5 Things to Do Before Moving into a New Rental
Author, Andrea Bailey
Maintenance-free and real estate tax-free living — these are some of the reasons why around 43 million housing units in the United States are rented rather than owned. Renting lets you enjoy a home without the heavy financial and emotional burden that comes with commitment to a mortgage. However, it still requires you to pay monthly rent, so you still need to take your time in making sure your new rental is worth your hard-earned money. So with that in mind, here are five things you should do before moving into a new rental.
1. Get to know your landlord:
As a possible future tenant, the first thing you need to do is a background-check on the person you’ll be renting a property from. Google is your best friend when it comes to researching your landlord’s reputation. Check for existing reviews and even bankruptcy and past criminal records that could affect your tenancy. It also pays to look into your landlord or property manager’s license and see if they were able to register their real estate business with the state. As aforementioned, rentals come with a cost, so be sure you can trust the person renting the unit out to you.
2. Evaluate your payment options:
Monthly payments are an inevitable but delicate aspect of rentals. Luckily, check and credit card options are widely accepted by most landlords these days, which are great options. It gets trickier if you’re paying via cash, and you might be tempted to just trust your landlord to acknowledge your payment each time. However, it’s important to ask for official receipts from your landlords once you’ve paid your dues to avoid any confusion — or worse, accusations of non-payment — moving forward.
3. Inspect the state of the unit:
An integral step before moving into a new rental is of course, inspecting the rental unit. Make sure to document the current state of the unit before you move in; check for scratches, damage, and account for all permanent installations. Also, don’t forget to gather visual proof by taking photos before settling in. It will be your basis for notifying your landlord about any health and safety issues that need to be dealt with prior to your move. Moreover, it protects you from liability if you move out someday, preventing you from being falsely blamed for incurring damages that were present beforehand.
4. Plan the logistics:
Moving to a new rental means carrying the burden of transporting your belongings. The interim period before settling into the new unit is the best time to assess which items or furniture you’re going to keep or dispose of. A simple rule you can set for yourself is that if you’re moving into a much larger rental, you can probably bring most of your stuff into the new rental or even possibly acquire furniture you might need to fill the space. On the other hand, if you know your new rental is smaller than your current home or unit, it’s best to downsize your belongings to avoid any storage or space issues once you relocate.
5. Get insured:
Insurance is important not just for your life, health, or your car. It’s applicable to you as a tenant, too. Moving into a new unit entails investing money and acquiring furniture to make it fit for living in. Get yourself renter’s insurance to protect your assets against theft, fires, catastrophes or any other unforeseen circumstances you might encounter. You don’t want to have to worry about your unit every time you travel or even do a quick grocery run. This is your home you’re talking about, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
The 21st century hustle has undoubtedly pushed us to find living solutions that are fast, cost-effective, and flexible — and a rental is the answer for many people nowadays. As simple as it seems, renting still warrants as much care and attention as buying a home. After all, a home should give you the same safety and reliability regardless if you own the property or not. Give it time and thought, and follow these important steps as they will ensure a hassle-free move into your new rental and a worry-free new chapter in your life.
Image by Pexels
Interested in a Free Renter's Insurance Price Quote?
A United Agencies representative is standing by ready to help!