Editor’s Note: This biweekly sponsored column is written by Rick Gersten, founder and CEO of Urban Igloo, a rental real estate firm that matches up renters with their ideal apartments, condos or houses. Please submit any questions in the comments section or via email.
In the competitive DC area rental market, finding the perfect place can be challenging.
Before renters sign on the dotted line, they need to make sure there aren’t any hidden disasters on the horizon. This is especially true when renting a condo or house from an independent landlord. So what should renters look for when doing an initial walk through? And what should they do when they see a problem?
Here’s a list of top things to watch out for when walking through a potential rental:
While some renters may feel uncomfortable doing all these checks on an initial walkthrough, it could potentially save a lot of headaches during their lease term. It is better to ask the questions up front, and make an informed decision. Not every landlord is going to be forthcoming with issues, but at least it shows due diligence.
It can also help when it comes to making an offer. If a renter really likes the place, but there are a few issues to be resolved, it is smart include those issues as a condition before signing the lease. It shows the landlord that the renter is interested in taking care of the property.
If it appears the repairs are bigger than some new paint and a professional cleaning, talk it over with the landlord. Maybe he or she will do some of the work while you are in the unit and offer a reduced rent. Just be sure to set a deadline for the work to be completed. Landlords are usually flexible and willing to do repairs in exchange for good renters. If the landlord isn’t willing to work with the renter up front, it might be a sign to walk away from the deal.
The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of BethesdaNow.com.
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