You can rent a house directly from the landlord or through a property manager. In both cases, you will be required to fill out a rental application form to attest that you can pay rent. After filling out the application form, you may be required to attach your copy of your social security number or permanent resident card and certified proof that you are working. If you are jobless, your application can be signed by a guarantor who will pay the rent if you default. Rent prices in the United States are affordable though they increase annually. Housing prices depend on the type of house and where it is located. It is against the law to discriminate against a tenant based on color, race, religion, marital status, physical disabilities, and gender. If prejudiced, contact the US Department of Housing and Development.
Benefits of Renting a House
A tenant does not incur the cost of house maintenance and no repair bills too. This is the responsibility of the homeowner. In case of a faulty appliance or a leaking roof, the landlord has to fix it. The cost of renovations is also the landlord’s responsibility. Tenants have the advantage of accessing amenities such as a gym and pool. These are luxuries that tenants enjoy at no additional costs. For a homeowner, the amenities are expensive. Tenants do not pay the hefty real estate taxes. The taxes vary by county.
When renting a house, there are no down payments except for the security deposit, which is manageable. On the other hand, when buying a house, you must make a substantial down payment. People who cannot raise the down payment have the option of renting a home. Renters have the flexibility to live anywhere while homeowners can live in areas they can afford. For example, homeowners might find it expensive to live in big cities, whereas renters can manage. In a shaky housing market, homeowners are continually worrying about the fluctuating property value. Tenants enjoy fixed rent prices hence can be able to budget efficiently.
Homeowners have to deal with fluctuating property taxes. In rental homes, the utility costs are considerably lower compared to homes. Renter's insurance policy is cheaper and covers almost everything the renter owns, while the homeowner's insurance policy is expensive. Landlords are obligated to maintain the house in tenantable conditions. If there is a repair to be done, inform the landlord through a written note. If he does not react, report it to the local housing office. Usually, an inspector will be sent to you, and you can point the problems to him. At this point, most landlords will react, but if not, then you can sue him.
Finding a House to Rent
House hunting is stressful and time-consuming. It would help if you had enough time to look for a rental unit so that you don't settle for a house you don't like. Start your search two months before your move at minimum. Craigslist and Zillow are great sites where you can get the different house pricing and an overview of the rented house amenities. Get help from the real estate brokers. The agents will help you access the building you want to rent. There are many scammers, especially on the internet. Remember, you only pay a security deposit after signing the lease agreement. To be safe, it is wise to work with a bonded and licensed real estate broker. If you settle for a shared house, make sure you get separate leases to make each roommate liable for their share of the rent.
Depending on the landlord, you will be required to pay an application fee. Once the rental application form goes through, you will be needed to sign a lease agreement. The lease agreement specifies your obligations to the landlord, such as making timely payments and keeping the house in good condition. Many rental contracts are annual and need to be renewed upon expiration. The lease agreement may specify the number of people who can use the accommodation. The tenant will be required to pay a minimum of one month's security deposit. When moving out, the deposit will be refunded if the house is in the desired condition. If otherwise, you can get a partial or no refund at all, depending on the extent of the damage.