You’ve heard lots of financial advice when you started hunting for apartments. You’ve heard that you should have a strong credit score to avoid getting turned away by risk-averse landlords. You’ve heard that you may need to pay an administration fee to cover the costs of background and credit checks. And you’ve heard that you should have enough savings to cover a month of rent and a security deposit right off the bat.
All of this is great financial advice for when you’re looking for an apartment. But, what financial advice should you follow after you sign the lease?
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1. Read the Fine Print
Take some time to go through your signed lease to understand all of the terms you agreed to. Doing this will help you catch any terms that come with financial penalties.
One clause that will likely be in your lease is a “rent liability clause.” A rent liability clause means that tenants are responsible for the rental payment in full. So, if a roommate doesn’t make their portion of the rent, you may need to cover it.
You can avoid this rental problem by preparing a household budget. This simple financial guide can ensure that every tenant has enough rent money for the 1st of the upcoming month.
What are some other examples of terms you might find in your lease?
- Penalties for keeping unauthorized pets in the apartment.
- Penalties for smoking cigarettes on the premises.
- Fees for breaking your lease early.
2. Prepare for Emergencies
Do you have an emergency fund? If you don’t, you should start putting one together as soon as possible. It could help you cover urgent expenses outside of your budget, including emergencies that happen in your apartment. So, if your toilet starts overflowing and you need to call a plumber, you’ll have enough savings to cover the visit.
Technically, your landlord should be in charge of major problems with the apartment, like plumbing issues, electrical issues and appliance breakdowns. But sometimes, your landlord won’t be around to respond. You’ll want to be able to handle an emergency on your own.
What if you don’t have enough savings? In that case, you could turn to an alternative solution like a personal loan. You don’t have to make an appointment with your local bank branch to get one. You can try to apply for a loan by phone without stepping out of your apartment. You just might meet all of the qualifications to apply and get approved for one. Then, you can use the borrowed funds to cover your emergency in a short amount of time.
Always keep the receipts for your emergency repair. You should send the receipt to your landlord so that they know what to reimburse you. This is one of the rare circumstances when landlords should pay tenants. If they do not reimburse you, they should take the receipt amount off your following rent payment.
3. Get Renters Insurance
Your landlord is mainly responsible for damages made to the property. They are not responsible for your belongings inside that property. If someone breaks through your apartment’s front door and steals your things, the landlord will only be responsible for replacing the door — not your stolen items.
The best way to protect your belongings in your rental is by taking out renters insurance. Renters insurance can offer you coverage in cases of theft, vandalism and damage inside of your rental.
Get renters insurance for replacement costs instead of actual costs. This will save you the trouble of confirming the value of items that were damaged or stolen, giving you coverage for the replacements you had to purchase instead.
Take the financial stress out of renting. Follow these three tips.