All tenants have rights. Some are guaranteed by law, while others are described in your rental agreement. Here are some things you can do to be a skilled tenant and protect yourself if things go wrong:
Insure your personal property: Your landlord must have insurance on the property, but it does not protect you or your stuff if something should go wrong. Tenants are generally very affordable and cover damage to your personal property in many different circumstances. Talk to an insurance agent to find an affordable insurance policy that suits you.
Know the law: Find out what the tenant / landlord laws are in your state before you sign a contract. These laws describe the rights and obligations of both parties, including what can legally be included in your lease and sometimes how much a landlord can charge for a deposit.
Understand your contract: Be sure to read your lease carefully so that you understand what your responsibilities as a tenant are. These can include things like keeping the property, following city codes and paying your rent on a specific date each month.
Inspecting the property: When moving to a new location, it is important to document the condition of the property. When you move, your landlord can deduct the cost of repairing any damage that goes beyond reasonable wear and tear. Take pictures, walk slowly, ask questions and make sure both you and your landlord are on the same page.
Understand your rights: Just as you are responsible as a tenant, your landlord must also comply with state laws and the tenancy agreement. Your landlord cannot enter your property without proper notice, and they have a responsibility to keep the property maintained and habitable. State laws vary, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the landlord's requirements and responsibilities in your area.
Notify in writing: If the pipes burst, the heater stops running or if other problems arise, it is good to make a call, but it is also a good idea to notify your landlord in writing. That way, if the landlord can not solve the problem, you will have documentation to support you in any disputes. If you are just calling, be sure to write down the date and what was discussed or agreed upon.
End the find: If you do not take out the trash or pay your rent on time, get a dog without a permit or violate other terms in your lease, your landlord has the right to terminate your lease.
For all your insurance questions, call or contact Keller-Brown Insurance Services today.