Choosing to rent instead of buying a property offers a greater level of flexibility and financial freedom that many people value. It’s quickly becoming the popular choice of many in Colorado, whether because of affordability or simple preference. And when you find the perfect home to rent, it pays to make the most of your rental experience by being the best tenant you can be. After all, taking care of the property and doing your part benefits you as well as your landlord. So here are a few tenant tips to help you make the most of your lease!
Tenant Tips All Renters Should Know
Know Your Responsibilities
Choosing to rent a home comes with certain responsibilities for taking care of that property. While you may not be on the hook for paying for repairs or routine maintenance, you do take on a level of responsibility in other ways. After all, you’re the one living in the home day-to-day. For that reason, tenants need to know what they’re expected to do or maintain throughout the term of the lease. Make sure to read your lease carefully, going over all of the things that fall on your shoulders. Lawn care, snow removal, general cleaning, utilities; all of these items and more are outlined in the lease agreement. When in doubt, check the agreement! Odds are you’ll find the answers there.
Take Care of the Property
Once you know what you’re responsible for, follow through. A good tenant does their part to care for the property. After all, it’s your home for the term of the lease. Take pride in the place you call home by regularly cleaning and sticking to the terms of the agreement. Pay special attention to appliances to ensure they run efficiently. This can help reduce energy costs as well as catch any potential problems your landlord should be aware of before they cause serious damage. And if you do notice something’s not working as it should, let your landlord know as soon as possible.
Know the HOA Rules and Regulations
HOAs are growing more and more common across Colorado, even in single-family home neighborhoods. So whether you rent a condo, townhome, or single-family home, double-check with your landlord or property manager if the property falls within the jurisdiction of an HOA. These often come with their own set of rules and regulations in addition to the lease, adding on another level of responsibility to tenants. Ask for copies of the rules and familiarize yourself with what’s expected.
Make Sure to Report the Big and the Small Issues
While you may not be responsible for paying for or completing maintenance on the property, tenants are responsible for notifying their landlord or property manager immediately when things aren’t working properly. From leaky faucets to broken furnaces, make sure to report both the big and the small things right away. Know the proper procedures for alerting your landlord or property manager about needed repairs. These steps are often outlined in the lease agreement and will help you distinguish what needs to be done and how. Avoid trying to complete the repairs on your own. Doing so may violate the lease agreement and cause significant issues. In the event you do damage the property, avoid hiding it or put off notifying your landlord about the issue.
Document Everything You Can
Keeping proper and thorough records is just as important for tenants as it is for landlords. This includes taking pictures of the property when you move-in to document the condition to keeping track of rent receipts and payments. Keep track of maintenance requests and repairs by notifying your landlord or property manager in writing. Retain copies of the lease and any other important documents about the property itself and know how and where to access them in the event questions arise.
Renting a home creates unique opportunities to experience new homes and locations while making memories to last a life time. It offers flexibility and often makes more financial sense depending on the circumstances. Regardless of why you rent a home, do what you can to help make the experience positive. Know your responsibilities and do your part to take care of the place you call home, even if it is only for a short period of time.