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New RentersRenting an apartment from a property management company often offers certain luxuries and securities. For example, the community may include amenities like an exercise room, a pool and a laundry facility. With well-rated companies, you can typically look forward to quick rent payment processing and an organized maintenance crew. However, renting from a private landlord, though a different process, may offer more flexibility with a friendly, personal touch.

Many people are already familiar with renting an apartment from a property management company, so let’s explore the intricacies of renting from a private landlord.

Flexibility and Other Perks

Working one-on-one with an individual allows you to develop a more trusting partnership. This often feeds into a flexible arrangement that may suit your needs better than renting from a company that has more concrete policies. For instance, with a private landlord, you may be able to set your rent payment for the 15th of the month (as opposed to the standard first of the month, as is traditional with companies) to better coincide with your pay day.

As a property owner, your landlord will have a vested interest in the condition of the apartment. This lends well to reaching an agreement in regards to improving the living space according to your preferences. Just be sure to double check with your landlord before you paint the kitchen blue.

If you prove to be an agreeable, low-maintenance resident, it’s in your landlord’s best interests to keep you as a tenant for as long as possible. This opens the door to negotiating a rent price and/or avoiding price hikes at renewal.

Questions to Address

Even if these perks sound appealing to you, renting an apartment is a business transaction and you should understand the terms before signing the lease. You may wish to ask a landlord the following questions first.

  • What are the rates for rent and utilities, and when will you be expected to pay?
  • Is there a deposit? Is it higher if you own a pet? And for that matter, are pets allowed?
  • Are there any property amenities, like WiFi?
  • What is a typical turnaround for a maintenance call?
  • Does the landlord own the property? If not, does he or she have permission to sublet it?
  • Under what circumstances is the landlord able to enter your apartment without your explicit consent (such as suspected gas leaks)?

Make sure there is a written lease you can read over before signing. Never rely on someone’s word in case an incident occurs later for which you need proof of the agreed upon terms of lease. It’s also a good idea to take pictures of the rental unit and document any damages before you move in so you dispute any claims that you may have caused pre-existing damages.

Whether you choose to rent from a private landlord or a property management company, it’s important to protect your interests and finances with a renters insurance policy. Contact your independent insurance agent to find out just how affordable this coverage can be.

We’ve got you covered. Call 925.737.1560 for more information on Bay Area renters insurance.

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