6 More Things To Check Before Signing a Rental Lease

McKenzie Kuhn Spending Money 23 Comments

As we all know, renting (or buying) real estate can create a load of stress. Hopefully, these tips can help take that load off, by letting you know you are getting a great place! This is part 2, so make sure you check out part 1 for more!

#1. Check All Outlets and Switches

This is one that can seem a little tedious or awkward. However, it can be very simple. Just bring along a charger or something small that you can use to test the outlets. Then after entering or before leaving each room, check all the light switches. Doing this, can save you so much time in the future from having to call a maintenance man or landlord. Have confidence while checking. This shows you know what you’re looking for and won’t be easily tricked.

#2. Take Pictures During Your Walk Through

Answered: The 10 Best Interior Design Apps for Smartphones

For organizational purposes, this can be great. Especially, when looking at multiple places at once. After a while, they can all blur together. So, taking pictures of each of the places you look at can be a real help. Make sure you get some shots of your favorite parts of a unit as well. Looking back at the pictures, you might have forgotten about the fireplace, vaulted ceilings, or crown molding. This will help you make sure to get a place you love.

#3. Check For A Washer and Dryer

When renting, there will either be a community laundry facility, an in-unit washer-dryer, or no washer-dryer. I don’t know about you, but I like having clean clothes. This is definitely something you’ll want to ask about. Try to be honest with yourself as well about what you want.
If you are okay with a laundry facility, you will save on water, but will have to pay to use the machines. If you have them in-unit, your water bill will be higher. If there are no machines, you’ll have to either buy your own or find somewhere else to wash your clothes. Know what you’re comfortable with, and find something that matches that.

#4. Ask About Parking

Save-a-Space - Parking At The Centre Of Intelligent Mobility - FIWARE

For each rental property (or for sale property) parking can be different. Some have a parking garage, some have parking lots, and some you’ll have to park on the street. You might not think this is a huge deal, but when it’s cold and snowing and you have to walk 3 blocks to get inside, you’ll feel different. 

Remember to think about parking fees also. A lot of times, places will have free parking, but if you want a covered spot that’s just yours, you’ll have to pay. At an apartment complex I used to live in, it was $15 a month to get a covered space, but $15 adds up after a while. Before saying you want to pay for parking, think about if there is anything else you’d rather pay for with that money.

#5. Be Prepared For All Moving Expenses

I don’t want to freak you out, but be prepared to spend some money on moving costs. Depending where you are moving and how many things you need moved, will determine how much it will all cost. Just consider the cost of a moving truck, boxes, bubble wrap, and tape. If you really don’t like packing, you could hire a professional moving company, but that will cost a lot more. The cheapest way to move is definitely doing it yourself.

 If you have a friend or family member with a truck, you could ask to borrow it from them. It’s even better, if you know someone with their own trailer. Going to your local store can help save on costs also. A lot of times stores will give you their extra boxes when you ask. There are so many more ways to help save on costs of moving, but hopefully these few suggestions helped.

#6. Make Sure You Have It In Writing

How to Draft a Sales Contract: A Step by Step Guide (With Samples ...

Before renting, don’t be afraid to ask your landlord questions. Ask about utilities, maintenance, and anything you might want to know. However every question you ask, write down what you said and their answer. Then when you receive the lease, look for those answers in it. You don’t want to find yourself needing something, but won’t receive it because it’s not in the lease. Even if they said it to you before, nothing counts unless it’s in the lease.

I hope this was able to help you. Feel free to share your own stories or advice in the comments. We love to hear from you!

Comments 23

  1. I am a landlord so these are great tips! I can’t tell you how many people need to come back and take photos and have no idea what we offered after seeing a slew of properties.

  2. Taking pictures during a walk through is a great idea. When you look at a few at the same time, they can all blur together.

  3. Great tips! My biggest thing is making sure there is good water pressure in the shower. Checking outlets is smart to do too. My current apartment was picked out by my roommates a few years ago but as they have moved on I’ve stayed because it really has all of the basics that I need and is the best price I could get at this point. Rent has gone up hundreds of more dollars around where I live so if I moved I’d have to pay more, even to downsize.

  4. What great tips! We have a few friends looking at rentals right now (change from owning a home) and a handful of college students thinking about apartments in the near future!

  5. Great advice! As a current landlord I would also encourage tenants to take pictures throughout the initial walk through to document damages that already exist prior to moving in! That way, you aren’t held responsible for that when you move out. 🙂

  6. Parking can be a deal breaker in some areas. I remember when I lived in Boston, if parking wasn’t included in the rental then I wasn’t interested. No one wants to walk back to their apartment in the snow after having to park several blocks away from your rental.

  7. Great advice! It’s always important to cover all of your bases. You never know. When we had to live in another town after the Joplin tornado, we had to rent a duplex while our house was rebuilt. We hadn’t rented in years. We didn’t always know what we were doing. Advice like this is helpful!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *