3 Costly Mistakes To Avoid When Renting Real Estate

Renting real estate--whether it be in the form of an apartment, townhouse, or home-can be a great way to enjoy having your own place without many of the hassles and obligations that come along with ownership. However, with so many different laws in place regarding tenant and landlord responsibilities in rental agreements, it can be easy to make some mistakes as a first-time renter that end up costing you big-time down the road.

Failure to Buy Renters Insurance

Regardless of whether your landlord requires you to have a valid renters insurance policy or not, you'll want to have one in place. Too many renters (especially first-time renters) assume that such insurance is a waste of money because the landlord is responsible for any damages to the rental property. What they fail to consider, however, is that landlords aren't responsible for a tenant's personal property. 

This means that if a burglar busts through your living room window and steals your 60-inch television, your landlord is responsible for replacing the shattered window but is not responsible for buying you a new TV. A renters insurance policy, however, will cover this.

Not Reading Before Signing a Lease

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when renting a residential real estate property is to sign a lease without first reading over it carefully. Unfortunately, these documents tend to be long and jam-packed with legalese, which is why so many people skim them over or sign without asking questions. However, your rental agreement could contain provisions that'll cost you extra money down the road. 

For example, your rental agreement might contain a clause that states you're responsible for paying out the rest of your lease in full if you decide to move out before your scheduled lease-end date. By being aware of these provisions before signing, you can avoid surprises down the road. (For more information, contact Iannello Anderson).

Not Disclosing Pets

Finally, because most landlords have restrictions on pets, it's in your best interest to disclose any pets you may have before signing your lease. If you try to hide your pet from your landlord and he or she somehow finds out about it, there's a good chance you'll either be charged a lot of money in past-due pet fees or, in a worst-case scenario, your lease could be terminated. Better to be safe than sorry and let your landlord know about your pet(s) ahead of time than to end up owing hundreds of dollars or be evicted from your place.