Renting a home is stressful enough, knowing some important information to get you across the finish line can be the difference of a successful rental or a major fail.
Prepare your documents; get organized! If you are searching for apartment you will need to provide your income, credit, and I.D to an apartment complex or owner. You mind as well have it ready and know your information. That way if you call and owner or Realtor you can tell them exactly what your credit and income is. There are requirements you will need to meet, and the more organized you are the more efficient the process will be. I have had people call me and ask if they can see the apartment, but they don’t know what their credit score is or what their income is. Owner’s and buildings have requirements. Best to be organized and ready.
Verify ownership; when you are dealing with the owner directly or even a Realtor, make sure you look up the owner’s name. You can do this by using Broward County Property Appraiser website. This is important because you want to make sure the name on the lease matching the owner ship on the county website to prevent a scam.
ASK QUESTIONS! Read the contract and make sure you understand what you are signing. If you won’t understand ask the Realtor. People are busy, sometimes paperwork is sent days after you meet via an E-sign. You may not have the Realtor in front of you. There are some basic fundamentals of the Florida contract to lease and the Florida lease. It’s always helpful to call and ask questions. You don’t want to sign inaccurate contracts which happen everyday. If you don’t understand something and your Realtor doesn’t know, you should seek guidance of an attorney.
Notate deficiencies; If there are things wrong with the home don’t expect a verbal agreement to fix items is enough to make sure they are completed before move in. If the binds are missing, or there are holes in the walls from pictures or if the refrigerator is dirty, these need to be notated in the offer better known as the contract to lease. PUT IT IN WRITING !
Do a walkthrough; make sure you and at least one of the Realtors are present to do a walkthrough. Test all the appliances, flush toilets and run the water for good measure. Also notate any existing wear and tear, view the walls, floors, ceilings and anywhere you can visually see. Put this information on the walkthrough form. If a walkthrough form is not present, then it’s probably a good idea to take some quick video and some pictures in order to cover yourself. With this information you should email the property owner within a few days preferably that day your findings. That way you are covering yourself and cannot be blamed when you move out.
Bring a cashiers check to closing; Don’t forget to bring secured funds to your rental closing. We have seen instances where the owner does not have secured funds and now the owner will not provide the keys. It is very important for the owner to have secured funds so he does not have to worry about a check bouncing that same day. It may sound not necessary to you, but the owner does not know you yet. Moving forward they normally will allow personal checks or direct deposit.
Set up your electricity. In Florida the electric provider is FPL or better known as Florida Power & Light. Once you are approved by the owner and the association if there is one, go right ahead and call FP&L and set up your account. Sometimes owner’s turn power off when a renter moves out and you don’t want to show up on walkthrough day and not be able to test your appliances and lights.
My name is Adam Docktor, I am a Realtor With RE/MAX House of Real Estate and I have a passion for everything real estate. I graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Real Estate. I’ve done over 400 apartment and private home rentals. I consider myself an expert in the rental process and know process in my opinion; better than most! My service is designed for busy professionals. I can compile a list of properties that will meet your criteria and shorten your rental search from days or weeks to just 1 day normally. Please contact me my clicking on the upper right hand corner where it says Contact Me or call me on the phone number provided on my website.
“This Docktor Makes House Calls.”