I'm new to the rental game

Asked by Ro2099, Brandon Tue Apr 10, 2012

I have never rented an apartment or a townhouse before, is there anything I should know when I begin the process of signing a lease? I'm pretty much learning as I go. I'm looking for a 2BR/2BA apartment, townhouse or condo in the Brandon area, max rent $1000, pets allowed, washer and dryer in unit, preferably gated. Thanks in advance

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Lisa Reeves, Agent, Tampa, FL
Tue Apr 10, 2012
The biggest thing to make sure is that your landlord is current on their financial obligations. Read your lease and make sure you understand what your obligations area and what the landlords are. Always do a walk-thru with the landlords representative and both sign off on the check list. You should always feel comfortable with who you are renting from.
1 vote
Alma Kee, Agent, Tampa, FL
Mon Nov 5, 2012
I would recommend renting in a "complex". Otherwise you must do a background check on the owner and verify his/her identity before handing over any money. Renting should be a "temporary" situation but if you are up to checking the public records every month and are prepared to fix an air conditioning unit if it breaks and your landlord doesn't have the money to fix it then by all means go ahead and rent from an individual owner.

If your credit is holding you back then there are programs to help you fix your credit and even with a short sale and bankrupcty on your history, GTE Financial (credit union) may give you a mortgage. If you lack downpayment or closing cost money but have good credit and a stable job history, you can also get up to $7,500 from the State of Florida Bond program. There is plenty of money available but you cannot earn more than about $68k and you MUST work with an APPROVED lender.

Your Realtor can give you the details or if you're not yet working with a Realtor, please send me an email and I'll send you the details.

Also Pasco County is offering POP houses where you may be able to get up to half of the cost of the property.

All the best,
Alma Rose Kee, PA
Future Home Realty
0 votes
Irina Karan, Agent, Aventura, FL
Tue Apr 10, 2012
To know the "rental game" - check out FL Residential Landlord Tenant Act - it spells out the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords. This can be emailed to you by any agent.

Generally speaking, once you like the property, you make an offer where you need to write what you want done (if anything) to the apartment before you move in. Then, after your offer is accepted, you'll sign the lease, and will have to go through the condo approval and you'll do a walk through.

It's a good idea to take pictures and describe what defects/dents/scratches are in the apartment - to put it on the Walk Through Sheet (so no one can blame you for it later on when you will be moving out).

It's also a good idea to check your credit report and visit a mortgage pro in your area, because you might be able to buy instead of renting, paying same or even less.

Irina Karan
Beachfront Realty, Inc.
0 votes
Gerardo Luna, Agent, valrico, FL
Tue Apr 10, 2012
Good rentals are a hot item these days. The current state of the Real Estate market have brought new rules. You will need to have your money ready for your application. Be quick, if you like the place, if the place is right and the terms are ok to you. Pull the triger, or else someone else is going to do it.

Check the stipulations regarding your deposit. Some times a lease agreement will let you recover your deposit if later you decide to buy a house. You can always negotiate that in your lease.

Knock some doors. If you really want to know about the place, neighbors are always a great source of information.

Try to find an agent to help you. Some agents are property managers and they can help you with their expertise and rental database.

This is just some advice, I hope my 10 cents will help you.
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