An informed tenant is one that has all their paperwork in order and is knowledgeable about the process of renting an apartment. A person trying to impress a landlord won’t do that by being unprepared. Once they have the unit, a good tenant is one who understands their rights as well as their responsibilities.
1. Have Paperwork in Order
When you’re filling out the application for your dream apartment, the best way to impress a landlord is to have all your paperwork with you. From references to a current copy of your credit report, all that paperwork will be required at some point. You’ll have an edge over your competition if you have it to present during the application phase.
2. Carefully Review the Lease
Before you sign your lease, make sure you read it thoroughly. There are conditions and restrictions on there that might restrict the enjoyable use of the home for you. It could be restrictions on the number of guests you can have over, or a restriction of running a home business out of the apartment.
3. Everything Should be in Writing
It might seem like overkill to request a repair and get a verbal agreement from your landlord only to send a letter confirming the repair. It’s really not. To avoid misunderstandings and disputes with your landlord, everything should be in writing. Keep copies of letters you send as well as the dates they were sent.
4. Protect Your Privacy
One of the most common misunderstandings between tenant and landlord is the tenant’s right to privacy and the landlord’s right to enter to make repairs. When you know the laws regarding your privacy, you’ll better understand and be able to protect your privacy.
5. Renters’ Insurance
While your landlord will have insurance to cover the building as well as the structure of your apartment, it won’t cover any of your losses due to damage or theft. Renters’ insurance can cover you if someone is injured inside your apartment too.
6. Security Deposit
Your lease should be clear about the refund or use of your security deposit. It should include deductions that will be done if there are any problems with the apartment. When you’re ready to move-in, ask the landlord to do a walk-through to check for existing damage. You want to have a written account of any damage already in the unit.
7. Protect Yourself
If your building or neighborhood isn’t safe, your landlord may be required to provide you with safety devices like secure deadbolts and new window locks. If you’re worried about crime in the neighborhood, talk to your landlord about installing more secure locks on any entry points. Know the laws regarding safety devices and whether the landlord is required to supply them.
When you’re a more informed tenant, you’re more attractive to prospective landlords. This is especially true when you come prepared to fill out the application with all the data the landlord needs. You’re lessening the work of the potential landlord, which will be appreciated.