How does the process typically work?
- Real estate brokers have access to data bases that can help you identify properties within your criteria which might be of interest, and can make suggestions as to other potential sources of available properties.
- Once you have identified a property, the following steps will likely occur:
- You will be asked to fill out a detailed application by the owner. Be very honest with your answers, and answer all of the questions. If you have any hiccups with your past credit, relationships with previous landlord’s, employment history, etc., be very forthcoming as to why these occurred. Landlords can be very forgiving if they feel you are being honest with them.
- The Landlord will provide a lease for you to review. We recommend you solicit the opinion of a real estate professional when reviewing this document. It needs to be fair, balanced, and comprehensive as it relates to your rights and obligations, as well as the Landlord’s. Make sure you have a clear understanding of all the terms, and that none are particularly unusual for the kind of property you are renting. Pay particular attention as to the type of care that is expected of you as it relates to maintenance of the property, utilities, repairs, the yard and exterior, etc.
- When everyone is in agreement, the lease will be signed, the deposit made (usually one month’s rent), and utilities and keys will be transferred. Before you actually begin moving in, fully inspect the property for any deficiencies and make the landlord aware of these immediately. Also, take a full set of detailed pictures of the property, both inside and out, to memorialize the condition of the property back to the day when you took possession.
- Once you have moved in, take good care of the property, make your payments on time, and honor all the terms of your lease. The best practice is to treat the property like you own it. When a problem occurs, let your Landlord know immediately so it can be rectified. Be reasonable and not overly demanding so as to maintain a healthy relationship. Upon the conclusion of the lease, turn it back over to the Landlord in as near a condition as when you rented it so you can get a complete refund of your deposit. If you feel you are being treated unfairly at any point along the way, seek counsel with a real estate professional.
McNulty Real Estate Services provides assistance to Tenants. We would be more than happy to help with all of the above, and then some.