If you’ve been following my blog for a while then you know I recently became a homeowner. I’m loving my place but there are definitely a few things that I want to change and there are also a few things that I wish the former owners had told me. It’s a bit annoying, but there’s nothing I can do about it now except take care of what needs taking care of.
However, if you are renting instead of buying then you have a lot more options than I do in terms of holding others accountable for things that need to get done in your place.
For me as a townhouse homeowner in a development, I pay fees to an HOA or Homeowner Association. My monthly HOA payments cover things like snow removal, landscaping, roof and siding maintenance and repair – basically everything outside. I’m responsible for everything inside. This is important information so I know what I need to take care of and what the HOA is responsible for. Same goes for if you are renting. You need to know what your landlord or building is responsible for and what you are. Do they take care of repairs? Are your utilities included in your rent? These are all things that are important to know from the get-go so there’s no surprises later on when you’re in a bind or behind on a payment you didn’t know you had to make!
As I mentioned above, I’m responsible for taking care of everything inside the townhouse. You would think that since I actually own the townhouse I could do whatever I want inside. But no, if I want to make any structural changes during renovating, I need to get approval! Cosmetic changes are fine, but let’s say I want to knock down a wall or put another bathroom in – I need to get approval. Similarly, when you rent, make sure your landlord tells you what you can and can’t do when decorating inside. Some apartments won’t let you put nails in the wall for hanging things. Some places will let you change things up. I don’t remember if it was my cousin or my friend, but years ago they were renting and their landlord let them put in crown molding. It really depends on the owners and I think it greatly depends on whether you’re in an apartment building or renting a house. I think there’s more leeway when you’re dealing with the owner directly.
Services like HomeLet can help you out to try to make the business of renting as hassle free as possible and protect both the renters and landlords. You can go to the HomeLet website for comparing quotes for landlord insurance as well as tenants insurance.
These are just a few things to keep in mind when looking in to renting a place. Obviously things like location, price, and square footage are important and usually the first things people think about, but in my opinion knowing what you are responsible for as a tenant and what the owners/landlords are responsible for on their end is just as important!
*This post is in collaboration with HomeLet but all opinions are my own.*