Pitfalls to Avoid When Renting

Published online: Feb 14, 2022 / Renters

For most people, renting is a fantastic option while they save to one day invest in their own property. It is cheaper because there are often fewer bills to pay, and renting allows you the chance to live while saving money.

While renting can help you save money, it is also essential to keep a couple of things in mind while renting and when looking to rent a new unit.

Following the apartment’s rules, respecting your landlord, and paying rent on time are all important things to keep in mind when you are renting.

Failing to do these things can result in a poor relationship with your landlord and ultimately can lead to a poor experience when renting. To make your experience run more smoothly, here are a couple of things to make sure you do when looking for a new rental. Doing these things will make your renting experience much more enjoyable and stress-free.

1. Look at the Unit in Person

Before moving into your new (to you) apartment, it is always a good idea to try and look at it in person. That way, you can identify the things you like and the things you don’t like. You can also get a feel for the apartment’s size, layout, and feel in real life.

Looking at pictures is great, but often going in person offers a new perspective to the unit and can help you imagine yourself living there. Seeing it in person allows you to conclude that the kitchen is big enough, the layout will work for you, and your couch will fit in the living room.

These small things may seem insignificant, but if you are going to live somewhere, you want to make sure that it can work for you and feel like home.

2. Factor in the Location

You may find the perfect house or apartment, the ideal size, bedroom count, and a backyard and garage, but it probably isn’t the right home for you if it is in the wrong location.

Location plays a massive role in finding the right place to rent; unfortunately, it is easy to overlook its importance.

Location plays a role in school systems for your kids, commute time for work, what part of town you live in, access to amenities, and overall is essential to consider.

When looking for a home to rent, you should come up with your ideal location, figure out where you want to live, and then start looking. It is good to be flexible, but overall you will have to live there and make sure you can be happy!

3. Find Good Roommates

Roommates and those that you live with have a significant influence on your renting experience. Before moving into a new rental unit, it is imperative that you find people to live with that are on the same page as you are.

Because you all live in the same house, any negative things that your roommates do can reflect poorly on you. Ensuring everyone can make rent, agree to the conditions in the lease, and have a similar lifestyle to you will make your renting experience a lot more enjoyable and stress-free.

On top of that, you will be living with these people. You want to make sure that you get along with them and have fun spending time around them. Finding people you genuinely like will make your rental unit feel more like home. Having roommates is also a great opportunity to split rent and save some money.

4. Get Renters Insurance

Renters insurance - we get it. Anything with the word insurance tied to it sounds overwhelming, expensive, confusing, and overall just a headache (life insurance, car insurance, home insurance… there are never-ending insurances that we all should have)

But, renters insurance is vital, and it is super responsible of you to ensure you have it. In the long run, getting good renters insurance will save you more headaches than it will cause.

Rental insurance provides many benefits of homeowners insurance, but is meant more specifically for renters. It covers your personal belongings in case of an accident or theft without covering the actual structure of the home or apartment. Because it is solely for your personal belongings, it is typically much cheaper than homeowners insurance.

Less than half of renters don’t have rental insurance, meaning most people are not covered. Not having renters insurance is a major pitfall that renters often fall into, and while you are renting, you should definitely avoid the temptation to skip renters insurance.

5. Read the Lease Carefully

When it comes to reading privacy policies, terms, and conditions, or any long document, it can be tempting to skim it and click “I agree” or sign it without really looking through it.

When it comes to your lease agreement, it is super important that you read it through to make sure you and your landlord are on the same page.

While you go through it, make sure to notice how long the lease agreement is. Emergencies and changes happen, so look at the rules for changing or getting out of the lease, learn about parking, utility bills, quiet hours, pet restrictions, and any other small details.

It is tempting to sign and say yes, but making sure you are on the same page with your landlord will help make your renting experience as smooth as possible.

6. Pay Rent on Time

Before signing your lease, make sure rent is within your means, and paying it on time won’t be a struggle. Sometimes in life, we like to push the limit. When it comes to paying rent on time, you must make your payment, in full, by the deadline.

While paying your rent on time seems like an easy achievement, it is also important that you remember to factor in the other bills each month for your rental unit. Things like utility bills, Wi-Fi payments, Netflix and other subscriptions, and other minor payments that make your house a home can interfere with your ability to pay rent.

While your landlord may be lenient and understanding from time to time, it is best not to make a habit of being late on your rent payments.

7. Report Issues Immediately

Like everything in life, things within your rental unit may break. The appliances in the home may have an issue, lightbulbs may go out, or a million other things may fail or stop working.

When this happens, it is best to report it immediately. It can be tempting as a renter not to report it or try and fix it yourself because you may be scared of the cost.

But, it is best to always report these minor (and sometimes major) things immediately to your landlord so they can be adequately fixed before they escalate and get worse.

A great tip is to double-check the plumbing, light fixtures, and appliances thoroughly before moving into your new apartment or right after moving in. That way, you can report them immediately and not face the consequences of paying for it out of your security deposit.

8. Maintain A Positive Relationship With Your Landlord

Finally, a significant pitfall that people fall into is not maintaining a positive relationship with your landlord. Too often, we think of them as just the person we pay every month, but in reality, establishing a trusting and respectful relationship is very important.

Building this relationship can take time in order to earn their trust. You do this through paying rent on time, reporting any issues, keeping the rules in the contract, and taking care of their home like you would if it were your own. Taking care of the apartment includes cleaning and maintaining the home.

This positive relationship can help you find places in the future to rent and can help your renting experience be more enjoyable.

Not doing these things can result in major pitfalls that some renters make the error of making. These things can also result in penalties from your security deposit, hurt your relationship with your landlord, or in severe cases, result in eviction.

When renting, it can be overwhelming to do everything you need to do and still make your apartment or house feel like home. Here are some excellent tips for apartment gardening; doing this can help bring more life into your rental unit and make it feel more like your space.

To contact us, give us a call today! If you are looking to rent in the Blackfoot, Pocatello, or Boise Valley areas, search our available rentals to find the right one for you.