Navigating a Landlord's Market: Essential Tips for Renters 

Navigating a Landlord's Market: Essential Tips for Renters 

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By Bromwich+Smith staff | Reading time: 5 minutes | 948 words | Date: 2023/09/12

The dynamics between landlords and renters can often shift, causing major impact on the rental market. As we find ourselves in what is commonly referred to as a "landlord's market," where demand for rental properties surpasses supply, renters need to be well-informed and proactive. Our goal is to outline key expenses to be aware of and providing strategies to avoid snowballing debt. 

Understanding the Landlord's Market: 

A landlord's market begins simply when the demand for rental properties significantly outweighs their availability. This situation gives landlords the upper hand in setting rental prices as well as selecting tenants. As a renter, you need to be fully prepared and understand your budget for housing, and have all your documentation showcasing why you are an ideal tenant. This will include paystubs, reference from current landlord, credit report, photos of pets etc. 

Expenses to Be Aware Of: 

  1. Rent Costs: In a landlord's market, rental prices can be higher simply due to increased demand. Research the average rent in your desired area to ensure you're paying a fair price. Often renters will often pay higher rent because they do not feel there are alternate options. Know the going rate, and consider looking at rentals outside your original parameters. 

  1. Security Deposits: Landlords will typically require a security deposit upfront, usually equivalent to one month's rent. This deposit is held to cover any damages beyond normal wear and tear when you move out. Some will ask for a deposit, first and last months which totals 3 months of rent.  

  1. Utilities: Beyond rent, you'll likely be responsible for paying utilities such as electricity, water, gas, and internet. Make sure to budget for these ongoing expenses. If you are renting a joint space, ensure you have in writing who is responsible for the bills including setting it up, and the split.  

  1. Renter's Insurance: While not always mandatory, having renter's insurance is highly recommended. It covers your belongings in case of theft, fire, or other unexpected events. If you are between places, or downsizing and have items in a storage facility we recommend insuring your storage unit as well.  

  1. Maintenance and Repairs: Although landlords are typically responsible for property maintenance, you might still encounter minor repair costs, especially for issues caused by your own actions. This could include interior or exterior costs- who takes care of the lawn care and snow removal, who pays for clogged toilets, broken appliances, burnt out light fixtures etc. 

  1. Pet Fees: If you have pets, expect to pay additional fees or a higher rent. Landlords often charge pet deposits to cover any potential damages and in some cases an additional monthly fee. Be upfront and honest about your pet and their size as you may be evicted if you sneak in a larger sized pet that breaks your lease. 

Ways To Avoid Debt: 

  1. Set a Realistic Budget: Before you start your rental search, create a  budget that considers not only rent but also utilities, groceries, transportation, and any other essential expenses. Stick to this budget to avoid overspending. Your dream rental may not be in your budget right now but if you have flexibility to reshuffle items, you may find the additional funds to cover the rent. 

  1. Negotiate Wisely: While landlords hold more power in a landlord's market, don't hesitate to negotiate the rent. Highlight your strengths as a tenant, such as a stable income, good credit score, and positive rental history. Landlords will often want a long term tenant, so if you are willing to sign a longer leases you may be able to persuade lower rent. 

  1. Roommates: Consider living with roommates to share the rent and other living costs. This can significantly ease your financial burden. This may not always be the right scenario depending on your personal situation. You do not want to sacrifice your mental health! 

  1. Save for Emergencies: Create an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses. This fund can prevent you from falling into debt when facing sudden repairs or medical bills.  

  1. Inspect Thoroughly: Before moving in, conduct a thorough inspection of the rental unit. Document any existing damages and share them with the landlord to avoid being held responsible for them later. Take your own photos before you move in any furniture. Document the state in which you receive your keys, showcasing stain on carpet, dirt throughout etc. This may save you with your security deposit when you do move out. 

  1. Understand the Lease: Carefully read and understand the lease agreement before signing. Pay attention to clauses about penalties for breaking the lease, rent increase policies, and your responsibilities as a tenant. You may be required to inform your landlord about overnight guests, there could be noise restrictions, or restrictions on what can and can not be stored on balcony space. Understanding all aspects will help you have a good relationship with your landlord, and save you money on fines and possible eviction. 

  1. Conserve Energy: Lower your utility bills by conserving energy. Turn off lights and appliances when not in use, and consider using energy-efficient bulbs.  

  1. Regular Inspections: Regularly inspect your rental for any maintenance issues and report them promptly to the landlord. Addressing problems early can prevent them from escalating into expensive repairs. This showcases you as a responsible tenant, who they want to keep long term.  

Renting in a landlord's market requires careful planning and strategic thinking. By understanding the rental market, being aware of potential expenses, and budgeting accordingly, renters can secure ensure a happy living situation all while avoiding unnecessary debt. Remember, it's essential to be proactive and prepared to steer the landlords market. 

If you find yourself  struggling with overwhelming debt, or unable to juggle your expenses call our Debt Relief Specialist team at 1-855-884-9243. You can also request a call back at our contact us page. We’re working with you to rebuild your worth.   


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