People have lots of reasons for renting a home rather than buying one. This scenario typically offers several advantages such as not having to take care of maintenance or complete any repairs. As long as you follow the terms of the lease and a few common-sense guidelines, you won’t discover too many disadvantages. Here, the property management company WNY Holdings shares eight strategies to follow if you want to enjoy living in your rental home.

1. Evaluate the Neighborhood

Even though you may not be planning to live in your new rental for the next five years, it is important to determine if the neighborhood is suitable for your needs. Check to see what the local amenities are by touring the neighborhood by foot or car. Keep an eye open for services and stores that you need or want. Doing so before you move into an area allows you to match the neighborhood’s amenities with your own needs.

2. Read the Entire Lease

It is important not to assume that a new lease offers the same terms as your last one. Take the time to read it completely before you sign it. Make sure that you understand important issues such as overnight guest policies, pet guidelines, and other requirements. If you have any questions, you can ask the landlord to explain the terms. You also have the right to ask an attorney to review the lease before you sign it. If there are any terms you aren’t willing to accept, you should move on and find a different place to rent.

3. Document Existing Damage

Eventually, you are going to want to end your lease and get your security deposit back. Landlords have the right to keep all or part of your deposit if they discover any damage. To ensure you don’t lose part of your deposit due to pre-existing damage, you should inspect the rental unit and take photographs of any problems. Be sure to give a copy of your photos to the landlord.

4. Contact Your Landlord Immediately Regarding Repairs or Changes

Most landlords clean their rental units once the previous tenants move out. In many cases, they also put on a fresh coat of paint and change the carpeting. No matter how much of this your landlord has handled, take the time to ask for repairs for the problems you documented as soon as you move into your unit. This conversation is also a good time to ask about changing paint colors or making superficial changes, such as changing doorknobs or cabinet hardware.

5. Arrange Automatic Payments

Forgetting to pay your rent on time usually entails the possibility of late fees. You can avoid this by setting up automatic payments to cover your rent. If your landlord won’t accept an automatic payment, you can make a note on your calendar for the due date each month.

6. Insure Personal Possessions

It’s important to obtain insurance for your possessions, particularly if they are expensive or you are moving into a bad neighborhood. While your landlord will have insurance on the building, it won’t cover your personal items. Renter’s insurance is affordable, and it offers an excellent way to protect yourself in the event of a burglary, fire, or natural disaster.

7. Thoroughly Clean the Property

The easiest time to deep clean a home or apartment is before you move in completely. Resist the nesting instinct to unpack and put your possessions in their new homes. Give your new home a thorough cleaning instead. You won’t need to move around so many things, take down the curtains, or empty any closets or cabinets.

8. Follow the Terms of the Lease

Keeping your landlord happy should be at the top of your to-do list. If you follow each of the lease’s regulations, your landlord is more likely to be agreeable to any requests that you make.

WNY Holdings shares that renting a home offers several advantages that you won’t be able to enjoy if you buy a home. In addition to less responsibility, you can usually save money. Plus, you won’t need to keep up with maintenance tasks. Just remember to read your lease in full and follow each of the rules included in it.

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