Renting Tips and Advice

So as some of you might know before I made the switch to twitch I was working in property management. (Now if you don't know what that means it basically means if you lived at one of the properties I worked for and you need to pay rent, apply for a place, submit a maintenance request, wanted to renew your lease, wanted to move out, or basically needed anything while living there I was the person you talked to.) Now the company I worked for managed over 150 properties, some single family & some multi-family, and I dealt with the tenants for all of them while my supervisor handled homeowner issues, so while I was only there for a short time I learned a lot. Here's a few of the most important things I learned while working there:

  • SEE THE PLACE BEFORE YOU RENT IT! You would be surprised how many people rented places without actually visiting the property. Most of the time it was UT students who went based off pictures. Don't do this! If there is no way for you to visit it or for you to have someone visit the property on your behalf at a minimum request a current video of the property. There are a whole list of issues you can run into if you don't see the property first. Even seeing a model unit is better than seeing nothing.
  • Know how much money you will need to move in. This sounds like a basic fact but there are a lot of things that people don't consider. Utility account deposits are probably the thing people forget the most. Here is Austin both the Gas company and the electric company can charge you a set up fee and require you to pay a deposit, the deposits can end up costing you over 500.00. Also keep in mind that rent will be due on the 1st so if you move in on the 25th just remember a week later rent will be due again. 
  • Get renter's insurance. Do it, you can get it for like 15.00 a month and trust me it's 100% worth having. 
  • Realistically look at your budget and make sure you can afford the place. Most places require you make 3x the rent amount to qualify, but just because you can qualify doesn't mean you should. If you have tons of bills outside of living expenses (student loans, high car payments, credit card payments, child support, etc) you may need to knock the price down. Yes that means you might not get as nice of a place, but getting evicted will be a lot worse. 
  • Check your lease for any special provisions and make sure you understand what you are signing. Where I worked every one of our leases had a special provision that stated that upon move out the tenants will have the place professionally cleaned and the carpets steamed cleaned. A lot of tenants either didn't know or forgot and that was an extra cost they had to spend when moving out or it had to come out of the security deposit. Know what you are signing! Oh also, submit you inventory and condition form, don't forget, it's only there to help when you move out.
  • Lastly, if you can't pay you rent tell your landlord or property manager. It happens. The WORST thing you can do is avoid them and say nothing. By doing this you are forcing their hand to begin legal proceedings because they have no idea if you are going to eventually pay or not. While it won't get you off the hook and there will probably still be late fees, at least you wont get serviced with a notice to vacate. 

Hopefully that helps any of you looking to move out at the end of summer, especially any of you high school graduates looking for college places. If you all have any questions leave them in the comments below and I can try and help you out!

Have a great night. xoxo