Renting can offer you several pros and cons. However, in order to enjoy the pros of renting, you need to know how to avoid the cons. As a tenant, you have certain rights, knowing what those rights are and adhering to certain tips can help you avoid having a bad day related to eviction, financial troubles, repairs, and even fraud.
Avoiding a Terrible Day Related to Eviction
Each year, many tenants face the threat of eviction. Between 2010 and 2013, various states experienced an increase in eviction filings such as Kentucky with an 8% increase, Massachusetts with an 11% increase, and Maine with a 21% increase. Evictions threaten the livelihood of many tenants such as yourself. Coming home to an eviction notice on the door can certainly be the root of a terrible day.
However, when it comes to eviction, there are a few things you should know. For starters, your landlord must go through a court process in order to evict you. A verbal eviction notice is not sufficient nor valid in a court of law. Just because your landlord informs you that you are evicted does not mean you are. You are not officially evicted until a judge makes that determination.
Speak to a tenant service in order to verify your rights. Keep in mind that tenant rights vary by state. A tenant service can help you identify your rights when you are faced with an eviction, depending on the state in which you reside. Make sure you let the service professionals know the details of your eviction so they are better equipped to assist you.
Avoiding a Horrible Day Related to Finances
Tenant services may also frequently offer counseling and financial advice. If you live paycheck to paycheck, you are not alone. Approximately 76% of Americans live the same way, which can make paying rent on time, if at all, a seemingly difficult task. One tip to be aware of is the fact that you should avoid misconceptions regarding your rent.
One mistake renters make is thinking that they can afford rent that is a maximum of 35% of their income. However, there are several experts and sources that suggest otherwise. In fact, it is recommended that your rent does not cost more than approximately 25% of your income. If you can keep it below that, it could put you in better financial shape.
If your rent is too costly for your income, it can leave you pinching pennies and perhaps even missing rent payments. A tenant service can help you determine if the home or apartment you are living in is too expensive based on the amount of money you make. If you insist on spending up to the maximum on rent, then consider cutting your costs in other areas such as cable to help you make your rent payments on time. Missing rent payments could very well lead to a horrible day if you are not careful.
Avoiding a No Good Day Related to Repairs
Make sure you pay attention to your rental lease prior to renting a home or apartment. Ensure that the landlord is responsible for any repairs needed ranging from appliance replacement to roof leaks, broken windows, and more. If the lease does not specify that your landlord is responsible, you could end up having a no good day related to expensive repairs.
Never be afraid to report anything in need of repairs to your landlord. If your landlord is responsible for fixing the problem, contact him or her immediately. To better protect you, make sure any communication you have with your landlord is via email or some other form of verifiable communication. In this case, if your landlord tries to say that you didn't report the need for repairs, you have a way to prove otherwise.
Avoiding a Very Bad Day Related to Fraud
If you feel you have been the victim of fraud, speak to a tenant service immediately. They can assist you in determining if your situation is legitimate and even offer specific ways in which you can deal with the situation. Of course, there are ways to avoid becoming the victim of tenant fraud. For example, when you pay your rent, always make sure to use a verifiable source of payment such as a cashier's check or a money order. When writing a check, ensure that you put the month on the check. For example, you can put, "April's Rent, 2015" on the check to ensure that you are able to prove how much you paid and what month the amount you paid was for.
Furthermore, you should always ask the landlord to give you a receipt as proof that you paid your rent.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your rights as a tenant, make sure you contact a professional regarding tenant services. They can offer you a wide variety of advice, tips, and resources to assist you in becoming a better tenant and avoiding shifty landlords.