Housing Advice, Renting

How to protect yourself when you rent

Renting an off-campus property can be an overwhelming task, to say the least.  We try to help, but how do you know you’re making the right choice when you rent?

In a recent article by Jessica Hickok (http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2012/05/15/how-to-protect-yourself-as-renter/), she identified some very specific things renters can do to protect themselves when renting a property.  Here is the breakdown of that list:

  • Checking the state’s landlord/tenant laws
  • Watching for red flags on a lease, including changes to monthly charges within the time of the agreement, can you make repairs yourself if the landlord does not respond to repair requests, will you get reimbursed for making those repairs, how will your security deposit be settled once you leave, and are there any eviction procedures that could take place
  • Make sure the owner isn’t in the foreclosure process with the property
  • Be sure to have an exit plan just in case

A lot of the time students may often forget they too have rights as renters.  This is why it is so important to point out some things you can do to protect yourself when signing an agreement because you just never know.

To find your state’s Tenant Rights Handbook, go to http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/topics/rental_assistance/tenantrights.

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