Trulia, Other/Just Looking in San Francisco, CA

What are some tips for renters before signing a lease?

Asked by Trulia, San Francisco, CA Tue Mar 6, 2012

What are some things to be aware of? What are some tips when negotiating a lease?

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Sharon Lewis, Agent, Cary, NC
Tue Mar 6, 2012
I would check the tax records, make sure that the homeowner is current on their taxes. Try to rent from something listed by a realtor, it tends to be more 'legit' and that realtor knows if the homeowner is current on their taxes and can give you some feedback on the homeowner. I would be concerned with someone who would not want to meet you face to face and only asks that you mail the that.
There are a lot of rental scams going on. Also, try to lock in your rental rate to two years. Rentals in the country are at a premium in many areas . Look around the area, talk to neighbors.
2 votes
April Crowder, Agent, Charlotte, NC
Tue Mar 6, 2012
Sharon gave a good answer. If a renter does like a house for rent by an individual, then be sure to ask for ID before giving them any money, even if they meet you in person. Check tax records to verify the owner I have also heard of local scams where a scammer sees a vacant house and puts up a rent sign. The scammer also has someone to change the locks. When you meet this person, you would naturally assume they are the owner as they have keys to the house. One more thing, make sure the lease is NC lease and not one the owner drew up. A lot of owners create their own leases and some of the terms violate NC Real Estate law.

As far as negotiating a lease, I do not see much of that going on right now as the rental market here is very strong.
1 vote
Alan Grizzle, Agent, Dahlonega, GA
Tue Apr 17, 2012
Try to find someone who has rented from that landlord in the past. You need a landlord who keeps the property in good condition. If it is an owner who never fixes anything you will be miserable there. Often lack of upkeep is an indication of a future foreclosure. Find out if the former tenant had any problems with the landlord. There are some real creeps out there and you don’t want one of them for a landlord.
Keep in mind the landlord has the right to expect / demand rent to be paid on time. Expect the tenant to keep the property clean, not damage the property and not disturb the neighbors. You can’t fault a landlord for evicting a tenant who is not paying, damaging the property or disturbing the other tenants. The landlord has expenses if the rent is being paid or not and can’t let someone live there that does more damage than the rent will pay for.
0 votes
Julie, Home Buyer,
Thu Mar 8, 2012
Make sure the landlord is current on THEIR payments. I recently rented a home from someone last September. I have since learned that her house is going into foreclosure, and there is not a DARN thing I can do but find somewhere else to go. There are a lot of shady landlords out there. Protect YOURSELF! As a tenant, I have no rights, but to terminate my lease in 10 days instead of 30. Woop! So needless to say, not liking Charlotte.
0 votes
Nathan Wolf, Agent, Charlotte, NC
Thu Mar 8, 2012
Refundable Deposits. READ WHAT YOU SIGN!!!

I recently had a disagreement with a Leasing Agent who was trying to make my client give him all of his personal information, and a non-refundable desposit... BEFORE AGREEING TO THE TERMS OF THE LEASE or even letting him READ THE LEASE!

How crazy is that? And the Leasing Agent told me he does this all the time... Get all the terms in writing. Negotiate repairs to the property to be reductions in the rent. Ask for anything you want fixed to be fixed up front. Ask for a reduction in rent if you sign a longer term lease. Ask for your full deposits refunded if you leave the property in good condition-- get this in writing.

Do you see the theme? GET IT IN WRITING. And yes, EMAIL is in writing. So confirm everything you discuss with the landlord of Leasing Agent with an email.

Call me if you would like to discuss further: 704-858-2345
Give me a "BEST ANSWER" or "THUMBS UP" if this answered your question. Thanks!
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