When looking at houses for rent in Orlando, FL, there are many things that one should consider. For example, location, possible neighborhood issues such as crime, lack of integration with the community around it, and the condition of the actual home.
Many times these things can be overlooked because you’re excited or desperate to live somewhere; however, once you sign your lease, all responsibility falls onto your shoulders, and these problems will be yours alone. The following is a list of what you should check before looking at houses for rent in Orlando, FL:
1. The Neighborhood
Take a look at the neighborhood. Do your research on crime rates, how well the neighborhood is integrated, and if there are any planned construction or developments that will disturb your peace in the near future. If the home is in a good neighborhood, but you’re not comfortable with the surrounding area, it’s not worth it.
2. The House/Condo
Take a good look at the condition of the houses for rent in Orlando, FL and common areas. This should include everything from:
- How it is heated and cooled (central air and heating, window cooling units, etc.)
- The insulation used between walls and floors to keep heat in or out
- Electrical outlets that work and whether they are overloaded
- Plumbing – does everything work? Are there any leaks?
- The Roof – any signs of leakage or water damage?
- Windows and Doors – do they close and lock properly?
If you have a car, it’s important to check if parking will be an issue. Some rentals come with only a single parking spot, which is not ideal for more than one car.
4. Appliances and Utilities
- Check to see if the appliances in the house are included in the rent (fridge, oven, washer, dryer, etc.) and what condition they are in.
- Ensure that all appliances work and are in good condition, especially the fridge.
- Check the water pressure and temperature to ensure everything is working correctly.
- Take a look at what utilities you will be responsible for paying, which might include electricity, water/sewer, gas for heating or cooking, etc. If your landlord owns the home, he may pay for most utilities; however, if they are all yours, you will want to know the cost of living in your new neighborhood.
5. Lease Agreement
This is one of the most important things to check before finalising the houses for rent in Orlando, FL. Ensure that everything is clearly outlined in the lease agreement so there are no issues later on. This includes:
- How long the lease is for, and when it ends (if you’re unsure about how long you will stay, rent for six months at a time. This gives you the option to renew without having to sign another year-long agreement)
- Who pays for what utilities (electricity, water/sewer, etc.)
- When and how much rent is due, and whether or not late fees are charged if you miss a payment
- Whether pets are allowed, and any associated pet fee (if they’re allowed)
- How many people can live in the house (some places have limits on the number of occupants)
- If there is a damage deposit, and how much it is
If you’re considering renting a property with roommates, it’s essential to make sure that everyone is comfortable with the agreement. This includes:
- How much each person will be paying in rent
- Who is responsible for groceries, utilities, cleaning, etc.
- When and how bills are to be paid (weekly, monthly)
- How many occupants are allowed in the house
7. Renting with Friends
Renting with friends is different from renting with roommates. If you’re considering this option, it’s important to do your research before making hasty decisions. This includes:
- How the rent will be split
- What each person’s responsibility is (paying, cleaning, etc.)
- Treat this as an interview. If you don’t know your potential roommates well enough, don’t sign a contract until you do. You want to make sure that everyone gets along and will work together to make the property a home.
Hiring a rental agent is an option; however, if you’re interested in renting from an ad, ask your landlord/agent if you can visit the apartment before signing a lease agreement. This will give you a chance to feel for the neighborhood, meet your potential neighbors, and see if the property is in good condition. Schedule appointments for weekdays and weekends since most landlords will require 24 hours notice.
Renting a property can be a daunting task, but it can be a smooth process with a little bit of preparation. By keeping these ten things in mind, you can avoid any unpleasant surprises down the road and make an informed decision about whether or not to rent a property. So, before you go out house hunting, take some time to read over this checklist!