First Time Renter Tips:
A Comprehensive Primer to Ace Home Rental in Hialeah, FL
Here are our best tips to quickly succeed as a first-time renter:
First Time Renter Tips: A Comprehensive Primer to Ace Home Rental in Hialeah, FL
Your first time renting a Hialeah, FL home can be an exciting time, but it doesn't have to be wrought with sit-com-worthy misadventure. Once you know the formula, it's easy to ace any home rental and come out the other side with a positive rental history and your entire security deposit. The key is to take care of the house, know your lease, and always pay your rent on time. Skip the trial-and-error of first-time renting with a few tips from those who've figured out the formula for home rental success.
Here are our best tips to quickly succeed as a first-time renter:
How to Ace Being a Renter
● Secure Your Security Deposit
● Read and Know Your Lease
● Report Problems and Damages
● Give Notice Before Moving Out
● Don't Leave a Hassle Behind
Being a great renter with a glowing rental history is easy to do if you know the basics. Make landlords and apartment managers love you (or at least remember you with vague positivity) by taking care of the unit, leaving the home spotlessly clean, and not creating unnecessary hassle. Attentive landlords also appreciate tenants who report issues early for the sake of mutually protecting the shared home and property.
Inspect and Approve
Never sign a lease or move in without a thorough inspection. Make sure your new home is clean, in good repair, respected by the owners, and has all the amenities you require for your lifestyle. Do a walkthrough, bring a more experienced friend, and don't forget to test the fixtures. If a place looks good and is clearly well-maintained, you can make an apt value-judgment for space and rent.
Read the Lease Before Signing
The lease is the legally binding contract that defines the rights and duties of both you, the tenant, and your landlord. It defines your rent amount, what you can be fined for, whether pets are allowed and if they have an additional fee, and which day to put out your trash. The lease is a useful document and one you should fully agree with before signing.
Did you know? You can negotiate some lease terms simply by asking and having a new lease quickly printed out.
Know & Live By Your Lease Terms
Memorize the terms of your lease (or at least become familiar with them) and remember to live by the rules to ace your first rental. You can use your lease to dodge unwanted roommate offers and ensure your rights to prompt repairs are being honored. Just be sure to walk the line, for example, paying a pet deposit for a cat you adopt while renting. Then your landlord can greet your pet without worry when they visit for the biannual inspection.
One-Third Income Rule of Thumb
If you're wondering how high a rent you can afford, most landlords and property management teams require your rent to be no more than one-third of your income. Divide your current household income in thirds to define your uppermost rental limit in most situations.
Secure Your Security Deposit
● Move-In and Move-Out Checklists
● Protect Floors and Furniture
● Treat Stains Proactively
● Deep-Clean on Your Way Out
A big part of being a great renter is handling your security deposit. Getting it back is a gold star on your rental history meaning you left no expenses or damage when you moved out.
The security deposit is usually 1x or 2x monthly rent paid when you sign the lease. It sits as a deposit against damage repairs and cleaning bills after you move out. You get the entire amount back if you leave the rental pristine, plus a positive mark on your rental history.
Complete the Move-In Checklist Immediately
The day you sign your lease, your landlord should give you a move-in checklist (or access to a digital checklist, as is becoming popular). Walk through the rental before you drop off your first box. Note the condition of everything listed (and anything additional you see) and take pictures to back up your data.
This is your reference to prove that any existing scuffs were not caused by you and helps to protect your security deposit. Keep this for your own personal records. When you move out, pull this up and do the checklist again to fully and completely document the state the home was in when you departed with the moving truck.
Cover the Floors When Moving In
The single most dangerous time for scuffs on the walls and floor is when you're moving furniture. Moving in and moving out can cause more damage than years of residence. So when moving, wrap your furniture in moving blankets and cover the floors with rugs to help protect all surfaces from the occasional bump and scuff of large furniture wrangling.
Treat Stains and Scuffs Proactively
During your tenancy, be proactive about stains and scuffs. Keep some carpet stain treatment products on hand to treat spots before they set in and keep an eye on wall scuffs. Experienced renters often pick up a small can of paint (or find the recent repaint cans in a closet) and touch-up scuffs with dabs of same-color paint.
Deep-Clean Upon Move-Out
When it comes time to move out, take the time to deep-clean the home. Scrub and touch up the walls (and baseboards). Dust the upper corners and vents. Rent a steam cleaner and watch the carpet return to the color it was when you moved in. Any small signs of wear-and-tear are part of your tenancy and landlords appreciate it when you take the time to leave a rental home clean and in good repair.
Don't Hesitate to Report Problems & Call for Repairs
Your landlord is legally obligated to provide a safe home with working utilities, so don't hesitate to request repairs. First-time renters often worry that they'll be blamed and charged for damages. In most cases, simple age and wear are the primary culprits - even if a spigot came away in your hand, and your property manager is obliged to provide repairs and ensure your plumbing is in working order rapidly. This is also true for safety issues like broken steps or new cracks.
Attentive landlords and property managers appreciate when tenants report issues like leaking pipes and whistling roofs - this helps enact repairs before further damage happens to the home.
Automate Your Rent Payments
Rent is one of those bills that is exactly the same every month and you pay it like clockwork. This is exactly the type of expense to automate based on your pay periods and rent schedule. Not only does automation take a monthly chore off your plate, it also ensures that your rent is never late and arrives, as intended, like clockwork. Property managers and landlords always appreciate a reliable tenant and this record alone will recommend you to future apartments and rental homes.
Renting in Hialeah, FL for the first time is an exciting experience, and you don't have to learn everything from scratch. Take it from those who have experience in both renting and managing rental homes. We've been around the block a few times and can help you find the right balance of location and behavior to have a great time in your new apartment or rental home. Once you ace the formula, you'll become a property manager's dream tenant every time you rent a new place.