Whether you’re a student that wants to share a space with multiple roommates to save money or you’re a family with small children who simply want more room, finding a great home rental that will last is easy if you know what to look for. As with an apartment, a home rental can make your life less stressful – you won’t have to worry about things that homeowners do, such as shoveling the walk, mowing the lawn or staying on top of routine repairs and maintenance. But a home rental does come with a few things that you need to be cognizant of to ensure a happy and comfortable place to call your own.
If your home rental is older, you need to be aware of the potential for leaks to develop in the roof. Before deciding on renting the house, discuss the state of the roofing with the landlord or property manager. If it is clear that a problem may develop of the course of your tenancy, you may wish to ask that preventative measures are taken before you move in. Further, and this is true with any home or apartment you rent, you will want to strongly consider purchasing tenant’s insurance to cover your belongings in the event of a leak.
Ah, the dreaded electrical overload. If you have multiple people living in an older home rental, particularly a group of students who are all using computers, televisions and other electronics, overloading the (possibly) outdated electrical system is a real issue. One person might be running the microwave while another is using their computer and suddenly – poof! – a fuse is blown and both machines shut off. When you decide to rent a home, ask for an overview of the electrical system and where the fuse box is located. If it’s a simple matter of throwing the switch back, you can remedy the problem yourself without having to involve the landlord. However, if a blown fuse is a frequent issue you may want to discuss an upgrade of the entire electrical system with your landlord.
Sufficient Smoke Detectors
While having up-to-date batteries in your smoke detectors is technically the responsibility of your landlord, having extra batteries on hand is always a good idea. Periodically test the detectors to ensure they are in good working order (most fire departments suggest checking them when you move your clocks forward and backwards twice a year). If you have a fireplace in your home rental, you’ll also need your landlord to provide you with a carbon monoxide detector. Finally, see how many smoke detectors are located throughout the home. If it’s just one, ask for more to be installed.
For your safety, breakaway windows are a necessity in a home rental. In the event of an emergency, a breakaway window will ensure that anyone that is not on the main floor of the home can get out quickly. While you’re inspecting the state of the windows in your home rental, you should also look for potential leak areas where mold can grow to prevent problems down the road. If you spot any issues, don’t be afraid to bring them up with your landlord – remember, it’s your health and safety that is on the line. The majority of landlords will be more than happy to take care of these issues for you immediately.
Doors and Windows that Lock
This may sound like a no-brainer, but you might be surprised at the inefficiency of some locks, particularly in an older home rental. Is the front door as old as the home itself? Ask for it to be replaced or, at the very least, for the doorknob and lock to be re-installed. Your windows may be truly “old school” in nature and not have any locking mechanisms at all. While they may look pretty, function is also an important feature when you’re looking at a home rental. Make sure your belongings will be secured and safe when you’re not at home.
By creating a checklist of issues to watch out for, you will find the perfect home rental for you in no time. Now you can sit back and enjoy that yard that you don’t have to mow.
The RentSeeker.ca Team