As a resident, when you move into a new rental property, you’ll need to understand what you’re responsible for maintaining. If you are coming from owning a home, you’ll likely have less maintenance. If you’re moving from one rental home to another rental home, the requirements and norms may be different, so it’s important to ask. Before you move into your San Antonio rental home, make sure you understand which maintenance items you’ll be responsible for as a resident.
Read Your Lease Agreement
It’s important to check your lease agreement. Leases are typically several pages long, and it might seem unnecessary to read every word. But, you should. The lease agreement includes all the details of what you’re responsible for and what you’re not responsible for. The first place to look for any answers to questions you have during a tenancy is your lease agreement. It’s meant to protect you and your property and the owner. Find out what directions are there.
Complete and Keep Your Inventory Condition Form
Before you move into your San Antonio rental property, your landlord or property manager will complete an inventory form that’s designed to document the condition of the property. You’ll be invited to complete your own inventory of the home and make any notes about the damages or wear and tear that you find.
This is important. The inventory condition form is your best protection against losing a portion of your security deposit. It’s in your best interest to fill it out completely and if necessary, use it as proof of receipt at the end of the lease. It will allow you to point out anything that was already damaged. If a landlord tries to charge your deposit for a wall that has a hole in it, you can refer back to your inventory condition form and point out that you noticed that hole before you even moved in.
The documentation is critical to residents, so take it seriously and fill it out completely.
Never Be Afraid to Ask Questions
Ask questions. And once you get the answer, don’t be afraid to ask for the explanation in writing. You want to have all the information in your lease agreement, and if your landlord is answering in a different way or providing conflicting remarks, you’ll want to have everything in writing. Don’t take his or her word for it.
Here’s an example. Maybe your landlord will tell you that he is responsible for the lawn care and will send someone over to mow and landscape from time to time. If that never happens and the grass dies, your landlord could charge you for damage to the lawn when you move out. You cannot assume that something’s going to be taken care of. When your landlord says the lawn care isn’t your responsibility, make sure your lease agreement reflects that. If it doesn’t, have something in writing that documents what you have been told is true.
Any and all questions should be addressed in the lease. You don’t want any inconsistencies or confusion.
Make sure you ask anything you need to ask. Find out if there’s a service charge when you have a maintenance issue and a vendor needs to come out. Ask about whether there’s a policy for how quickly you can expect someone to get back to you and take care of the repair. If you’re expecting a response in an hour but it’s going to take your landlord two days to respond, there may be a conflict. Ask questions so you’re on the same page.
Miscommunication makes everyone unhappy. Be willing to have conversations.