Knowing the Financial Basics of Renting a Place

by admin on October 23, 2011

If your landlord lives below, your apartment borders a flea market/ railway track, the shower cabin is in the kitchen (there are such places), and it is five of you living in two rooms, this is probably not the best deal in town.

Yet, renting a place of your own – although it is five of you – is truly an eye-opener. Coming up with the rent, especially the first and last month’s one is a joint decision to make. Are all of you planning to spend the summer there or with your parents? What if two of you choose to stay, for unexplainable reasons, and the rest insist on subletting it?

You have to sign for utilities, of course, and the company will require a deposit for this. You have to decide with your roomies whose name utility bills will go under. If this is you, and your roommates boycott payments, your credit score will be tarnished.

Even if you agree on sharing expenses, and everyone is perfectly happy with that, how do you deal with unforeseen expenses? How do all of you determine what an unforeseen expense is? Clothing hangers may be a necessity for you, but your roomies may use the sofa to this purpose. If you choose to rent an unfurnished apartment, what are the essentials? Most of you will probably agree that it is good to have desks, table, pillow cases, and a wastebasket.

However, it may be more difficult to negotiate with them if you want to have an omelet pan, a food processor, or kids gear. What about home insurance and pets? Pets are an issue of their own, and you should agree on this before looking for an apartment to rent. Not all homeowners are amenable to begin with. Some landlords fear that pets may leave flea infestations or damage the fixture, fittings, and furniture.

In fact, you have to think of a strategy or you may risk jeopardizing your housing situation. Lettings agent Amanda Hodgson explains that if you are honest from the beginning, presenting your offer and start date to the landlord and mentioning (by the way) that you have a pet, the homeowner may consider it. But if you wait and hide this, until you see ‘no pets’ in the contract, mentioning you have a dog then, it will make it harder to negotiate (Find a Property). What if they agree but raise the rent? You may be more than willing to buy this, but what about the other four of you?

Back to utility bills. Another issue to discuss is who will foot the electricity bill. Sharing equally may be self-explanatory, but what if some of you eat out most of the time while the others cook twice a day. Then, if you choose to study at your room, while your roommates spend long hours in the library every day, who is paying for heating? Maybe, after all, you should try and find a cheap place of your own.

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