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Things To Look Into Before You Sign A Lease On A Rental House

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Looking at houses for rent is similar to looking at houses for sale in that you want to tour the properties first and check out the neighborhoods. You may have to sign a yearly lease, so you want a home you'll be happy in for at least a year. Here are some important things to look into before you sign a lease on a rental home.

Neighborhood Safety

Your idea of safety may be different from the landlord's, so investigate the neighborhood yourself. Check the crime rate if possible, and notice if people in the neighborhood seem to feel safe walking the streets or if homes have bars on the windows.

Availability Of Stores And Transportation

Choosing a rental home in a suburb or a city is a matter of preference, but you may want to consider how convenient it will be to run to the store or get to work if your car breaks down. Public transportation within a short walking distance can reassure you that you won't be stranded in the suburbs without transportation at some point. Plus, you may enjoy being able to walk to a restaurant or grocery store rather than having to drive everywhere.

Yard Policies

Your rental home will probably have a yard, so you'll want to know up front who is responsible for lawn care and if you'll be on the hook for a lawn that develops a disease or dies from drought. Also, find out if you can plant things in the yard, put out a kiddie pool, or set up a picnic area in the grass.

Pet And Guest Rules

Even if a rental home has a fenced yard, pets may not be allowed. If you have pets, one of the first things you should ask is if pets are allowed and if there is a fee. You'll also want to know if you can have overnight guests and if you can get a roommate in the future. Depending on the landlord, your rental home may come with a lot of rules, so be sure to get them all in writing and read them before you sign anything.

Condition Of The House

When you tour the house, note any damaged areas you see. You may even want to take pictures on your phone so you can discuss the issues you find with the landlord. You don't want to be responsible for damage that was done before you moved in, so document damage and other problems before you sign the lease. Also, before you sign the lease, be sure you understand what happens if you're late on rent or if you need to move before your lease is up.

Even if you think these things won't happen, it's better to know up front what to expect if an appliance breaks, if you lose your job and can't make rent, or if you have to move unexpectedly.

To learn more about houses for rent, contact businesses like TB Realty.