5 Common Mistakes New Tenants Make And How To Avoid Them
Moving into a new rental property can be an exciting time. However, it’s important to avoid making common mistakes that could jeopardize your tenancy. You don’t want to end up regretting why you didn’t do your research before signing the lease, being on your landlord’s bad side, or getting stuck with a huge bill because you didn’t take care of the property.
Here are five common mistakes new tenants make and how to avoid them:
1. Not Reading Your Lease Thoroughly
Many new tenants don’t take the time to read their lease thoroughly before signing it. This is a huge mistake because the lease is a legally binding document that outlines your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. Ask your landlord or property manager for clarification if you don’t understand something in the lease.
Don’t just assume that because you didn’t read it, you’re not responsible for it. Ignorance is not an excuse, and you could be held liable for damages or breaking the law if you violate the terms of your lease. So, before you find Texas apartments at UMoveFree or another online resource, read through your lease carefully before signing it. Pay attention to:
- Length of the lease
- Amount of rent
- Any special conditions that may be in place
2. Not Getting Insurance
Your landlord’s insurance policy only covers the building, not your personal belongings. So if there’s a fire or break-in and your stuff is damaged, you’re out of luck unless you have renters insurance. It’s relatively inexpensive and easy to get, so there’s really no excuse not to have it. In most cases, it will cost you less than $20 per month.
Renters insurance also protects you if someone gets injured on your property and decides to sue you. If you don’t have insurance, you could be looking at a very costly legal battle. So get renters insurance as soon as you move into your new rental apartment.
3. Not Informing Your Landlord Of Changes
If you make any changes to the property, such as painting the walls, hanging pictures, or adding new furniture, you need to inform your landlord. Otherwise, you could be in violation of your lease agreement. They may need to approve the changes first, and if you don’t get their approval, you could be required to undo the changes or pay for damages.
Some landlords are more lenient, but it’s always best to be cautious and get permission before making any changes. This way, there won’t be any misunderstandings or conflicts later on. You also need to get your landlord’s approval for pets. Many leases have strict pet rules, so ensure you’re familiar with the policy before bringing home a new furry friend.
4. Not Keeping the Property Clean
Remember that you are responsible for keeping the property clean and tidy during your tenancy. This means regular cleaning and trash removal. If you leave the property in a state of disrepair, you may be charged for repairs when you move out. So it’s important to take care of the property and keep it clean throughout your tenancy.
If you have any questions about what is expected, ask your landlord or property manager. They will be able to provide you with specific details about their cleaning requirements.
5. Not Breaking The Lease Properly
Many new tenants make the mistake of just moving out without notifying the landlord, but this is a surefire way to get yourself into legal and financial trouble. If you need to break your lease for any reason, be sure to do so properly. This usually means giving your landlord advanced notice and following the proper procedures outlined in your lease agreement.
Otherwise, you could be on the hook for paying rent for the remainder of the lease term. It’s always best to try and work something out with your landlord before breaking the lease. They may be willing to work with you if you have a legitimate reason for wanting to break the lease.
Maintain a Good Relationship With Your Landlord
Maintaining a good relationship with your landlord is also key to having a successful tenancy. Combined with the tips above, you can avoid many common mistakes new tenants make and set yourself up for a smooth rental experience.