How [Not] to Be Bad Renter
You have found your home, sweet home, and you would like to settled down and stay awhile. Now, how to manage that?
Some obvious, and not-so-obvious things might make you a bad renter. Don’t let a lease violation put you out in the cold.
1. Don’t Read Your Lease Before You Sign It
Everyone likes surprises, right? Don’t know what an “acceleration clause” is? What does “breach of lease” mean, anyway? If you don’t read your lease thoroughly before you sign it, you might be in for some unpleasant surprises later on. (If possible, check with a housing counselor or lawyer look it over to help you understand the legalese.)
2. Be That Noisy Neighbor
Late night parties, frequent screaming and shouting matches, stomping around in your clod-hoppers on those hardwood floors, rolling bowling balls across the vinyl floor for the listening pleasure of your downstairs neighbor all make you eligible for the “noisy neighbor” category that may end up in a non-renewal of your lease.
3. Invite the Apartment Crasher
Have friend who just needs a place to stay? For a few days? A few week? A few months? An unofficial tenant living in your place might alarm your landlord—and put you over the occupancy limit on your place, which would be a lease violation.
4. Own a Water Bed
Many landlords simply declare a ban on water beds, so owning one would be a lease violation. In any case, the potential damage from a leaky water bed poses a damage risk that neither you nor your landlord will be happy about.
5. Sign Up for Satellite TV
Signing up for satellite TV could be a lease violation: since you don’t own the building, your apartment lease may forbid you from attaching objects like a dish to the building.
6. Disappear for Awhile
Taking a long trip without telling your landlord how long you’ll be gone could be prohibited by your lease—and even make it look like you have abandoned your apartment. Many landlords worry about what can happen in unoccupied units (burst pipes, bug infestation, etc.), so they may want the right to enter your place while you’re away. If you’re going to be away for a while, it’s probably wise to have someone looking after your place.
7. Go Over Occupancy
The more, the merrier, right? Plus, it reduces the rent to split it more ways. If you don’t comply with the occupancy limit, you and the crowd you came with might need to start apartment-hunting again.
8. A Fire Under Your Meal
Some leases prohibit using outdoor fire of any kind — and that includes grilling. Check your lease before you throw the burgers and hot dogs on the grill.
9. Getting Robbed
How does a burglar breaking into your apartment and stealing your stuff make you a bad tenant? Technically, it’s not the theft, but rather, your lack of protection against it. Some landlords require tenants to purchase renter’s insurance as part of their apartment lease, to protect their belongings in case of theft or burglary.
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