For some people, renting a home is a financially responsible alternative to the costs and demands of home ownership. For others, it's merely a temporary arrangement during college years or while searching for a home to buy. Regardless of your circumstances, the resources spotlighted in this guide will teach you how to find a great rental and avoid the pitfalls of difficult landlords, quirky roommates, noisy neighbors and other factors that can make renting a tough adjustment.
Deciding what home to rent involves careful consideration of many factors, including location, ... read more »
Before you get the keys to your apartment, you'll go through a tenant screening process, sign lease agreements, provide a security deposit and possibly even supply proof that you carry renter's insurance. Use the Web sites in this section to learn the basics about each of these matters.
- Your credit history is a crucial piece of information a landlord will use to decide whether to accept you as a tenant. If you're not sure of your credit score, request a credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com. Read the findingDulcinea Credit Web Guide to access more information about credit.
- Some cities and counties (but not all) have housing boards that can also answer your questions. Search for a housing board where you live at Local.com. Type "housing" in the "What?" box and then your city and state in the "Where?" box.
To learn about tenant screening …
answers some frequently asked questions about legal methods of tenant screening. Learn what types of discrimination are illegal and whether it's alright for a landlord to request a credit report for a potential tenant.
The Federal Trade Commission
notes that landlords must follow the provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act when screening rental applicants. While this information is directed more toward landlords, it's still helpful to see what a landlord might look for when evaluating a rental application.
For information about security deposits and lease agreements …
explains the purpose of a security deposit and what a landlord is authorized to use it for, and offers general guidelines for the limits of what a landlord can request for a security deposit.
offers a simple definition of a lease agreement, as well as some precautions you should take before signing a lease, and facts about the information all leases should contain.
For information about renter's insurance …
explains the basics of renter's insurance and notes the types of damage, including damage from burglary, fire or floods, that should be covered in a renter's insurance policy. Also learn how to keep your renter's insurance premiums low.
Knowing the facts about landlord-tenant rights and responsibilities will be important during your ... read more »
For many people, having roommates makes rent more affordable and the apartment less lonely. But ... read more »
The occasional noisy neighbor and the random car that always seems to be in your parking space are ... read more »
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