Rentals in Houston>Question Details

Cominghome, Renter in Houston, TX

Hi! If we are looking to rent a home for 2 years, what are we expected to pay besides, rent, gas, elec?

Asked by Cominghome, Houston, TX Fri Jun 1, 2012

As we have been living overseas for many years I am wondering what else will we be responsible for in order to rent either a house or townhouse before we decide to buy in a few years time if all goes well..
Thanks so much!

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A HUGE thanks to all of you who have taken the time to answer! Details added by some were great!
And thanks for the many welcome backs!!!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 2, 2012
You only pay these when you are renting.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 1, 2012
If you are just renting then you only pay rent, gas, and electric.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 1, 2012
typically you pay 1st momths rent, a security deposit equal to one months rent, utilities and HOA fees if you rent in a planned community. If you have a pet, then there woudl be a pet dpeosit as well.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 1, 2012
Welcome back to Houston!

1st months rent and an equal amount for deposit at needed at move in. Typically all utiltiies including electricity, gas, water, Internet/cable, phone are the tenants respnsibility. Lawn, including watering of the lawn, and pool (if present) can be yours or the is discussed in the lease.

Repairs are the responsibility of the landlords UNLESS you were the cause of the damage/broken item. Also any late pays, violations of lease, etc can cause you to be charged a fee or potential loss of deposit. You would also be responsible for damages that the deposit cannot cover.

Our standard lease is many pages long and covers many of these topics and more (who does the landlord call if you end up in the hospital?). Get with us and we can cover all these "what ifs" with you. We can assist you in finding a rental charge to you!

Mark McNitt
m 832-567-4357
Bernstein Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 1, 2012
As stated by other before me, Move-in is normally First month rent plus one month rent security deposit, any pet deposit if applicable.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 1, 2012
Besides utilities, rent, lawncare, security and pet deposits you may also be responsible for paying a set amount, usually between $50 to $75, per repair incident. Some repairs such as the A/C or heating are 100% the responsibility of the landlord. Some repairs such screen replacement or damage caused by the tenant or their guest are 100% the responsibility of the tenant. This will all be outlined in your lease. You will also likely be responsible for insect and pest control.

If you are leasing in the North/Northwest area of Houston and need assistance; I would love to offer my services. You can reach me at 281-798-4100
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 1, 2012
Typically you wil pay first month's rent and a like amount for the deposit. If you have pets, there will
very likely also be a pet deposit. Utilities are tenant rersponsibility (Electricity, water, gas) and lawn care. Some homeowners/landlords will include regular lawn care in the rental - it is negotiable.
If you would like more info, please call me at 713 703 9130 or email to
Happy to help you!!
Rita Young
Rita Young, Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 1, 2012
That pretty much covers it. Each home is owned by an individual so you need to look at the lease carefully. The homeowner will usually take care of any HOA fees but you would pay everything else associated with owning a home.

Best of luck to you.

Don Groff
REALTOR® | Mortgage Broker
Keller Williams Realty | 360 Lending Group
o 512.669.5599 m 512.633.4157 |
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 1, 2012
First, please let me say Welcome Back! I hope your home search goes very smoothly for you. You mentioned renting for 2 years, and I'd also just like to point out that your willingness to sign a 2 year lease should (all other terms being equal) generally set you ahead of other applicants that only wish to sign a one year lease. From a landlord's perspective, a longer commitment is usually better for many reasons, not the least of which is that it lowers his or her commission expense as a percent of total rental income, since the commission paid to agents is usually the same whether the lease is for one year or two.
In addition to the expectation of your being able to pay the first full month's rent (even if you move in mid-month, in which case you pay NEXT month's rent immediately, and pay the pro-rated rent on the 1st of the month) you will also be expected to provide a security deposit. The security deposit is *usually* equal to one month's rent, and you should expect to have the deposit refunded to you within 30 days of move-out, if you return the property in the same condition that you received it in, with the exception of "normal wear and tear".
Once you find a property that you'd like to rent, you'll be required to submit a rental application and pay an application fee. The application fee can vary, and I've seen fees from $25 to $75 per applicant (all occupants over 18 will need to complete the application form). Owners will often discount the app fee somewhat for a married couple. (For example, the app fee may be $35 for an individual, or $50 for a couple.)
With all that being said, here's the MOST important thing to remember: *Everything* is a negotiation. Just as an example, if your credit report or rental history or employment history is difficult to verify or might in any way *not* reassure the owner that you are a strong applicant, and if you've got the money to do this, you could always offer to pay a 2-month's-rent security deposit, or to pay an additional month or two of rent in advance. I even participated on a transaction where the owner was moving out and needed cash, the tenant had plenty of cash, and to swing the deal, the tenant paid the entire lease, all 6 months of rent, up front! That resourcefulness helped them secure a short-term lease!
Finally, with regard to utilities, about 95% of the time, the lease terms will specify that the tenant pay electricity, natural gas, water, and all other utilities (phone, internet, cable, yard maintenance if the tenant doesn't do it themselves, etc.) but every lease is different, and the terms will clearly spell out your responsibilities, so you will be able to know exactly what the terms are before you agree to and sign the lease.
I'm happy to say that I've helped many folks like yourself find a great place to rent, and I'd be happy to help you. If you'd like me to work on your behalf to find you a great place just let me know. My services are free to you, as I am paid through funds that the owner has already dedicated to this purpose. I can be reached at 281-301-5658.
Best wishes and good luck on your search! And again, welcome back!
-- Kip
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 1, 2012
Good Morning,

You would be responsible for the normal utilities and if you want cable that would probably be your responsiblity also. I would be happy to help you out on what you are looking for.

You have a great day
Debbie Hoffart
Prudential Premier Properties
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 1, 2012
Single family homes are going to cost more since you pay all utilities and maintain yard. Townhomes/condos usually take care of everything except electricity, but each complex is different.
If you sign more than a years lease, have your agent negotiate a cheaper rent for you.
Both have restrictions concerning animals, and most will have pet deposits

You will have to have your credit checked to get into a rental, so while you are at it, you may consider seeing what you need to do to quailify for a loan, that way you can prepare and save while you are leasing. Plus you can check out neighborhoods etc....

Let me know what part of town you are considering, and I will be happy to send you searches to get you started!

Welcome back!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 1, 2012
In most cases you will be required to pay one months rent deposit plus first months rent. If you have a pet, a pet deposit is required , some rentals regarding pets are on a case by case basis. Upkeep of the yard if you have one. A few rentals may include utilities. Have you considered getting approved for buying. Nowadays with interest rates so low, rentals can be more or at least as much as a mortgage payment! Of course if you think you will only be here a couple of years renting may be your best option. Good luck!
If you need additional information I'm happy to answer questions: 832-274-7572
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 1, 2012
Usually all the utilities: gas, water and sewer, trash, electricity and yard maintenance.

Let me know if you need help locating a property that fits your needs!

Lucie Ogdee
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 1, 2012
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