Real Estate Investment 101: Getting Started

Four Questions To Ask A Landlord When Renting A Home

There are plenty of things that you must carefully consider before you rent a home. It doesn't matter if you are a seasoned or first-time renter since all the concerns are relevant each time you do it. Make sure you sign a lease for the right rental home by asking these questions.

What Is Your Application Like?

Every landlord is different when it comes to the application process to rent a home. Some are experienced landlords that have a process worked out, while others are new and may not do things a specific way. You want to find out what type of required documentation is requested so that you can start gathering it. There may be a background, credit, or employment check to verify if the things on the application are true. There may also be fees to apply for the rental to help weed out the people that are not serious potential tenants. 

What Are Your Lease Terms? 

All leases are not created equal, with some leases having more strict terms than others. At a bare minimum, you should know about the duration of the lease and how you can renew it if you want to stay. Ask about termination policies so you know when the landlord is allowed to kick you out of the home. For example, what happens if the landlord sells the home during your contract? There may also be pet policy, noise restrictions, and guest restrictions that you won't be aware of until you read the lease.

Are Utilities Included In Your Rent Price?

Landlords may take on different methods for billing their tenants for utilities. Some landlords prefer to keep the utilities in their name and bill the tenant for gas, water, and electricity. This may be due to those charges being part of the property taxes, such as a water or sewage bill, or because it's simply not worth the hassle when tenants stay for only a year.

How Will You Address Repair Issues?

There will come a time when something breaks in the rental home. It could be something as complex as a pipe bursting due to the water not getting shut off properly to outside faucets in the winter, or something as simple as replacing burned-out light bulbs. Ask about how to address those repair issues when they come up, and what you are responsible for as a renter. This will help avoid any confusion about your responsibilities.   

For more info about home rentals, contact a local company.