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Moving? Here’s what you should do before moving even one box.

What you will find out:

Budget smart to avoid hassles
Give renters a good image.
Finding and moving into your first place

You have some money saved up and a good job. Now you are ready to move out of your cousins’ house and into your first rental. There are some important things to think about if you want to leave the nest in good shape.

Keep in mind that when you move out, you need to learn how to pay bills on time, and your rent bill should be the most important bill you pay.

Budget smart to avoid hassles

Know ahead of time how much rent you can pay. In an ideal world, your rent should be less than 30% of your pay. It is important to make sure you can pay the rent.

In most places, you do not have extra time to pay your rent. If your owner lets you have one, your lease will say so. For late rent, an owner can also charge “reasonable” fees. Most of the time, it is a small portion of the rent that starts to come out about three days after the due date.

Our pre-rental guide can help you figure out how much each rental you are thinking about will cost you each month. Bring this paper with you when you look for an apartment or house. Write down information about fees, rules, and what services each rental pays for. Before making a decision, you should remind yourself of the pros and cons of each measure.

Give renters a good image.

You may have heard that the rental market in every state is very competitive. That is right. So, when you are ready to rent, make sure you have all the necessary paperwork with you.

If you have never rented before or have no credit background, follow this 4-step plan:

Be ready to show how much money you make and when you worked. Give contact information for at least one person who can talk about your work.
Have at least one bank account, but if you can, have two, one for cash and one for saving. Plan your money well and have the first three months of your rent paid for.
If a suitable person is ready to co-sign for you, bring that person with you. Prepare a co-signer deal so that all you need are signatures and times.
Bring the contact information for at least two people who can speak to your character. These could be teachers, mentors, or friends.

Most of this information can be used to fill out a renting application, which is a common form that most owners require. This lets the owner check your credit and past.

In many cases, the owner will check your credit for a fee of $10 to $50. This fee is allowed only if the owner checks the tenant’s credit. Get a proof every time you pay a fee, a payment, or rent.

If people are waiting in line for open houses where you want to rent, you may need to move quickly. Before you go to a showing, ask how many people have put in rental applications. If there are a lot of applicants and you do not think you will get the place, you might want to pass. Take a night or two to think about the pros and cons of each rental if you can.

Getting your first place to live

A lease is a legal contract that must be obeyed. Make sure you understand what a home lease deal covers. Before you sign a lease, ask your owner or a lawyer anything you want to know.

Deposits for things like protection, pets, and utilities can add up. MSNBC says that your first month in a new place could cost you as much as $4000. The good news is that you should get some or all of your deposits back when you move out if you take care of the property and follow the rules of the lease.

Signing a co-tenancy agreement with your roommates is a good idea after everyone has signed or co-signed the lease agreement with the owner. Putting down in writing what each person is responsible for and what they are liable for can help avoid legal troubles in the future.
Moving In
Check out your new place. On a renter’s check paper, write down any problems or fixes that need to be done. This lets you report problems to the owner and get them fixed right away.

As a renter, you have the right to live in a safe and livable place. You and your owner are both responsible for some parts of the apartment’s upkeep.

To be safe, it is a good idea for tenants to put their wishes for repairs in writing. Your owner needs to answer you within a fair amount of time. Again, write your owner a letter if you need to make a complaint.

Never ignore a problem with the building, a health risk, or a worry for the neighborhood. If you tell your landlord about problems right away, you can avoid having to pay for them when you move out.

Even if you do everything right, the bond between an owner and a renter is not always easy. We will help you find an expert in your area if you ever need help protecting your rights as a renter.


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