When you find a rental home which will suit your needs, carefully consider the details which will be in the lease/rental agreement. You can avoid potential problems during the time of tenancy (the period of time you lease or rent the property) by taking time to consider details which may include the following:
* Is this home for lease (more stable, long-term agreement; often signed for a year at a time) or for rent (a more temporary and more flexible agreement.)
* How much notice must be given before ending lease? Clarify this for both tenant and landlord.
* Who pays utilities? If tenant pays utilities, are they free to choose the utility companies of their choice?
* Whose responsibility will maintenance issues be? If tenant (renter) will be responsible for some maintenance, it must be written in the lease agreement specifically which items are their responsibility (usually up to a certain dollar amount.)
* How long will the landlord have to take care of maintenance issues which come up?
* If damages occur, how should they be taken care of? The tenant is responsible for damages occurring during the time of the lease, but the landlord may want to approve the repairs before the work is done.
* Under which circumstances may the landlord visit the property during the time of tenancy, and what length notice must be given before the visit?
* Just prior to move-in, take photos. Especially look for pre-existing damage or blemishes. Also, on final walk-through as you move out from the property take pictures. This way the condition of the property is clearly noted, both upon moving in and moving out.