Things To Ask About Before You Rent A House

Posted on: 19 January 2017

When you rent an apartment, you'll typically get a detailed rental agreement from a representative at the rental office that you can thoroughly review before signing. When you rent a house from a private citizen, however, this rental agreement may not be available. For example, you could rent from a family member, friend, or a friend of a friend. While this arrangement might be somewhat informal, it's ideal to make sure that you're 100 percent clear about the rules and responsibilities that you'll face as a tenant. It's a good idea to bring up the following topics to ensure that you know exactly what you're getting into.

Amount Of Notice To Give 

As you get ready to rent the house, you won't likely be thinking about when you'll be moving out. However, it's important to think forward a bit and ask how much notice the house owner will need when you plan to move out. Conversely, you should also ask how much notice the owner will give you if he or she needs you to move out. This may occur if the owner wishes to sell the house or even move into it himself or herself, for example. Come to a consensus that suits you both, such as two months.

What Changes You Can Make

You don't want to dive into customizing the home, only for the owner to find out and be upset that you've made changes. It's a good idea to discuss, in advance, what changes are acceptable for you to make. For example, the owner may ask you not to paint any rooms, or he or she may be fine with you repainting any of the home's interior as long as you repaint it in the original color before moving out. You should also confirm if the owner has any objections to other projects, such as drilling holes in the walls to hang items.

What's Acceptable With Overnight Guests

Some landlords are fine with you having overnight guests as often as you'd like; others are more leery of frequent overnight guests, as it can seem as though additional people are moving into the house on a short-term basis. If the owner is paying for the electricity and water, for example, he or she may not want more people than expected living in the house and increasing the usage of these utilities. It's worthwhile to raise this question with the house owner to ensure that you're on the same page.