Know Before You Rent

Rental Season is Heating Up: Make Sure You Don’t Get Left Behind

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A lot of things slow down during the winter, and the rental market is definitely one of them. Between the holiday season and the general inconvenience of moving during colder and snowier months, people aren’t moving as often. But once the temperatures begin to rise, apartment listings usually begin to increase as well.

While more vacancies are good news for those searching for apartments, it’s important to note that there will also be more competition for rental units. If you’re in the market for a new house or apartment, you can give yourself the best chance of finding a place you love by planning ahead and being ready to sign a lease when the time comes. Here are a few tips as you embark on your search:

* Set your record straight. Before you begin your search in earnest, it doesn’t hurt to do a little research on yourself to ensure that you’re an attractive tenant for potential landlords. My Rental History Report offers background checks for renters, allowing you to address any issues you might find before it’s too late.

* Save for security deposit and moving costs. While moving is exciting, it also carries short-term expenses that you need to plan for. If you think you might be moving, it pays to make sure you have some money saved to cover your new security deposit and moving costs, as well as vacation time banked to use as you move.

* Look early and often. If you have a decent rental history, a few additional factors can differentiate you from other renters, so landlords usually operate on a first-come, first-served basis. Check listings frequently and don’t hesitate to contact the owner the minute you’re interested.

* Know what you need to do to get out of your lease. If you’re on a month-to-month lease, there’s usually a clause in your lease that requires you to give a certain amount of notice before you leave. And if you do have a longer-term lease, there is a chance your landlord may be willing to bend on letting you leave during popular moving months. See where you stand on your current lease before you sign another to avoid overlap.