Top 10 Things to Look for When Renting a New Home

Renting a new home can be very exciting, but also a bit stressful, trying to find the perfect home for you and your family. Each family's desires are unique, certainly, but there are universal things everyone should look for when renting a new home. Here are the Top Ten to keep a look out for:

  1. Decision Time: First off, don't rush. Take your time looking at homes until you find the one that best suits your needs. Consider factors beyond the home itself such as school districts, commute time, parks and other neighborhood amenities.
  2. Discrimination: Love a home and feel like you meet all the requirements to rent it only to be turned down for the lease? If you think you may be being discriminated against for any reason, contact the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
  3. Background Checks: If you are considering a home, check the police station for crime statistics for the neighborhood. This is a great way to feel a little safer with your decision.
  4. Deposit Protection: Take a thorough walk through of the home before signing your lease. Be sure to have any damages noted so you will not be held responsible when it's time for you to move out.
  5. Know Your Lease: Review your lease carefully to be sure there are no surprises. 
  6. Privacy: Ensure both you and your landlord agrees to your privacy rights. Come to an agreement about the amount of notice your landlord should give to you before entering your home.
  7. Repairs: Landlords are responsible for ensuring their tenants their living quarters are habitable. If a landlord refuses to make necessary repairs in a timely manner, tenants may take action.
  8. Get it in Writing: Oral agreements can often backfire. Keep careful records of all negotiations and ask for commitments in writing to protect yourself.
  9. Safety: Look for any safety issues before you sign the lease. If there are concerns, be sure and point them out to your landlord so you can have them rectified right away. The last thing you want is an accident resulting from a hazard like a faulty garage door. Simply ask yourself questions throughout the home like "does the garage door work"? If not, see that the owner replaces it, or contact the Arlington garage door company.
  10. Renter's Insurance: Once you move in, you need protection. Renter's insurance helps ensure your belongings against fire, theft, lightning and other perils.

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