Top 5 Things for First Time Tenants

23 Mar Top 5 Things for First Time Tenants

We deal with a lot of first time tenants who aren’t familiar with the leasing process – here are a couple of tips to make the transition into being a tenant as smooth as possible!

1. Never lie on your application. If you have some financial issues and hardships, they will come to surface during the application process. Most owners are willing to consider people with a not so perfect past, but not if they are trying to hide it.

2. Once you are approved to move in, make sure to call the utility companies to have everything placed into your name for your big move-in day.  Ask your property manager, Realtor, or home owner for the names of the local utility companies in your area.

3. Be sure to do a thorough walk through of the property notating anything that is less than perfect. Any lease that you sign should allow for a minimum of 5 business days so you can submit a written inspection list of any deficiencies. If you don’t submit a list, you could be taking ownership of those existing issues when you move-out.

4. Please read your lease carefully to have a true understanding of what your tenant responsibilities are with regard to maintaing the property. Most leases have you handle minor interior maintenance, which can include: caulking of the tubs and showers, all lightbulbs being in working order, changing the HVAC filters monthly to bi-monthly, and fuses as needed. You are also generally required to maintain the lawn, mulch the flowerbeds, and prune the shrubs, and to make sure the hose bibs are winterized, clean out the gutters, chimneys, and dryer vents as needed, and shampoo your carpets regularly.

All of these items, if not performed when necessary, can result in future damages to other areas of the home. Example: old moldy, cracking caulk can allow water to penetrate beneath the tub, ultimately causing damages to the ceiling below, and mold problems; gutters not being cleaned can cause water to run over into areas that might run under the siding, or can run to the foundation in areas not designed for heavy water flow increasing the chances of basement leaks; not changing your HVAC filters regularly can cause your system to shut down, and will reduce the life spam of the system. Just to name a few.

What”s that old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”

-Benjamin Franklin   


5. Make sure your rent payment is paid by the 1st. Most leases allow you a grace period until the 5th day of the month, however, your rent is still late if you pay on the 5th, it’s just without penalty until the 6th. If you mail it out even post marked early, however, doesn’t arrive into your landlords hands until the 6th, you will still get hit with a hefty late charge. Your safest payment method would be to pay on line or to have a bank transfer go out on the 1st so you don’t have to ever worry about this happening.



Tina DuBrule
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