When Can You Evict Your Own Roommate?
1. Not Checking Your Credit Score
With a low supply of available rentals, landlords and property managers are stricter than ever on applicant creditworthiness. According to real estate professional, Denise Supplee, “Since there are more and more applicants to choose from, the one with a strong job, good credit, and income will get an apartment over someone with little to no credit.” Making sure you meet the credit score requirement before applying will allow you to have a higher chance of scoring the property. You can easily check your credit score through free services online that provide tips for improving your credit.
2. Not Having Paperwork Ready
In the world of rentals today, things move fast. For this reason, it’s important to have all your paperwork completed and ready to go. This includes a filled-out application form, six months’ worth of pay stubs, tax returns, references, and all your co-signer’s forms. Real estate experts recommend carrying a scanned copy of required documents for any showings you go to so you’ll always be prepared.
3. Assuming You’ll Get the Rental
Just because you apply for a rental, that does not mean you are guaranteed to win the unit. Even if you have amazing credit and your finances are in order, the competitive market makes it difficult to predict whether or not you’ll land the lease. Keep your options open as you apartment hunt, and have a few backup units in mind as you wait to hear from the landlord. If you have your heart set on a particular property, mention that you would be open to paying a little more in rent; stating your willingness to pay may be just what your application needs to get noticed.
4. Paying More Than What You Can Afford
Renters should be careful to not become eager and sign a lease for rent that is higher than they can afford. Just because the rent fits within your budget now, does not mean that it will after you account for other expenses. To avoid making this mistake, financial adviser Micheal Cannivet recommends using the 30% rule, which states that you cannot afford rent that costs more than 30% of your monthly income.
5. Panic Renting
Due to the low volume of available rentals, renters may be tempted to take any property they can get. This is not the wisest decision, as you could end up stuck in a lease for a unit that is impractical to your lifestyle. Oftentimes, renters will settle for units smaller than what they need, but real estate experts warn against this unless you are looking to downsize considerably or pay extra money to have your leftover belongings kept in a storage unit. To avoid making hasty decisions, put together a list of features you are seeking, making sure to identify the must-haves. This will allow you to carefully analyze each property to make sure it’s right for you.
6. Having Too Narrow of a Search
While some renters may have the problem of signing for whatever is available on the market, others have the opposite problem. When renters cling to a specific idea of what they envision in their head, they are quick to become disappointed with the rental hunt. Keep your options open as you search, and consider what really matters to you within a property.
7. Not Clarifying All Costs
When first-time renters hear the monthly rent cost, they sometimes assume that rent includes utilities. Landlords today will write terms in the lease that outlines what the tenant is responsible for paying. This can include trash pickup, parking, amenities, Wi-Fi, electricity, gas, sewer, and pet fees. Before agreeing to a lease, read through the fine print to understand what you will be responsible for, and budget accordingly.
8. Not Doing a Walk-Through
Once you have signed the lease, you are likely eager to get into your rental as soon as possible. However, before you move in, it’s important to conduct a walkthrough with the landlord or property manager and take photos of the property to assess and record current conditions. This will allow you to protect yourself against damage that was incurred to the unit before you moved in.
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