Although homeownership is commonly made out to be an essential rite of adulthood, owning a house isn’t ideal for everyone. For instance, if you move around a lot or change jobs frequently, being saddled with a house can prove very limiting. Furthermore, as the middle class continues to vanish, homeownership has become outright unfeasible for millions of young adults. If either of these examples describe your situation, a good rental home may be right up your alley – provided, of course, you watch out for the following red flags.
Inconvenient or Undesirable Location
To call location important in the real estate biz would be an understatement. Simply put, people want to live in areas with robust local economies, low crime rates, good schools and plenty to do. As such, homes and rental properties located in such areas tend to command much higher prices than those found in less desirable spots – even if they’re lacking in certain amenities. So, while location isn’t necessarily everything, it should factor into your thinking when searching for the right rental home.
When weighing your options, there are a number of things you’ll need to consider with regard to location. For one thing, how far away is this rental home from your place of business? After all, while having a nice place to live is certainly important, it shouldn’t come at the cost of a ridiculously long commute. Secondly, what are the area’s crime rates like – and is this a place you’d feel safe living? Furthermore, is there anything to do in the area? Ardent homebodies may not mind living in a quiet, out-of-the-way locale, but people who enjoy getting out and mingling in their respective communities are very likely to. Lone Star State renters searching for homes for rent in Dallas, TX would do well to educate themselves on the various neighborhoods to which the city is home.
If a landlord presents you with an incomplete lease, this should be taken as a red flag. In all likelihood, this means that they intend to impose certain conditions on your tenancy without making you aware of them beforehand. So, if you notice large sections of a lease have been left blank, you are well within your rights to request an explanation. As a renter, you never want to put yourself in a position where a landlord is able to add new terms to a lease that’s already been signed. Furthermore, you should never rent from a landlord who engages in such practices – which brings us to our next point…
While some landlords are perfectly reasonable, others won’t hesitate to take advantage of any tenants they feel are vulnerable. In addition to presenting prospective renters with incomplete leases, disingenuous landlords habitually ignore maintenance requests, impose exorbitant rent increases and make life difficult for their tenants.
Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to avoid getting stuck with a bad landlord. For starters, if the landlord refuses to acknowledge or fix any outstanding issues with the property in advance of you moving in, don’t hesitate to take your business elsewhere. If this is how they’re going to act before you’re even their tenant, just think of how unobliging they’ll be when you’re actually moved in. You should also go online and look for feedback from former tenants. Should you discover that the vast majority of feedback is negative, it’s probably a good idea to explore other options.
Poorly Maintained Property
As a renter, you shouldn’t have to settle for a residence that’s been poorly maintained. So, if a tour of the home reveals assorted damages caused by previous tenants, insist that the necessary repairs be made before you move in. Once again, if the landlord refuses or tries to minimize the issues, turn your attention to other rentals.
Although many rental homes have a lot to offer, a fair number of them are liable to disappoint. In some instances, this is due to one significant problem. Other times, it’s because of a variety of factors. However, regardless of your reasons for thinking twice about a certain rental home, it’s important to understand that you’re under no obligation to rent a residence with which you’re unhappy. So, prior to signing any paperwork, keep an eye out for the signs discussed above.