If you've never rented before, it can seem like there's a big learning curve!
However, it's important to keep on top of things. Once you sign a lease, you take on many responsibilities to the landlord and the home.
Whether you're renting a house or apartment there's plenty of room for mistakes, but understanding the basic rules of renting can make your first time a positive learning experience for the future.
Know your stuff !
Being aware of your rights and responsibilities as a tenant is one of the most important things when you're renting.
You don't want to find yourself in any sticky situations further along the track, so understanding all the obligations contained in the tenancy agreement is crucial.
If the lease says no pets, you'll need to remember that when you have an urge later on to adopt a kitten. That being said, there is often room for negotiation on certain issues so don't be afraid to ask for advice if there is anything in the lease agreement you don't understand - showing initiative and speaking up will help you learn and show the landlord or property manager that you are a responsible tenant.
Keep it together !
One way to keep the relationship between you and the landlord as pleasant as possible is to make sure you stay on top of those day-to-day chores around the property.
Basic duties like changing light bulbs and housekeeping are more than likely to fall on you, but these things vary from lease to lease. Double check the tenancy agreement, and always err on the side of caution and ask the agent or landlord if you're unsure.
Before you move in, make sure the property is in a reasonable condition - you don't want to be blamed for any damage that was already there! Photos are a great way to keep track. Keep these in case the landlord objects to returning your bond at the end of your tenancy. As well, make sure you keep important documents safe, and write down everything that happens between you and the landlord.
Be on time !
Lastly, planning for deadlines and payment dates will avoid any unnecessary conflict with your landlord, real estate agent, or housemates. Never stop paying rent, even if the landlord doesn't seem to be holding up his or her end - the consequences could be disastrous for you.
Always raise any problems you have with your property manager so solutions can be discussed and agreed!