Renting can be a stressful experience for anyone. Prices are rising, homes are degrading, and mortgages are skyrocketing. The idea of owning a home can feel laughable. So, in the meantime, renters can just try and make sure that they are getting their money’s worth when renting.
There are a few things you can do when you are shopping around for a new home to make sure you are getting the best deal in Florida. We break down the elements of renting you need to think about before you sign that tenancy agreement.
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What’s happening in Florida?
Florida residents are currently seeing rent skyrocket – to the highest in the US. That’s good, isn’t it? It means that the state’s economy is thriving, right? Not necessarily. Income isn’t growing alongside the house prices, so less and less people can afford their rent.
The hike in house prices and rent is due to land and construction costs rising and a lack of affordable housing throughout the state. With wage growth not nearly keeping up, there is a growing housing crisis occurring in Florida.
So, it’s then important that you are not only getting the best price but getting what your home is valued for.
Finding the best deal
The best tip we can give any renters out there is to know your worth. If you can do that, you can negotiate – or “haggle”. You don’t need to take the price of rent that’s advertised, but if you’re going to negotiate you better come prepared. Share your receipts.
Do your homework on the property and the area and gather a list of reasons why your rent should come down. Look into the local property market and see how other properties are priced in the area and present your potential landlord with equivalent flats that are priced lower. Research the additional features that are in other properties with the same price – and point out how they are better located or in better shape. For example, if another apartment on your block comes furnished, you can argue that you will buy furniture out of your own pocket, but the rent will need to come down to accommodate this.
If you’re being nice you can offer to sign a longer tenancy term, so that your landlord feels secure knowing he’s getting a little less, but for a lot longer.
Renters’ insurance, like any other insurance, usually feels like an additional cost you don’t need. But, like homeowners’ insurance, you do need it. Renters insurance shares a lot of principles with homeowners’ insurance, in that it would cover all your belongings within the property, including furniture if you bought it, however the property itself is the responsibility of the landlord.
It is becoming increasingly common for landlords to require renters’ insurance within the lease, but that can only help you.
If you’re looking for renters insurance in Florida there are many issues to learn about and discuss with your insurer, so make sure you know all the details of your policy before you purchase.
Homeowners aren’t the only ones that get affected by disasters, theft, etc. so why should you miss out on coverage because you’re “only renting”?
Make sure you’re getting what it’s worth
You’ve already done all the research to make sure the property matches the area, now it’s time to think about whether the interior is worth the price. You hear a lot of stories of landlords treating their tenants unfairly, either by trying to swindle more money or hide glaring faults in the property, but you’re not about to be taken for a ride, right?
Do your own inspection of the property – and take it as seriously as if you were buying the place. If you’re going to be there a while you will want to make sure it’s liveable. Make sure all the sockets and appliances work, and look around for leaks and anything that looks broken or worn down. Not only will this make sure you aren’t moving into a shoddy property, but you can use it to haggle for a lower price.