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.
General Tips About Searching for a Home to Rent
Deciding what home to rent involves careful consideration of many factors, including location, ... read more »
Apartment Applications, Lease Agreements and Renter’s Insurance
Before you get the keys to your apartment, you'll go through a tenant screening process, sign lease ... read more »
Tenant Rights and Responsibilities
Knowing the facts about landlord-tenant rights and responsibilities will be important during your apartment search and while you rent a home. The following Web sites can help you start educating yourself about this issue.
- Beware of paid versus natural search results when you look for legal information on the Web. Particularly in the legal field, paid search results (which typically appear above and/or to the side of natural search results, and are usually noted as “sponsored” or “partners”) will likely have more advertising gimmicks than legitimate material. Consumer Reports WebWatch offers tips on improving the chances that the results you find will be credible.
- See the "Landlord-Tenant Law" section of the findingDulcinea Renting to Tenants Web Guide for a deeper look at landlord-tenant law.
For landlord-tenant rights and responsibilities …
Rentlaw.com explains many aspects of landlord tenant laws, including a list of tenant responsibilities, move-in procedures you should follow if you want to get your security deposit back when you move out and definitions of "normal wear and tear".
The National Association of the Deaf discusses the rights of deaf individuals renting a living space, but much of the information here is relevant to anyone with a disability who wants to know about a landlord's obligation to accommodate tenants with special needs.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has a portal to tenant rights in each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C. If you have a concern about the legality of a landlord's action, consult this site to get access to the specific laws of your state.
For discrimination information …
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development explains what prospective tenants should know to protect themselves from rental discrimination. If you feel your rights have been violated in this regard, use this site to file a complaint against a landlord or property manager.
Finding and Living with Roommates
For many people, having roommates makes rent more affordable and the apartment less lonely. But ... read more »
Adjusting to Apartment Living
The occasional noisy neighbor and the random car that always seems to be in your parking space are ... read more »