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Being able to live on our own is a dream many Americans have.

There’s nothing quite like having your own space where you can rest and relax. But finding and moving into a new home is easier said than done, especially with how expensive homes are becoming. Fortunately, you don’t always need to buy a house—you can just rent one instead!

A private property for rent can be a much cheaper alternative to buying a home but you need to be careful during the rental process. Many first-time renters tend to make mistakes when hunting for a new rental property so let’s take a look at what they are so that you can smartly navigate the rental process.

What are some renting mistakes you need to avoid?

Here are some common renting mistakes that you should avoid when looking for a good private property for rent:

1. Not Doing Proper Research

About 49% of renters in the USA are under 30 years old and due to this, many renters may not have much experience in researching good rental properties.

Also, Since 77% of people in the USA prefer renting to buying a home, it’s important to do extensive research when looking for a place to rent as the market is so competitive.

2. Not Thinking About the Location

Often, people move into places without doing any research on the location. In some cases, it may not be ideal in terms of accessibility, even if the rental property itself has everything the renter needs.

56% of Americans consider living close to services, shopping centers, and places of leisure to be more important than living closer to family and friends. So when researching rental properties, you should consider how convenient the location is for you.

3. Not Checking Your Credit Score

Your credit score will tell landlords if you’re financially stable and capable of paying your rent on time. Normally, landlords expect prospective tenants to have a credit score of at least 650 when renting a home.

A low credit score can easily disqualify you from moving into a private property for rent. If you haven’t already applied for a credit score, get in touch with a credit reporting agency, like Equifax or TransUnion.

4. Not Screening the Landlord

Just like researching the rental property, you must not forget to do a background check on the landlord. Even if the property is good enough for you, you need to know about your landlord’s reputation before signing a contract with them.

This is because some landlords can be difficult to deal with and this can make living in your new rental property uncomfortable. If you can get in touch with anyone who has previously rented a place owned by a particular landlord, ask them how their relationship with the landlord was and what the landlord’s behavior with tenants was like.

5. Not Budgeting Properly

52% of renters earn less than $50,000, which is usually not enough to buy a home. But even though renting is cheaper than buying a home, you need to make sure that your budget is sufficient.

Monthly rents can increase when you least expect it, so you need to have a budget that can accommodate these price increases. If you’re low on budget, you may want to consider going for a rental property that gives you exactly what you need and no extra amenities.

6. Not Considering the Property’s Quality

Many renters tend to move into the first rental property they can find for a good price; however, when they do this, they forget to check if the property is of good quality.

Before renting a property, you should assess its quality. At the very least, you must ask the landlord to give you a tour of the property before you sign the contract. During the tour, keep an eye out for issues such as leaky pipes, mold, and poor maintenance.

7. Not Negotiating

You should not get into a rental agreement without negotiating with the landlord.

About 54% of renters say they received at least one concession, such as parking spaces, after moving into a rental property. Though it might not always work, negotiating with the landlord may get you a reduced rent and other amenities.

8. Not Understanding the Rental Terms

Often, renters sign their rental agreements without going through the terms and conditions, and this can lead to some problems down the road. Before signing a rental agreement, make sure to look at the rental policies, like parking and pet policies, and policies for late rent.

9. Not Prioritizing Needs Over Wants

Having access to a swimming pool sounds like a great deal when renting a private property, but is it something you need?

You should always think about the more important things, like parking space, access to public transportation, and safety before considering other amenities when renting an apartment. Remember, private property for rent with amenities that you don’t need will just drain your wallet

What are some red flags to look for when renting a property?

Finding a good rental property can be tricky, so here are some red flags that you need to look out for:

1. Misleading Photos

When you look for a rental property online, you may see pictures of the property. But sometimes, these pictures may not be honest.

Some landlords or apartment rental companies may use older photos of the properties.

So make sure to inspect the property in person to see if it looks exactly like in the photos.

2. Pest Infestation

When inspecting the rental property, make sure to look out for telltale signs of pests like cockroaches, rats and termites.

Pest infestations may be a major health hazard and they can also cause extensive damage to the property.

3. Suspiciously Low Rent

If the monthly rent of a place is too good to be true, it probably is. An unusually low monthly rental price could mean that the rental property is of bad quality or some other factor is making the landlord keep the price low.

Make sure to compare the rent prices of several places and settle for one that has a realistic price that matches the quality of the property.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some commonly asked questions about private property rentals:

1. What do I do if my credit score is too low to rent a home?

If your credit score is under 650, you could get a guarantor to sign the lease agreement for you. The guarantor should have a good credit score and should be able to pay your monthly rent for you.

2. Do I need renter’s insurance?

Renter’s insurance isn’t mandatory but you should get it if you want to protect your belongings in case they get stolen or damaged.

3. Can I make modifications to my rental home?

This depends on the terms and conditions set by the landlord. Before making any kind of modifications, make sure to check with your landlord and read the rental agreement.

Find the perfect private property for rent today

Finding an apartment for rent can be a challenge when you’re a first-time renter. Affordable apartments for rent are almost everywhere, but you need to find one that fits your budget and your needs.

So if you’re on the lookout for a good rental property, get in touch with our property manager today and we’ll help you find a rental home that matches your heart!