Until the day when my Hubby and I can build our dream house, we will continue to rent. One of the great things about renting is it gives you the flexibility to move around… perfect for a med student and his wife! You also don’t have to pay if things like the water heater, go kaput. I have had some amazing rental experiences, where I was treated like family… but I have also had some rather awful experiences too. I thought I would pass along some wisdom to my dear readers.
Do not rent sight unseen! Moving to Georgia with only a few weeks notice gave my husband and I some challenging decisions to make: do we fly to Georgia to look at places? Do we rent sight unseen? We saw a darling house on the internet, spoke with the realty company and asked a zillion questions. We thought we were set! When we arrived the house smelled like mold and looked nothing like the photos. Moral of the story – get your eyes on the property, even if it looks impeccable.
Keep a close record of things. When you move in or out, make sure to note anything not in tip-top shape, as you will be responsible for it if there is no documentation. On a recent move out from an apartment, I actually took a video of the final walk through to ensure all my bases were covered and I had a record the unit was left perfectly clean and good as new. This also goes for rent payments – make sure you notate the date and time you paid, just in case.
Be prepared for pet deposits. These are strangely called “deposits,” which you don’t get back. So ultimately, they should be called fees. Pets can be messy and destroy things… so be prepared to pay up to $250 for each pet when you move in. This assures the landlord or realty company that they will be able to fix any damage done by pets and understandably so.
If you are moving to a new state, check the laws. In New England it is illegal for utilities to be turned off – i.e. heat in the winter. In Georgia, they have no problem turning off your water or AC on a 105 degree day. Stay informed!
Private rentals are the way to go. Before living in Georgia, I had never rented with a realty company. To this day, I am not a fan. I have had great luck with private owners who treated me like just another member of the family! Understanding is huge when dealing with someone’s domicile, the human element can be extremely beneficial. These types of rentals can be challenging to find, but worth it.