As a first-time renter, you might not know what to expect in your new rental home or apartment. Although it’s very exciting to have the first place on your own, it can also feel overwhelming. We want to make sure you have a successful experience by offering these five tips for first-time renters.
- Budget Carefully
On paper, you might have figured out how much rent you can afford. Hopefully, you accounted for guaranteed income, basic living costs, and any additional debt payments (credit cards, car payments, etc.). But did you consider the cost of any additional items you’ll need to purchase ahead of moving in? (We’re looking at you microwave, vacuum, and washer and dryer). Also, you’ll need to consider new transportation costs or the maintenance costs on the home that you’re responsible for.
- Read the Lease Language Closely
Make sure you understand what you’re responsible for versus the owner. Who covers utilities (and which ones)? Do you get a discount for paying early or late fees after a certain time? How much notice do you need to give before moving out? Will they allow pets and if so, what kinds do they permit (including allowable dog size and breeds)? Who does the yard work? How do you handle maintenance requests or emergencies? What constitutes an emergency?
- Do a Walkthrough Before You Move In
You should expect to walk into a clean, well-maintained rental, especially if former tenants have already moved out. Make sure any requested work has been completed or get it in writing when it will happen. If you notice any new problems, draw attention to them now so you don’t get the blame for them later. If anything looks shady, shoddy, or suspect, don’t accept keys until it gets solved. Finally, if you rent through The Realty Medics, remember to complete your move-in checklist.
- Make the Most of Your Location (and Amenities)
Every neighborhood has different amenities. Hopefully, you scoped out the neighborhood vibe before signing the lease! If you’re new to the area, get to know it. Or be a tourist in your hometown and learn all about the unique aspects of your neighborhood. If you opted for a home that included a private gym and pool, make sure you use those amenities! Directly or indirectly, you paid to use them.
- Ask Questions!
If at any point during touring, lease signing, or as a tenant you don’t understand something, ask! Everyone was a first-time renter at some point. If you need help understanding common renter maintenance activities, check out our Resources for Renters playlist on YouTube. You can also visit our Resident Help Center on our website for additional resources or call our office at 321-218-4753.
Moving into your first place on your own is a big milestone. With proper planning, you help ensure you have a good experience as a first-time renter. And when you rent through The Realty Medics, you’ll benefit from the highest rated Orlando property management company. Our team will walk you through the entire process and make your big milestone a memorable one.