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3 tips for first-time renters

Getting your own place is exciting. Whether you’re coming from years at varsity res or you were previously living with your parents, it’s a great feeling. You spent ages searching for the perfect digs and you finally found you new student home. All the documentation is in order and all that’s left is to sign the lease.

But, as a first-time renter, there are some things you may not know you should be doing. So, here are four tips to help you out.

Read the lease thoroughly

You may be in a rush to move into your new digs, but you need to be careful when reading your lease. While many landlords use standard leasing agreements, some add penalties and other small changes that can cause problems. For example, double check the notice period you have to give your landlord and the notice period they have to give you. You should make sure they can’t kick you out with only one month notice and you have to give them two months. Also, make sure all the information matches up to what they’ve told you. They may seem trustworthy, but you have to be careful when you’re signing a legal contract.

Check the place out thoroughly

Before you even start unpacking your boxes, you need to examine every inch of your new place. Make a list of any issues you notice. Whether it’s a small crack in the wall or a window that won’t close all the way, you should take note of it. Write everything down and take pictures. Email your landlord the list and all of the pictures. Then file away the email and pictures. It’s important you do this when you first move in because if you wait a few weeks, your landlord can claim you did the damage. It could then become an issue when you want your deposit back. You don’t want to have to seek legal assistance when you move out because you’re being blamed for issues that were there all along.

Think about the neighbours

Some people like to meet their neighbours, especially when you probably go to the same university. But that’s completely up to you. You should, however, make an effort not to upset them. If you’re living in a flat, remember that you share walls with other people. As much as you can hear them, they can hear you. So, while you may enjoy listening to heavy metal at 3am, your neighbours may not appreciate it. You don’t want to start a war with your neighbours. They can end up making your life hell. You’ve got to live together, so try keep the peace.

Your first digs is exciting. You’re finally out of res or your parents’ house and you get to control your own space. Just keep the above in mind when you start renting for the first time.

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