Forget Michael Myers, Jigsaw and Jason – your biggest rental fears are what really keep you up at night. From creepy-crawlies to scary neighbors, renters face unique challenges in their homes that are sometimes out of their control.
Here are a few tips to help you face your biggest renting fears, and prevent things from going bump in the night in your home.
1. Your home has been infested with roaches and/or other pests.
Unfortunately, pests can be an all-too-common occurrence for renters. They can hide in your drains, in your kitchen cabinets and sometimes even on your bed.
To prevent pests in the first place, experts suggest keeping your home clean, and properly storing all food. There are also many DIY remedies to get rid of pests, such as boric acid for roaches or apple cider vinegar for flies.
Of course, you can always contact your landlord or apartment office to ask if they’ll hire an exterminator to come into your home.
2. Your neighbors are noisy, or nosy, or worse
While most neighbors will exchange pleasantries and live harmoniously together, occasionally you might have to deal with a neighbor that really pushes your buttons.
A common squabble between neighbors stems from high noise levels. If your neighbor’s noise is really bothering you, try talking to them directly about it and see if they can keep noise to a minimum, or if you could work out a “noise schedule.” If confrontation gives you the jitters, purchase a white noise machine or try soundproofing your home by installing a simple weather strip underneath the front door.
When an issue with a neighbor is about the property in particular (for example, trimming a tree that straddles both properties), ask your landlord to send over a maintenance employee to fix the issue. If you decide to take care of it yourself, be sure to ask your landlord to repay you for any costs incurred.
3. Plumbing issues occur
Plumbing issues aren’t fun for anyone involved. Do what you can to take good care of the plumbing while you’re living at the property. To prevent a major plumbing catastrophe, avoid flushing feminine products, diapers, or paper towels.
However, some plumbing problems are unavoidable, and can often be an emergency. Contact your landlord immediately when you are having an issue. If you don’t get a response right away, do a bit of research on your state’s landlord-tenant laws to see if plumbing is one of the things that the landlord must maintain immediately.
4. You aren’t getting your deposit back
Deposits are a huge expense for renters. As painful as they are to pay, they’re for the protection of the landlord, who may need to use the money to fix any damage that occurred while you lived at their property.
However, a landlord cannot charge the tenant for excessive repairs, particularly for minor issues like normal wear and tear on carpet, or fixing or replacing appliances that have worn out over time.
If you truly believe that you didn’t get the correct amount for your deposit back, you could potentially have grounds for a lawsuit, so be sure to get the advice of a lawyer if you want to pursue a case.
To get back your entire deposit back, sometimes the best offense is a good defense. When you move into a rental, take lots of pictures of any pre-existing damage, or write it down on a move-in document that your landlord provides.
Leaving the property spotless when you move out is also a great way to ensure that you get back every penny.
5. Your security and safety are in question
Living somewhere temporary should never mean that you don’t feel safe. To secure your apartment, make sure the deadbolt is properly working when you move in, and that your windows are locked when you’re away or going to bed at night.
Renters also have multiple options of security in their homes thanks to wireless innovation. Big security companies offer wireless options that are easy to use and battery operated, which makes it easier to get a landlord on board.
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