Renting a House: Things You Need To Know

Written by: Maggie Gacy

The idea of renting a house and moving to a new home is an exciting one.  You will get to live in a new place and start fresh and may even already have all your plans for decorating and organizing the rental home in place. But before you sign your lease agreement, here are a few things to set yourself up for success while you rent.

Talk to the landlord about pets beforehand

Be sure to bring up the pets during your negotiations with the prospective landlord. Sometimes the landlords do not want pets on their property. In this case, the tenant has to look elsewhere for a place that accommodates the pets as well. If having pets is a breach of the tenancy agreement that is prohibiting having pets it the instruments immediately after moving into the apartment or home. Although houseplants usually are allowed, if you are a person who likes to keep plants inside and use LED grow lights to grow them, it would be better to discuss beforehand, whether all kinds of plants are allowed inside just to make sure.

If provision for these white goods is included in the tenancy agreement inventory then as a tenant you must visually inspect the machines and have the landlord confirm in writing that all these instruments are working satisfactorily. It is important to seek this clarification in writing to make sure that the landlord is agreeable to replacing or repairing the items in case they are broken. Responsibility for the repair depends completely on the evidence of what has been agreed between the two parties. Therefore, ensure that you have the agreement in writing.

Be sure to check the water pressure

As you are inspecting the property for the first time you need to run the showers and taps. In case there are any issues with the water pressure you must negotiate the costs of resolving the problem with the landlord before you sign the tenancy agreement. In case the tenant fails to comprehensively inspect the house before he enters the agreement it might not be possible to resolve the problem later. In many cases, inadequate water pressure might be the legal responsibility of the landlord. 

Check out the release clause in the contract

There are two things you need to look for in this case. First is the break clause and the second is the release clause. The break clause indicates that the fixed term tenancy can be terminated after 6 months. But it is significant to check out the particular wording included in the clause to check out the conditions. For instance, there are no existing rent arrears about when the tenant wishes to activate the specific clause. The release clause also works along a similar line. However, it involves the tenant paying a fee for releasing themselves out of the agreement at any point in time. This also might say that the tenant has to find a replacement for them apart from having to pay the fee.

Is the landlord prepared to repaint the walls before you move in?

In case there are certain tasks you wish the landlord to accomplish before you move in, for instance, steam-cleaning the carpets or painting the front entry then you are better off to get them completed before you have signed anything or moved into the property. The tenant may ask the landlord to complete these tasks such as cleaning and repainting the house before you can move in. However, it is not possible to compel the landlord to perform the work before the tenancy agreement has been laid out and set up.

A more significant part of this is to ensure that all things are done well before you can sign the tenancy agreement and before you have paid the landlord anything. It is pretty common for the tenants to assert with the landlord that promises of these kinds have not been fulfilled. In most cases, the tenants are not able to provide evidence in the form of an agreement informing what they will be liable for in terms of the rent and tenancy. Therefore, if you are looking to get something spruced up you must ask for it, decide on it, and get it completed before you have transferred any money.

Perform a full inventory

As you are going through the process of completing the inventory of your property ensure that you point out all the defects in the house to the landlord and make a note of the condition of various items. You can take photos of different areas and articles such as concrete installations or siding needing rework that need repair from a siding contractor for instance. Provide a copy of this amended inventory to your landlord but maintain a copy for your records. In case the landlord has not prepared an inventory, you may prepare one for yourself and then get the landlord to sign it for you. Otherwise, you should at least ensure that you have taken photos of the relevant items and then you may ask the independent witnesses to sign the requisite document.

Remember, it is not legally mandatory to have a survey or inventory of items or not even a formal written tenancy agreement. Therefore it is significant that the tenants ask for these items if they are not provided with the same. To avoid regret after renting a house make sure you consider all these factors.

Furnished or Unfurnished?

Renting a home that’s already move-in ready is often pre-equipped with the basic furniture you need to live comfortably (i.e., sofas, dining sets, bed frame, mattress, and a dresser). While some landlords do offer furnished homes, this is not always the case. Unless the listing you’re looking at explicitly says “furnished,” assume that it is not.

Fortunately, even if you’ve fallen in love with an unfurnished place, renting furniture allows you to turn that empty space into a fully-furnished home. Furniture rentals work for many lifestyles thanks to their temporary and flexible nature.

Getting settled in your new rental home can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. CORT can provide a customized subscription package that allows you to select furniture options of your choice. If you prefer to leave big furniture pieces behind, simply rent furniture from CORT Furniture Rental and have beds, tables, chairs, sofas, and more delivered at your convenience and picked up when your lease ends.