The most important thing is to inspect the property carefully and put agreements in writing. If the property is in poor condition that could indicate that the previous tenants lived there a long time or that the owner chooses not to keep the property in top condition.
Things to watch out for: who pays HOA dues, who pays utilities, any yard maintenance fees, and other details. Most often there isn't anything special about a lease, just don't make assumptions, get written answers. A landlord won't be offended if you ask them to put in writing what they say they will do.
Oh ... Some garbage collection companies don't care why a bill wasn't paid, they just won't pick up garbage from an address with an unpaid bill.
Santa Clara real estate information at http://julianalee.com/santa-clara.htm
Top 2 agent nationwide at Keller Williams Realty, the nations largest
Over 20 years experience
Over 1,000 homes sold in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties
If you change your mind and consider buying, I would be happy to qualify you and coach you.
Eddie W de Leon
This link will take you to the California Tenant and Landlord Book. You will want to read and understand the lease you are signing.
You should have a written walk through before moving in to show the condition of the property. You will need to leave it in the same or better condition when you move out.
There are required disclosures you are to receive that those should be detailed in your lease.
Make sure you have met with the owner in person and not over the internet. Also, is the owner the owner?
Pay in check so that you have a receipt of your security deposit and rent payments.
All the best to you.
I specialize in Under 640 Fico Score Loans and offer credit repair at no cost to raise fico scores to qualify. I can raise fico scores within 3-4 days in most cases. It only takes a few dozen questions to qualify you in minutes and go over your options. Here are some links to study and consider that I offer in RENT vs BUY options.
Sheryl Arndt, Real Estate Broker - Sr. Loan Officer CA only
REO & Short Sale Specialist
Credit Repair At No Cost
ALL Loan Programs Available
20+ Years Experience
9am till 9pm 7 days
We offer property management services and about 50% of our new clients who have already been managing their own property were using outdated and sometimes illegal application forms and leases.
Before signing a lease with an owner, review it with your attorney or a licensed property manager.