first-time renters

Being a first-time renter is exciting, but it can come with a lot of questions. Learning the ropes doesn’t have to be intimidating, however. With some careful lease reading and a little know-how, even first-time renters will know how to be on their landlord’s good side for the lease term and beyond.

This infographic has all the tips and tricks you need to guarantee a great rental experience.

first-time renter tips infographic

Rent Within Your Budget

In a tight market, knowing your budget is key. Don’t apply for a rental that costs more than 30% of your gross monthly income.

First-time renters may be tempted by an expensive rental with fancy amenities without heeding budget constraints. Don’t make this mistake, and instead opt for a rental that simply checks the “must-haves” boxes and fits your budgeting needs. This prevents against unnecessary stress and falling behind on payments (damaging rental history). Opt for a smaller rental or a roommate situation, if necessary.

Don’t Skim the Lease

Understanding your lease is crucial. Ensure that you know all of your responsibilities and the ins-and-outs of rent collection so you can establish a great relationship with your landlord. Remember, breaking your lease terms out of ignorance is just as costly as willfully breaking them. Do your homework.

Prep for Emergencies

Most renters aren’t adequately prepared for a disaster. Your landlord’s insurance won’t cover your stuff. Get renters insurance; it’s inexpensive and worth it.

Pay Attention to Renewal Dates

Don’t let the excitement of move-in deter you from paying careful attention to your lease term and renewal. You should understand exactly when you are expected to leave the unit, and how renewals are handled. Paying attention to the renewal dates will ensure that you can move out fee-free when you’re planning to or that when to apply for a new lease renewal if you would like to stay.

Use Damage-Free Decor

Damage doesn’t just come from abuse to the building. You can get charged for a hole in the wall even if it was placed there to hang a cute photo. Use decor techniques to get your deposit back in full.

Thankfully, there are a lot of clever ideas out there. Many renter-friendly decor options are simple to implement and there are even some damage-free decorating solutions for the holidays.

Knowing how to be your landlord’s dream renter can ensure that when you want to renew your lease, you’re more likely to receive discounts or accommodations and that when you move you will likely have a great reference to aid your next rental search. By following a few helpful tips, first-time renters can set themselves up to have a great rental experience for the duration of their renting years.