Creative Professionals Need To Find The Right Place To Live
Finding a place to stay is a serious decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Though a lease is not nearly as long as a mortgage contract, you’ll still be locked into an agreement for several months to a year - which will greatly impact your quality of life. If you’re not careful, you could end up choosing a rental that’s great to look at, but horrible (or unsafe) to live in.
In haste to leave the nest, start fresh, or relocate, renters enter into a rental contract and make mistakes that come back to bite them big time. If you want to keep this from happening to you, it’s recommended that you protect yourself and choose your new place wisely.
Work with a Realtor
There’s a common misconception that realtors are only hired if you’re looking to buy or sell a house, however, realtors are also great for those looking for rentals. A Santa Monica realtor, for instance, would have access to all listings and will have a much easier time connecting you with legitimate lease opportunities in the area than you would trying to find places on your own.
See the Place in Person
You may be able to get an idea of what a place looks likes from virtual tours and photos, but you won’t get the full experience until you’ve visited in person. Though there are virtual tours and photos online that you can view, there are also a lot of rental scams. You don’t want to end up investing in something that’s unsafe, unhealthy, or even worse - a scam. So, make the time to see the place in person. If it’s long distance and you can’t make it, ask someone you know who lives closer to check it out for you.
Most renters don’t realize that landlords have an obligation to provide them with a safe and decent environment to live in. This not only means obvious things like working appliances and new carpets, but other factors like the use of safe building materials and remaining up to code. Failing to ask questions about the structure and safety of your rental unit could hurt you later.
Some tenants don’t find out until they’re meeting with a toxic tort lawyerthat they were exposed to hazardous materials like asbestos and lead for years. Asking the landlord or property management company for proof of lead testing and other environmental checks protects your well-being.
Do Some Research
Landlords require applications and background checks as a means to sort of “interview” the tenant to determine their eligibility to live in the rental. Tenants should do the same with their landlords. The place may be great and have a lot of what you’re looking for, but if your landlord isn’t responsible, this could bring trouble down the line.
Do some research to find out what the landlord or property management company is like. Check for personal storiesfrom existing or previous tenants, search for complaints and/or unresolved issues, and if you can, ask for references from the landlord.
Rental house or apartment hunting isn’t quite as daunting as finding a house for sale, but it shouldn’t be taken lightly. When signing your name on the dotted line, you are agreeing to make timely payments on the property for the next few months or years. The only way to ensure that you’re investing your money appropriately is to protect yourself using the advice listed above.