4 Things to Check Before Renting a House 4 Things to Check Before Renting a House

Prospective tenants are usually looking for certain features in a home for rent, such as the number of bathrooms, a large yard, or a garage. When you find a place that interests you, have a checklist ready before writing a check. Most people do a quick visual inspection and are satisfied. They don’t see anything wrong so they assume there are no problems. It isn’t until after moving in that they become aware of these hidden problems.

Common Problem Areas

Some of the major problems you may encounter are electrical, plumbing, a leaking roof, or a furnace that doesn’t work. Unfortunately, many people learn the hard way. I have made the mistake of moving into a house where the furnace did not work. You never want to wait until the weather is frigid before realizing this sort of problem and get stuck waiting in the cold for the furnace to be repaired.

Plumbing problems can be pretty bad, too. Not having access to running water for any period of time can be a major inconvenience. A leaking roof can be a major source of problems as well. I lived in a house a few years ago where a leaking roof allowed water to damage fixture in the stairway, which almost caused an electrical fire.

When going to look at a home, don't just observe the outer cosmetic appearance of the place; look much deeper than that. The safety of you and your family should be your foremost priority. Make sure the roof is sound and the furnace or air conditioner is in working order. If you have any doubts regarding the integrity of the electrical wiring or plumbing, look elsewhere. Don't just take the landlord's word that everything is in good working order.

If you’re not an inspection savvy person, take along someone who is. In the long run, you’ll be glad you did. If repairs are needed and the landlord agrees to have them done, discuss and settle on a reasonable time period to have the repairs completed. If the repairs are not done in the specified time, look elsewhere. Don't waste your time or your hard-earned money.

If the weather in your area happens to be compliant and you can arrange to do so, go look at the house on a rainy day. It makes it much easier to spot a leaky roof or a basement that backs up with water. Remember, you're the one who is paying to live there; it's your right to have everything in good working condition.

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