vacates the
property. This should include extensive cleaning of all rooms of the apartment
including the bedrooms, bathrooms and any common areas. A cleaning should also
include cleaning of all of the blinds in the apartment. Blinds can be rather
difficult to clean and many leasing agents charge approximately $10 per blind
if they deem there is a need to clean these items. This can add up rather
quickly if there are a number of windows in the apartment.

Many leasing agents also perform a number of standard cleaning functions when
any resident vacates the property. This may include items such as cleaning out
the refrigerator, shampooing the carpet or repainting the walls. When these
items are required, there is typically a fee associated with each item. In many
cases, adding up these required fees results in a number which is likely already
approaching the sum of the security deposit. Additionally, leasing agents often
only allow for one hour of cleaning services to prepare an apartment for the
next residents. This is rarely enough time to complete the work and therefore
renters wind up being charged an additional fee at an hourly rate.

Have You Read Your Contract Documents?

Renters who want to have the greatest chance of having a large portion of their
security deposit refunded to them should be very familiar with their contract
documents. This is important while living in the apartment as well as while
getting ready to vacate the apartment. It is important to be familiar with the
contract terms while living in the apartment because it can prevent the renter
from making decorating choices which are explicitly prohibited by the rental
agreement. These types of decisions can be costly in the long run because they
may result in the renter being assessed for perceived damages by the leasing

Renters should also carefully review the contract documents as they are
preparing to vacate the property. This is important because it may help the
renter to clean and make repairs to the apartment in accordance to guidelines
set forth by the leasing agent. Doing this will make it much more likely the
renter will not be assessed exorbitant fees at the conclusion of the rental

Furnished or Unfurnished?

Renters will often be faced with the decision of whether to opt for a furnished
apartment or an unfurnished apartment. The majority of apartments available for
rent are likely to be unfurnished apartments but there are some apartments
which are available with furnishings. There are some situations in which it
makes sense to choose a furnished apartment. Likewise there are situations in
which a furnished apartment is not a good idea. This article will discuss these
situations in an effort to assist the reader in determining whether or not it is
better to rent a furnished apartment or an unfurnished apartment.

What Does Furnished Mean?

A furnished apartment may mean different things to different people. Some
renters may expect a furnished apartment to have each and every room completely
furnished with every possible piece of furniture. Typical furnishings may
include a bed, a dresser, nightstands, alarm clock with built in radio, a
television, stereo equipment, DVD player, an entertainment center, couch,
coffee table, end tables, kitchen table and kitchen chairs. It may also include
dining room furniture such as a dining room table, chairs and a curial cabinet.
Others may assume a furnished apartment includes only the necessary furnishings
such as a bed, couch, kitchen table and chairs. This essentially eliminates all
electrical equipment as well as furniture deemed to be decorative in nature
such as a coffee table, end tables or nightstands.

When is a Furnished Apartment a Good Idea?

A furnished apartment is a good idea for recent college graduates who lived on
campus in a dorm room prior to graduation. These students likely have very
little furniture of their own. In this case, renting a furnished apartment may
be more economical than purchasing enough furniture to live comfortably in the

The overall cost of a furnished apartment may be higher in the long run because
the renter may pay more but those who are unable to pay a great deal of money
upfront to furnish an apartment might not mind paying this additional amount.
For these renters, they are not likely to notice the impact of a slightly
higher monthly rent payment but they would definitely feel the impact of
significant purchases such as a bed, couch or dining room set.

When is an Unfurnished Apartment a Good Idea?

There are certain situations in which an unfurnished apartment is a good idea.
This includes a situation where the renter has already accumulated enough
furniture to furnish the entire apartment. In this case, selecting a furnished
apartment would not make sense because the renter would have to find a location
to store either his own furniture or the furniture supplied by the apartment
complex. The cost of storage can add up very quickly. Additionally, the renter
probably pays a higher rent to stay in a furnished apartment.

An unfurnished apartment is also a good idea when the renter currently does not
have any furniture but is looking forward to purchasing furniture and has
already saved up enough money to make these purchases. In this situation the
renter will likely select an unfurnished apartment and plan on shopping for
furniture almost immediately after taking possession of the rental property.

Storing Extra Furniture

Renters who opt for a fully furnished apartment when they already have a
sufficient amount of furniture have to determine what they will do with their
furniture while they are staying in the rental apartment. The options are
basically as follows:

* Sell or give away all currently owned furniture 

* Store your own furniture 

* Store the furniture which comes with the apartment

While each of the above options is certainly valid, the renter should seriously
consider whether or not they want to pay additional storage fees just to rent a
furnished apartment. Renters who plan to sell or donate their current furniture
do not face this dilemma but those who plan to store one set of furniture should
carefully consider the price of storage. They should also consult with the
leasing agent to determine if there are any contract items which prohibit
placing furniture owned by the apartment complex in an offsite storage
facility. There may be provisions which allow for these items to be stored but
require them to be stored onsite.

Finding a Rental Apartment

Those who do not wish to purchase a home may find that renting an apartment is
an ideal solution for their situation. An apartment can offer many of the
conveniences of home ownership such as a functional living space offering the
renter the opportunity to eat, sleep and entertain in their domicile. Renting
can also offer additional amenities such as meeting spaces, pools, weight rooms
or exercise equipment. These types of amenities are optional and may not be
available in all rental situations. This article will discuss the art of
finding a rental apartment that will suit all of your needs.

Renters who are interested in finding an apartment should consider a number of
factors. These factors might include their budget, location, requirements and
desires. The key to finding an ideal apartment to rent is to strike a balance
of these factors. For example a renter may desire amenities such as a pool, hot
tub, sauna, steam room and onsite theater but these options may not be available
in his budget range. In this scenario, the renter will likely have to make some
compromises which may include realizing not all of the desired amenities are
feasible within the current budget or making the decision to allot additional
funds for rent.

Set a Budget First

Budget is one of the primary concerns for those looking to rent an apartment.
For these individuals, the search for an apartment should begin with the
process of narrowing down the search for apartments to those that are within
the set budget. It might be worthwhile to look at a few apartments which are
priced slightly above the budget. This is because, depending on the vacancy
rate, there may be an opportunity to negotiate a slightly lower rate which can
bring the rent of the apartment to within the renter's budgetary constraints.
Alternately the renter may decide he is willing to pay a little more for
certain features such as a larger living space, more desirable amenities or a
choice location.

Choose a Location

Location is a very important factor for renters to consider when searching for
an apartment. An ideal location is one which is not to far from family, work or
leisure activities. Again this is a matter of personal preference and will
depend largely on the desires of the renter. Some renters may favor a shorter
commute to work because it affords them more time to spend with their families.
Other renters may not have family close by and may opt to rent an apartment
further from work if it is near access to an activity they enjoy such as skiing
in the mountains or surfing in the ocean.

Renters should also consider the surrounding areas when choosing an apartment.
Some renters may enjoy being near social activities such as movie theaters and
shopping centers while others may prefer to rent an apartment in an established
neighborhood apart from the commercial areas. Likewise some renters may prefer
living in an apartment where there is nearby access to public transportation
while others may not favor this option.

Consider the Requirements and Amenities

Finally, renters should consider their requirements and preferred amenities
when searching for an apartment. Requirements might include criteria such as
two or more bedrooms, two or more bathrooms or a minimum square footage. These
are criteria which the renter feels they must have in order to function in the
apartment. For example a family with two children might need 2-3 bedrooms while
a single person may be able to function with only one bedroom. However, a single
person who works from home may require an additional bedroom to use as an office.

Renters should also consider the features they would like to have in an
apartment complex. This may include access to a pool or exercise equipment, the
use of a home theater for residents or meeting facilities which are only
available to residents. Renters should carefully consider these options and
determine which are most important to them.

Do Not Let the Furnishings Fool You

Renters who are viewing apartment complexes are often led to furnished models
which have been tastefully decorated. Although the furnishings in these model
apartments are usually very aesthetically appealing they also usually serve
another purpose as well. This other purpose is to make the room appear larger
than it is. There are decorator and furnishing techniques which can make a room
in an apartment appear considerably larger than it really is. The size of the
bed, the amount of furniture and the layout of the furniture are all items
which should be carefully considered when viewing model apartments. This
article will cover these three items and will provide useful information for
renters who are trying to evaluate furnished apartments.

The Size of the Bed

Determining the size of the bed in a model apartment is important for the
purposes of evaluating the apartment. If you are unsure of the size of the bed
used in the model, ask the leasing agent for clarification. This is important
because if the bed used in the model is a full size bed and your own bed is a
king size bed, it will be difficult to make assumptions about the size of the
bedroom. The differences in a full size bed and a queen size bed may not be as
noticeable but renters should be aware a queen bed will result in less free
space in the room. If the bed used in the model is not the same size as your
own bed, take measurements to determine how well your own bed will fit in the

Is There Enough Furniture?

When viewing a furnished, model important it is important to note whether or
not there is enough furniture in the room. For example there may be a kitchen
table and only two chairs instead of four. This may make the room appear larger
to those who are viewing the apartment but they are likely going to be
disappointed when they move in.

Consider the furniture in other rooms as well. For example a bedroom which only
has a bed and a nightstand will be decidedly less crowded than a bedroom which
has a bed, two nightstands and a dresser. Your furniture may not be exactly the
same size as the model furniture but there should be comparable items in each

Does the Layout Make Sense?

Renters should also carefully consider the layout of the furniture when
visiting a furnished apartment. An apartment may feature all of the pieces of
furniture the renter expects to see in the room but may position these pieces
of furniture in a way that is not logical. Consider the family room as an
example. There may be a couch, an entertainment center, a television set, a
coffee table and two end tables but if these items are positioned strangely it
can be deceiving. Most renters arrange their living room furniture in a manner
which makes the area conducive to conversations as well as viewing of the
television. If the television is positioned where it is not viewable from any
of the seating options, the layout of the room is somewhat unnatural. It is not
likely to be similar to the layout used by the renter and therefore does not
offer an accurate representation of how the space will likely be used.

Differences Between Renting Vs Buying A Home

Renting vs. buying a home is hard for most people to understand. If you rent a
home, you will claim the monies paid for rent on your taxes for a credit. The
top line may only be three hundred dollars or so depending on your state. If
you own a home, you will claim the interest and taxes paid to receive a tax
reduction. If you think about it this way, buying a home is always better.
Nevertheless, you have to look at the bigger picture to decide if owning or
renting is better suited for you. You might want to consider some of the
following before making a decision.

If you think about renting vs. buying a home from the standpoint of repairs,
you might find out that home repairs can be expensive. If you are renting, the
property owner is responsible for repairs that are not caused by you. If you
buy a house, you have to do repairs to the home as needed. This money will come
out of your pocket. Renting vs. buying a home in this case, sounds like renting
will probably suit you better if you do not have the time or the money for

When you are renting a home, you will want to have renters insurance, where as
owning a home requires having homeowners insurance, which may cost a little
more money a year. If you own a home, you have to pay property taxes, where as
a renter will not. As one can see, there are many differences to owning a home
and renting.

If you own your home, you can do what ever you want in the home and with the
property. If you rent a home, you have to follow the requirements of the
property owner. Renting vs. buying a home is much more exciting, because when
you do remodeling work, you will enjoy the rewards for as long as you own the
home. If you are renting, you have a slight chance of having to move and start
over. Renting and owning a home is always a matter of choice.

When you weigh the options of buying a home or renting a home, you will find
that it is hard decision. Some people have been known to rent with the option
to buy. This requires a monthly rental payment with some extra monies tacked
onto the monthly payment toward the down payment of the house. This one way
some people who cannot afford a house payment save the down payment and are
renting to own. You do have to be careful in these cases and define who is
responsible for what and when.

Keep in mind, that just because you have paid a down payment over the years,
does not mean a bank is going to approve you for a home mortgage. This would be
a reason to terminate the agreement and if you do not have the proper paper
work, you could lose that extra money.

Decorating a Rental House

Those who opt to rent a house as opposed to an apartment may still be held to
certain restrictions regarding the type of decorating which can be done on the
property. These restrictions may be stricter or more lenient than those
typically enforced when a renter is renting an apartment property. This will
largely depend on the preferences of the homeowners. Homeowners who do not want
to see major modifications done to the property may place strict restrictions
while those who want to see the property improved may allow the renter a great
deal of freedom in their decorating options.

How Much is Too Much?

This can be a difficult question to answer when used in reference to how much
decorating is permissible in a rental house. Many renters opt for a situation
where they are renting a house as opposed to an apartment strictly because they
are looking for more freedom in their decorating options. However, the renter
may find this desired freedom is not available to them.

Some homeowners may allow the renter to make minor decorating changes such as
painting the walls, hanging up pictures or installing decorative shelving.
However, more extensive decorating items such as new flooring, knocking down
walls or putting in windows might not be considered acceptable by some
homeowners while others may allow the renter to perform such actions. Still
others may require this type of work to be done but may place restrictions
which specify all improvement work shall be done by a qualified professional.

Check with the Homeowner

When considering doing some decorating in a rental house, the renter should
first carefully review all of their contract documents. This is important
because the contract may clearly prohibit certain items. In this case the
renter would know for sure that they are not allowed to perform these actions.
However, the renter should not count on the contract documents to spell out
every possible scenario. Therefore if a renter is considering making
modifications to the rental house they should consult the owner before
performing any work. They should also ask the homeowner to provide a written
statement expressing their approval of the work to be completed.

The homeowner is the renters best resource of these types of questions because
the homeowner has the best understanding of their intentions when they wrote
the rental contract. They might have specified that no renter can alter the
appearance of the apartment without the consent of the homeowner but they may
have meant for this statement to only apply to certain situations. In these
cases, seeking clarification and written approval can be very beneficial to the

When in Doubt; Leave it Out

If renters are in doubt about whether or not to perform a specific decorating
action and are unable to reach the homeowner for clarification, they should opt
not to make the changes. This can save the renter a great deal of time and money
in the long run by preventing them from incurring excess charges for repair of
the apartment and wasting a great deal of time making an improvement which the
homeowner may ask to have reversed in a short period of time. This is why
renters should assume an action is prohibited unless they have concrete proof

Decorating a Rental Apartment

Those who live in a rental apartment are usually quite limited in the amount of
decorating they are able to do. This can have the impact of making a rental
apartment not quite feel like a real home. In many cases the rental apartment
is painted a bright white and residents often feel as though this color is
somewhat impersonal but are not able to repaint the walls to a more appealing
color. This is just one example of the decorating restrictions which may be
placed on an individual renting an apartment. There may be other restrictions
and reading the contract carefully will help the renter to determine what is
allowed and what is not allowed.

Review the Contract Carefully

Renters who are living in an apartment should review their contract documents
carefully before they begin decorating their apartment. This is important
because there may be some common decorating items such as painting or
installation of shelving which may not be allowed by the contract documents.
Decorating in any manner which is strictly prohibited may result in harsh
penalties. These penalties might involve the assessment of fees at the
conclusion of the rental period or possibly even eviction.

Most standard decorating items such as hanging pictures are usually acceptable
but some particularly strict policies may either prohibit this completely or
place restrictions on the type of nails which may be used or the methods of
patching the holes. Renters who have questions regarding whether or not
specific decorating actions are permissible or prohibited should contact their
leasing agent before taking action. This will help to ensure the renter is not
penalized in the future for their actions.

Additionally, if the leasing agent tells the renter it is acceptable to perform
an action prohibited by the rental agreement, the renter should always ask for a
signed, written document stating the exception to the contract. This is helpful
because the leasing agent may not remember making an exception to the rule or
may not even still be working at the property when the renter's lease expires.

Consider Whether or Not Modifications are Reversible

When renters in an apartment living situation are making decorating decisions,
one of the most important factors to consider is whether or not a modification
to the apartment is reversible. In most cases, the action is likely to be
permissible as long as it is easily reversible. However, the case of painting
the apartment is a common exception to this rule. Although painting can easily
be reversed, most apartment complexes due not allow residents to pain the
apartment in which they reside. This is because although painting is often
reversible, the process of returning the wall to the original color is not
always easy.

Irreversible modifications such as removing walls or adding permanent fixtures
to the apartment are typically not considered acceptable when decorating a
rental apartment. Although even major modifications are typically not
completely irreversible, most leasing agents would consider modifications which
require the assistance of a general contract to be permanent in nature.
Conversely, small modifications such as nail holes to hang pictures are
considered reversible because they can easily be corrected. Again, if the
renter is unsure of whether or not an action is permissible, they should seek
clarification from the leasing agent.

Consider the Security Deposit

Most renters pay a security deposit before they take possession of the
apartment. This security deposit is collected to protect against damages which
may be caused by the renter during the course of the rental agreement. The
leasing agent may expect to need to do some minor cleaning or a few small
repairs after the renter vacates the premises. However, a deposit large enough
to cover the cost of more significant repairs is often collected to provide the
leasing agent with some protection in case the renter damages the apartment and
leaves it in need of considerable repair.

Dealing with Neighbors in an Apartment

One of the major disadvantages to renting an apartment is the potential for
conflict with the neighbors. While some renters may foster incredible
relationships with all of their neighbors and never once have a disagreement
with a neighbor this is not a likely scenario. Most renters experience at least
one instance of dissatisfaction with their neighbors. They may or may not
confront the neighbor about this issue but it is likely to cause at least some
tension in the living situation. In some cases avoiding the issue can cause the
problem to worsen. In other situations, discussing the issue can make the
situation worse.

Paper Thin Walls

Although most modern apartment buildings are built with a fair amount of
insulation, there is still the real possibility of neighbors in an apartment
building hearing music, television, conversation or other noises emanating from
a neighbor's apartment on a regular basis. This is due to the close proximity of
the apartments to each other as well as the common practice of having at least
one shared wall among neighbors in an apartment complex. Renters should be
aware of this and make an effort to avoid noises which will likely be heard
through the walls during nights or early in the morning when others are likely
to be sleeping.

Being Considerate of Others

Consideration for others is one of the key elements which can make apartment
living more bearable and less prone to conflict. For example, while renters are
free to listen to music in their own apartment, they should limit listening to
music at a loud decibel to daylight hours when it is not likely that other
residents are trying to sleep.

Residents in an apartment complex should also be conscientious when throwing
parties. This is important because the renter is responsible for the actions of
his guests. Therefore the renter should ensure his guests are not causing
discomfort for residents of the apartment complex.

When Your Schedule is Unusual

Finally renters who have an unusual schedule may have a great deal of
difficulty functioning in an apartment complex. This includes, but is not
limited to, renters who work a night shift and sleep during the day. The
unusual schedule kept by these renters makes them more prone to being disturbed
by other renters who assume everyone residing in the complex sleeps at roughly
the same time.

Unfortunately renters in this situation may have to make an effort to make
their living situation bearable. While discussing the situation with the
neighbors is certainly worthwhile, it is unrealistic to expect the neighbors to
remain exceedingly quite during the daytime hours. Many residents do chores such
as vacuuming during this time which can resonate in the apartment of another
renter. However, asking the neighbor to do these types of activities in the
evening is not feasible because the neighbor would likely be disturbing a
number of other neighbors by doing so.

This is why the renter with the unusual schedule is often required to make
changes to make the living situation workable. This may include purchasing and
using earplugs while sleeping or investing in a white noise machine which can
help to drowned out ambient noise and make the environment more conducive to
sleeping. Additionally, the renter with the unusual schedule should make an
effort to be quite during hours in which they are awake but the majority of
neighbors are likely sleeping.

Consider the Amenities

The amenities on a rental property can often be the deciding factor for many
renters. The available amenities may make a less affordable property seem more
appealing. Conversely a property which is more expensive may be considered
worthwhile if the amenities offered are considered valuable enough to
compensate for the higher price. When making this decision, homeowners should
consider their own personal preferences as well as their budgetary constraints
to make an informed decision. Before making a decision to rent a property, the
renter should carefully consider which amenities are necessary, which amenities
are optional but highly desired and how much the renter is willing to pay for
these amenities.

What Amenities Do You Really Need?

Although many of the amenities offered by rental properties are not exactly
necessary to live, there are some amenities which some renters would not
consider renting a property without. An exercise room is one such example.
While this is certainly not necessary, many renters prefer having this option.
Without an onsite exercise facility, many renters would have to consider
joining a gym for their exercise needs. This will likely increase the monthly
expenses significantly and, depending on the location, may also make it
inconvenient for the renter to visit the gym. An onsite exercise is
significantly more convenient than traveling to a gym in another location. For
this reason many renters consider the added expense associated with an onsite
exercise facility to be worthwhile.

Some renters may even consider only renting an apartment in a facility that has
a pool. Although this is not a necessity some renters, especially in warm
climates, might only consider living in a rental property where there is access
to a pool especially if the majority of rental properties include this amenity.

What Amenities Do You Really Want?

In addition to the amenities a renter feels he needs, there are some amenities
which may be desired as opposed to necessary. A movie theater may be an example
of this type of amenity. Renters may not decide against a rental property which
does not have this feature but may be more inclined to select a property that
has this feature as opposed to one that does not as long as the price is

A meeting space may be another example of an amenity which may not be required
but that many renters are willing to pay extra to have. Renters who entertain
frequently may enjoy this type of amenity because it affords them extra space
for entertaining. They may be able to easily invite eight or more people over
for a dinner party if there is meeting space available but this might not be
possible if the renter were confined to their apartment.

Are You Paying Too Much for Amenities?

While some amenities may be viewed as necessary and others may merely be viewed
as worthwhile and still others may be viewed as superfluous, the most important
decision renters will have to make is how much they are willing to pay for
these amenities. Comparison shopping may be the best way to determine whether
or not certain amenities are financially worthwhile.

Renters who are considering apartments of similar size in the same geographic
region should consider the amenities offered as well as the price of the
apartment. Apartments of similar size in the same area should be fairly close
in price. However, an apartment which offers more advanced amenities might be
significantly higher in price. Renters should list the available amenities and
use this information in making cost comparisons. This information can be used
to determine whether or not the renter is willing to pay a higher price for
such amenities. Renters who conclude the additional cost is not warranted have
determined that the prices of the amenities are not worthwhile to them and they
are likely to choose the more affordable apartment which features fewer

Read Your Contract Carefully

Many renters barely even skim their rental agreement before signing their name
at the bottom. Most renters are primarily concerned with the monthly charges,
one time only fees, required deposits and other financial matters. Once they
verify this information is accurate according to their conversations with the
leasing agent, they often sign the agreement with no questions asked. This is a
mistake because a rental agreement is a legal contract which may have a host of
important information which the renter should be aware of before signing the

Considering a Roommate?

Those who are considering the possibility of a roommate may mistakenly believe
this is possible because they are living alone and have two bedrooms and two
bedrooms. These uninformed renters may see an opportunity to share their rent
with another. However, some rental agreements strictly prohibit renters from
soliciting their own roommates and allowing an additional person to move into
the apartment after the lease is already signed. Renters who violate this
agreement may face harsh penalties. These penalties may even include eviction.

Renters who want to have the option of a roommate should ideally make this
decision before the contract is signed. This will enable the homeowner to put
provisions into the contract to allow for the renter to add an additional
resident at any time. The leasing agent may still require final approval of
your roommate but this approval process will likely be dependent on the results
of a background check as well as a check of the potential roommate's finances.

Want to Adopt a Pet?

Renters who wish to adopt a pet in the near future should also familiarize
themselves with the rental agreement. This is important because restrictions on
the types, size and specific breed of pets apply not only when the renter moves
in but throughout the terms of his rental agreement. This means a renter who
has signed contractual documents stating they do not own any of the prohibited
pets such as dogs or cats are not free to purchase or adopt additional pets
during the course of the rental agreement. Therefore, renters who do not have
pets but plan to adopt or purchase pets in the near future should read the
contract documents as if they are already a pet owner and decide whether or not
to sign based on the statements within the policy.

Plan on Having Visitors Regularly?

Even renters who have regular overnight guests should familiarize themselves
with their rental agreement before signing the document. This is important
because frequent guests may actually be considered residents in some
situations. This will likely depend on the specific rental agreement but it is
not entirely uncommon for leasing agents to specify that visitors who spend a
specific number of nights on the property per month are considered to be
residents of the apartment. This is important because the rental agreement may
clearly identify how many people may reside in the apartment at any one time.

Visitors who are staying at the apartment too often may put the resident at
risk of being accused of having additional persons living in the apartment. In
some situations this might be considered cause for eviction. For this reason,
the renter should be sure he is familiar with the terms of the agreement before
allowing others to spend the night in the apartment on a regular basis.

Maintenance on a Rental Property

Maintenance on a rental property can be a confusing issue. Renters may
mistakenly assume all maintenance is the responsibility of the leasing agent
and maintenance staff but this is usually not true. In many cases the leasing
agent and maintenance staff are responsible for maintaining the common areas
and performing major repairs on the apartments but the renters do typically
have some responsibilities. These responsibilities are often defined in the
rental agreement and the renter should familiarize himself with this document
to verify his rights if a dispute arises.

Renter Responsibilities

Typically renters have the responsibility of maintaining their apartment and
the surrounding area. This may include the interior of the apartment as well as
deck or patio space. However, maintenance of these areas applies to generally
cleanliness only and not issues such as painting or repairs to the exterior or
the interior of the apartment structure or the appliances within the apartment.

Additionally, renters are responsible for small repairs in their home. This may
include plunging a clogged toilet or changing a light bulb. However, if there
are any duties a renter feels uncomfortable performing such as changing a light
bulb in a high location, the renter should contact the maintenance staff for

Renters also have a responsibility to show common courtesy to other renters by
not intentionally damaging or otherwise marring public areas. This includes
vandalism, littering and even failure to pick up after dogs. Renters who fail
to follow these rules of common courtesy may be subject to fines or other
penalties according to the rental agreement.

Leasing Agent Responsibilities

The leasing agent and maintenance staff are generally held responsible for
major items such as repairs to the exterior of the building, fixing appliances
which are malfunctioning and dealing with plumbing issues such as leaky pipes.
Additionally, the maintenance staff is responsible for intervening if the
renter is having trouble with public utilities. Problem such as no hot water or
heat to the apartment should be addressed by the maintenance staff in
conjunction with the public utilities entity.

The leasing agent and maintenance staff is also responsible for maintaining the
common areas. This may include keeping grassy areas manicured and other common
areas looking clean and attractive.

When the Leasing Agent is Not Taking Responsibility

As previously discussed, the leasing agent has certain responsibilities to
perform tasks and address concerns and complaints by the renters. However, when
the leasing agent is not fulfilling these responsibilities it could create a
harmful living environment for the renter. For example hot water is required to
adequately clean dishes. This is why there should always be hot water to the
apartment. Additionally, in severely cold weather the inability to heat the
apartment due to faulty utilities or windows which are not properly sealed can
create a hazardous condition for the renter.

Both of the examples mentioned above are situations in which the renter may put
in a hazardous condition by the leasing agent's negligence. In these situations
the renter should contact the Department of Housing to determine the proper
cause of action to take in this situation.

In some cases the renter may be informed the alleged transgression by the
leasing agent is not actually his responsibility. However, in other situations
the renter may be informed that the actions of the leasing agent are a serious
violation of the rental agreement. In either case, the representative can
provide information on how to proceed to achieve the desired results.

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