We get asked all the time about when not to rent a home. Well, there are a couple of red flags that should be considered universal deal breakers in a lease. We have listed them below.
1. Pet deposits. Renters with pets customarily have had to pay deposits for dogs and cats. Some landlords charge monthly fees for each animal. Pet rent typically runs about $25 per month, but in some markets, renters shell out $100 or more. We suggest you wither pay a deposit or a monthly fee, not both. There is no reason to pay both and many renters do not. Now, the owner of the home has the right to say no and charge both fees, but is this really a person you want to rent from?
2. Can you get your home deposit back? You need to check to see what the lease states. Security deposits (typically one month’s worth of rent or more) have two functions. They protect landlords from tenants who skip out on rent, and pay to repair damage beyond wear and tear. Make sure all verbiage is clear about the deposit and what would constitute not getting it back. Also, renters should document repairs, upgrades or any changes to the premises. We also believe renters should insist on a final walk-through with the landlord, and they should have a witness present. If your landlord isn’t willing to put a final walk-through in the lease paperwork, consider not signing it.
3. Do a check on your landlord, they will do one on you. Before you sign any paperwork, talk to the neighbors and/or Google the property management company. Not every neighbor will get along with one another, but if you hear bad things from many people- or read many negative reviews- think about what you’re getting into.