Renting Basics

rental agreement formGreat info for first time renters across the country from the Texas Apartment Association.

Getting ready to rent your first apartment? Renting again after a few years out of the rental market? Even an old pro may need a refresher course in renting basics. The information in this section should help you make informed decisions as a renter.

This section is ideal for general information and answers to commonly asked questions on a variety of topics.

If you’re looking for in-depth information on renting, however, you’ll want to consider taking Renting 101, TAA’s in-depth online education course designed to help first-time renters select, lease and live responsibly in rental housing.

Before you rent

Whether you’re renting your first place of your own, moving to a new city or area, or just need a change of scenery, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is where you’ll live.

If you are renting, you will most likely sign a lease, which is a legal obligation to live someplace and pay rent for a certain length of time (usually six months or a year). There are very few exceptions in which a lease can be broken. Therefore, your rental home should be chosen with great care.

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How to get Your Landlord to Treat You Better

The renter/landlord relationship is not always an easy one, in the article below, Royal Rose Properties gives helpful hints on making yours a good one.

Here’s a surprise: the better you treat the landlord, the better most of them will treat you!

OK, so let’s get one fact out of the way: there are slumlords out there who will treat you like crap no matter how excellent you are to them. But given that your landlord is a human being with a conscience, the best way to get your landlord to treat you better is to build a relationship with them — one that’s based on more than just “This is broken, please fix it.”

Read your lease

It starts, like most things involving your landlord start, with the legalese. You have to actually sit down and read the lease. Read it in detail. Understand it. Get a copy for yourself and go over it with a red pen. Ask your landlord about any parts of it that you don’t understand. If you want to do anything that might affect the building your renting — and that includes everything from renovating the kitchen to taking up smoking to getting a dachshund — check the lease, and if it says anything whatsoever about the subject, ask the landlord. Oddly, having the landlord say ‘no’ and then actually not doing it is one of the best things that can happen to your relationship with the landlord — it shows them that you respect their ownership of the property, which goes a long way.

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Renter Dynamics

By Ellen Calmas
Smiling young woman packing boxes to move outIt gives me great pleasure  to share a commentary that ran in the Washington Post with great insights on today’s renter from Tom Bozzuto of Bozzuto Group.  In his commentary, Mr. Bozzuto recognizes for a host of socioeconomic reasons that the renter of today is significantly different than the renter of our parents’ generation.  Absent of a sense of forfeiting their piece of the American Dream of home ownership, today’s renter, in large part, opts for flexibility and cost savings in their housing choices.  Stated simply, they rent because they want to, not because they have no other choice.  These renters are employed, stable and able to to be reliable.  NPS Rent Assurance is built on helping a segment of this discerning population to successfully live the renter life even if their credit has been hurt.  We know from experience that giving renters tools to manage rent from payroll for improved cash management enables more people to move into their dream apartment and living the life they want to live.

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Apartments for Low Credit Renters

Recently, we came across this great article from NarrowBridge Finance, http://www.narrowbridge.net/apartments-for-low-credit-renters/ on renting with low credit.  The article states that although the real estate market is picking up across the country, the renting market has been seeing different trends in both buying and renting.  Credit risk is an important piece of  deciding whether individuals can rent their dream apartment or home..read more.

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How to Dig Yourself Out Of Debt

Financial wealthLet’s face it, falling into debt is easy- especially if you’re supporting a family and responsibilities.  To help dig yourself out of debt utilize this Action Plan.

 

Credit Report vs. Credit Score: Do You Know the Difference?

Credit scoringCredit scores and credit reports are not only different but they are used for different purposes. Since credit scores and credit reports are directly related, it is easy to confuse them with each other.

Check out the article on US News Money to learn the difference between credit report and credit score. 

Things to look for and expect when renting an apartment.

The experts at NPS Rent Assurance also remind you to ask about special rent payment  programs for applicants whose credit score is below the standard requirement. To qualify, you typically need to verify your employment, which is standard when applying for an apartment lease, and demonstrate you will take steps to make sure your rent will be paid on time. Starting direct deposits from your employer every pay day as “Installments” toward rent is a good step and a measure many communities value as means to avoid higher upfront move in costs. Read More

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Your Credit Score is Important When Renting

One in Five Credit Reports Contain Errors

A Federal Trade Commission study released in February 2013 indicates that a whopping one in five consumers have errors in at least one of their three credit reports (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion). These 40 million errors, ranging from name and social security mix-ups to erroneous account information, can result in your paying more for products like auto loans, insurance, and even rent.

A credit report includes information on where you live, how you pay your bills, and whether you’ve been sued, or have filed for bankruptcy. Nationwide consumer reporting companies sell the information in your report to creditors, insurers, employers, and other businesses that use the data to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment, or renting a home.

Your Credit Report Matters to Landlords

As a mirror image of past payment practices, your credit score is one of the few indicators a prospective landlord has to determine if you’re the kind of person who will pay rent reliably. Conventional wisdom suggests that the higher your credit score, the lower the risk that rent will be paid late or not at all.  And, let’s face it, being paid rent on time is what enables property companies to stay in business.

Higher credit scores translate to lower lease acceptance terms and higher probability of qualifying for the apartment of your dreams. Lower credit scores can cost you more in terms of higher security deposits charged to offset the risk of payment defaults and unexpected move-outs.

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Why it’s important to check your credit report

Have you checked your credit report recently? If not, you could be in for a big surprise. A recent study published by the government indicates that over 42 million Americans have an error on their credit report. CNNMoney provides helpful tips on how to check your credit report for errors.

As many as 42 million Americans have errors on their credit reports, according to a Federal Trade Commission study of around 1,000 participants and 3,000 credit reports released Monday.

“Errors in credit reports can cost you a loan, a competitive interest rate, a job, security clearance and insurance,” said John Ulzheimer, president of consumer education at SmartCredit.com.

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Reasons Renting Is Better Than Buying

The housing markt may be slowly getting better but is really time to buy? Recent reports say that is a renter’s market but what benefits are there really out there in renting? Below are the Top Ten Benefits to Renting vs. Owning.

A lifelong goal that many citizens strive to achieve is homeownership. While many people own their own homes in today’s society, this wasn’t always the case. Historically, families either needed to build their own homes or rent a home from someone else. While both renting and buying have their own sets of financial advantages, renting does appear to have an edge when the economy is poor. There are tremendous financial benefits to renting as opposed to buying a house of your own. Here is a look at 10 reasons why renters have the better financial deal over homeowners.

No Maintenance Costs or Repair Bills
A definite advantage that renters have over homeowners is that they have no maintenance costs or repair bills to pay off. When you rent a property, your landlord is responsible for all maintenance and repair costs. If an appliance stops working or your roof starts to leak, you do not have any financial responsibility to have these things fixed. Homeowners, on the other hand, are responsible for all of their own repair, maintenance and renovation costs. Depending on what the repair is, these costs can be quite extensive.

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