Costly Mistakes a Tenant Shouldn’t Make
Not Reading the Lease Agreement
The lease is a legal binding contract. It goes over much more than just how much rent you pay and how you pay the rent. Your lease contains all the information, rules and guidelines.
Not Maintaining the Yard
The lease states that maintaining the yard is the responsibility of the tenant. If you are renting a home or property that has a yard, you must keep up the yard. This is especially important if the home is in an HOA. If the HOA sends a letter or cuts the yard, it will be charged back to the tenant.
Not Sending in the Property Condition Form
This can cost you a lot of money. It is imperative that you fill out the property condition form within the allowed time by your property manager. When you move out, the property manager will walk the property. Any damage to the property will be the tenant’s responsibility. If you do not fill out, sign and date the property condition form of any damage, even before you move in, the damage could be charged back to you.
The inventory condition form is the proof that you did not cause the pre-existing damage.
Making Alterations without Approval
We understand when you move into a property you want to make it your home. However, if you want to change the paint color or make any alterations or renovations, you must get landlords permission in writing. You do not want to be charged for actually improving the property, but that is a very good possibility.
Calling in a Maintenance Ticket
The lease states that all notices must be in writing. Please use the resident portal to enter all work orders. Making a phone call to enter a maintenance ticket, although easy, is not the preferred method.
Not Being Home for a Scheduled Appointment
If you schedule an appointment with the management company or Maintenance Company and then you are not home for that appointment, there is a trip charge that the tenant is responsible for.
Not Reporting Maintenance
Some tenants don’t report maintenance because they do not want to pay the maintenance trip charge. However, not calling in a maintenance issue can cause the resident to be charged for the full maintenance job when they move out. Also, the maintenance issue may cause much larger issues that the tenant will be charged.
Not Getting Renters Insurance
A landlord’s insurance policy does not cover the tenant’s personal property. So, if there is a flood or an electric socket burns out your TV, or a water pipe bursts and your valuables get damaged, that is not the responsibility of the landlord. You are responsible for your valuables.
A renter’s insurance policy is very inexpensive. They are typically $10 – $20 per month.
There are many scenarios where renters insurance would help, such as the water bursting or the electrical socket as mentioned above. Other scenarios include, theft, fire or if someone gets injured on the property.
Why do you need renter’s insurance?
- To protect you from liability
- To replace your possessions in a case of damage or theft
- Protect yourself financially
- Provide you with temporary housing if your residence is damaged
The owners insurance DOES NOT cover your personal property, food spoilage or costs associated with the loss of use of the property (i.e., lodging, if needed).
Not Allowing Access
The lease states that the landlord or anyone authorized by the landlord may enter the property at reasonable times to review or show the property.
During the duration of the lease agreement there are a few times when the management company will need access to the property.
- Landlord/Property Manager
If access to the property is denied or the property is not accessible because the tenant’s failure to make the property accessible, this is a violation of the lease agreement. The owner can charge a trip charge and the resident will be in default of their lease. When future landlords call for a tenant verification we will have to tell them that you were uncooperative when allowing access to the property.
Do not assume your landlord is fine with you having a pet on the premises without first obtaining permission. This mistake is costly to you and your pet will be without a home if your landlord does not want pets in the home.
If you decide you want a pet after you move into the home, check with the landlord before you get the pet. If you get caught with the pet, there is a steep fee outlined in the lease agreement.
Not Changing AC Filters
Tenants are surprised that inaction can be considered a lease agreement violation. Your lease agreement states that you are responsible for changing the AC filters every month.
Most people find it hard to believe that not changing the AC filters can cost them several hundred dollars or more. If the AC system breaks down and it is contributed to a dirty filter that was not changed timely, you could end up with the cost of the whole repair. Please be sure to keep your AC filters changed on a regular basis. A good trick is each time you pay your electric bill, change your AC filters.
- Tenant Handbook.
- Get credit for paying your rent on-time..
- Tenant Portal Walkthrough instructions.
- Learn how to pay your rent online using Appfolio.
- Understand our Pet Policies.
- Learn how to protect yourself from costly mistakes made by previous tenants.
- Tenant Emergency Disaster Manual.
- Learn important information about protecting your home from mold.
- Learn about protecting yourself from lead paint.
- Sample Lease.