First-time renters: Here’s all you need to know
Renting your first apartment is a significant achievement. As thrilling as it sounds, it also comes with a slew of complications if not handled correctly. We at Haletale are here to make the renting process as simple and secure as possible for you. If you want to join us, enter your email address below and subscribe to be the first to know when we launch.
With that said, here are our top tips for first-time renters.
- Plan your budget: A first-time tenant is likely to overestimate their ability to pay for rent and other expenses. The best way to always be on time with your rent payments is to plan your budget carefully and stick to it. It is ideal to plan your rent budget according to the 50/30/20 rule. The 50/30/20 rule states that you should set aside 50% of your monthly income for necessities (rent, groceries, and healthcare bills) and 30% for additional expenses such as streaming services, shopping, and dining out. 20 per cent of your income must account for savings and debt payments. In addition, there are several other rules, including the 30 per cent rule that requires you to put aside 30 per cent of your income for rent. If this seems out of your budget, consider sharing a room with a roommate to split the costs of rent and other utilities.
- Read and understand the lease: Renters and landlords sign a lease which is a legally binding document that outlines the conditions of the rental, like when the lease expires, how much renting costs per month, when the rental payments are due, details regarding the security deposit or any other fees, and how the lease is to be renewed. In addition, the lease may layout rules for guests, pets, and subletting. Before signing the lease, be sure you read through it carefully. You’ll want to get a complete picture of what your overall costs will be, and what your options are to modify the rental unit.
- Get renter’s insurance: Home insurance is frequently thought to protect against the loss or damage of big things, such as pipes or the physical structure of your apartment. Landlords can ensure the building against these types of risks, but they won’t cover the cost of your personal belongings. If you don’t have insurance, the financial burden of replacing your jewellery, furniture, electronics, such as computers and gaming equipment in an event of their loss, would fall on you. If you cause any damage to your apartment, you could potentially face legal action from your landlord, who would expect you to pay for the repair of the building even if the damage was done unintentionally. Your tenant insurance can help by providing you with financial protection in such instances. Even though renters insurance is not mandatory, these are a few reasons why you should look into getting it.
- Know your neighborhood: It can be challenging to choose a neighborhood. Make sure you are familiar with the availability of transportation as well as the proximity of your work/school. If you own a car, inquire about the parking situation. If possible, visit the neighborhood at various times of the day to determine the levels of noise throughout the day. Make note of the kind of services available. Do your research on what the average rent is in the neighborhood. The neighborhood you choose will affect your budget and the number of apartments available. Knowing the details will help you pick the right neighborhood.
- Beware of rental scams: Aside from the complexities involved in renting a home, scammers are another problem. Websites like Facebook, Kijiji and Roomster are infested with scammers due to their faulty verification standards. When looking for a place to stay, you need to be cautious of certain red flags, such as a lack of information about the landlord, the landlord requesting a cash deposit before you have seen the apartment or a lack of disclosure of the address of the apartment. The best way to avoid rental scams is to use Haletale. When you’re looking for accurate listings and reliable landlords, Haletale is the app for you. With the built-in client verification feature, it’s a more reliable option to use when renting a first apartment.