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Tips for Renters: Best Ways to Be The Best Tenant

Taking care of the property that you’re renting can save you money and help keep the home in great condition. Something that your landlord and the homeowner will thank you for, even when they aren’t the ones living there. Read along for some tips we recommend for renters.

Know what you’re responsible for

Utilities and internet installation

Always check your lease if you are unsure what you are responsible for paying for. If you are responsible for your own utilities, make sure to call your providers and change the account for the property into your name before your move-in date. Tenants often ask for help installing their internet, but in most cases, installation is the tenant’s responsibility. This is something that must be handled directly with the provider.

HVAC filters

If you have a furnace that has a HVAC filter, these filters need to be replaced with new ones at least every 6 months. These filters are the key to the health of the heating and air system. If you are renting a larger home, or have animals living with you, the filter most likely needs to be replaced more regularly than bi-annually. A good rule of thumb is to check your filter every 3 months to see if it needs to be changed out.

Landscaping

Also be sure to check your lease to see what your landscaping responsibilities are. Some owners would prefer the tenant not worry about the upkeep of the property, while others require the tenants to maintain the landscaping themselves. The expectations of what maintaining the landscape also may vary from owner to owner so be sure to see if there are any specified tasks, i.e.- the sidewalk must remain shoveled throughout the winter.

Other tips

Notify your landlord of big issues

If there are any major maintenance issues with your rental, you absolutely should contact your landlord about the problem.  If left alone big problems tend to turn into bigger problems. In some cases, tenants can be hesitant to bring up issues, but typically the landlord and owner will appreciate the concern you have for the home.

Garbage disposals

It can be a huge time saver for both you and your landlord if you know how to reset your garbage disposal yourself. Many times, renters think when their garbage disposal stops working a professional is required to fix it, but in most cases a simple reset will fix the problem.

If you turn it on and you don’t hear any noise, you’ll want to reset the breaker on the bottom of the disposal under your sink. There should be a button (often red) for this. If you turn it on and instead hear a humming sound, you’ll need to unjam it with a garbage disposal wrench. Make sure you turn off the unit prior to doing this.

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