The Renter Survival Guide

Posted by: Dr. Grey  :  Category: Uncategorized

renterRenting is becoming the new owning. Just last year, the number of Americans who rent homes rose to 34%.

Renting has its perks. It gives you more flexibility, less liability, and in the long run it can be more affordable. But renting can also be a major nuisance.

Whether you are a renter by choice or by necessity, here are some tips to help you enjoy the experience or survive it.

1. Explore Your Options

The biggest obstacle is finding a place. You need one in ideal location, that meets your requirements for appearance, and that fits within your budget. More and more, landlords are putting their listings on the internet. One of the most popular sites,, is a rental property website with thousands of rental choices.

Listings can go quickly or they may be misleading, so it’s a good idea to keep a few options in mind. Visiting your place of interest before signing the lease is the best way to avoid surprises. If visiting isn’t an option, look for listings that have several pictures and detailed information.

2. Protect Your Security Deposit

Security deposits protect the landlord when a renter causes damage or skips payments. If you make all your payments and take care of the place, you are entitled to get the security deposit back. But that doesn’t mean you actually will get it back.

The best way to protect your security deposit is to take pictures or videos of the place when you move in. Document any repairs, upgrades or changes that take place during your residency. At the end of your lease, insist that the landlord does a walk-through with you. If there is a dispute, you can use your documentation to avoid being charged unfairly.

3. Know Your Rights

Before you sign the lease, read through it carefully! It may have stipulations that you don’t agree with; for example, restrictions on guests, eviction terms, pets, the landlord’s right to enter, etc… Once you sign the lease, renteryou must follow any reasonable stipulations or you can get evicted.

The lease also spells out your rights as a renter. Know what they are and don’t give them up. For example, if your landlord is responsible for doing repairs, you can request or demand that they make repairs in a timely manner.

4. Buy Renters Insurance

Your landlord has an insurance policy, but it does not cover your personal losses. Protect your property from theft or damage by taking out renters insurance. A $50,000 policy will typically cost around $350 a year. If you don’t need that much coverage, you can usually find a smaller policy.

5. Save on Utilities

If the responsibility for paying utilities falls on you, there are a couple ways you can save money. Lighting is the first place to start. Replace the light bulbs you use the most with energy-efficient ones. These last longer and they take less energy.

Install a thermostat that allows you to set air conditioning and heating programs. Keep the room temperature between 72-78 degrees and avoid altering it more than 4 degrees at a time. Click here for more tips on how to conserve energy and save money.

Renting: You Can Do It!

Renting is becoming more popular, but it isn’t becoming any easier. Landlords and roommates can be difficult to live and deal with. Rules are restricting and can make life difficult. If renting is your only option, following these tips can help you can survive it. If you rent because you love it, following these tips can make your experience that much better.

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