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Renter Tips


Negotiating your lease

Your credit-worthiness is probably the most important factor when negotiating a lease. Landlords will tipically require an up to date credit report and will basically review the score, number of active and closed accounts and whether any bankruptcies or judgments exist on record. Personal and trade references will be needed when applying, also a background check is often performed by the landlord's agent or community management company if one exists.

Typically landlords demand the 1st and last month's rental in advance, as well as 1 month's rental as security deposit. The last month may, at the landlor's discretion, may be prorated or waived if the prospective tenant's credit-worthiness is deemed to be up to the landlord's standards.

Renter's Insurance

While all landlords and property owners carry insurance on their properties, these policies cover the landlord's property - not yours. To protect yourself in the event of fire, flood, or theft, you should obtain a renter's insurance policy from a reputable insurance company. These policies cover your belongings and are relatively inexpensive, contact me for a quote.

Pets

Most landlords will require an increased security deposit (usually $200) which will have to be paid prior to move in. We recommend that you start looking for an apartment that accepts pets at least 60 days in advance of your move in date. Some landlords require increased monthly rental payments, others require increased security deposits. If you have some other kind of pet, ask your agent if they are acceptable before you sign a lease.

Landlord/ Tenant act (Florida Statute)

Most renters are aware they have certain rights when they are involved in a dispute with their landlord, however they often don't know what those rights are. This brochure was developed by the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services to answer many of the questions frequently asked about landlord/tenant relationships. This brochure is NOT meant to be a complete summary of Florida's Landlord/Tenant Law. For additional information not addressed in the brochure, refer to Chapter 83 of the Florida Statutes. A copy of the statutes can be obtained at your county courthouse, public library, or by calling us at 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352). This brochure is not intended for the purpose of providing legal advice. Click here for full details.


4 great reasons to rent

Who says you have to own a home to live the American dream? Renting can actually be better for your pocketbook and lifestyle.

Before the housing boom went bust this year, homeownership was considered a good investment. But now, with the rash of mortgage foreclosures, renting may be a more attractive option. Here’s why.

1. Renting can save money
According to popular myth, renters are just throwing their money away. But the reality is that when you buy a home, you’re paying for closing fees, mortgage interest, property taxes, private homeowners’ insurance and maintenance — costs that return nothing on your investment. You’d be better off banking that money or putting it into the stock market. In fact, a recent study by Fidelity Investments indicates that stocks provided investors with nearly 4.6% higher average returns in the past 45 years than real estate.

2. Homeowners’ tax deductions are overstated
Conventional wisdom says that buying a home saves you money because the mortgage interest is tax-deductible. But a study by the National Multi Housing Council – a national advocacy group representing the interests of large apartment firms in the U.S. -- points out that half of homeowners don’t get a break, because even with mortgage interest and property taxes, their total deductions do not exceed the standard federal tax deduction ($10,900 for couples and $5,450 for singles).

3. More options are available to renters
With fewer houses and condos selling, more owners are converting their properties into rentals or providing incentives to lure prospective tenants. In condo-heavy cities such as Palm Beach, Fla., for example — where the vacancy rate has jumped 2.5% — investors are undercutting apartment rates to generate interest. “A lot of people are offering three free months to attract renters,” says Robert Smith, a real-estate adviser in Orlando, Fla. “And modern apartments offer amenities that may be unaffordable in a new home.”

4. Renting gives you flexibility

Buying a home is a big commitment. If you have to move for any reason — say, for work — your property would need to appreciate by at least 10% for you to recover your sales costs, which typically takes about five years. Renting allows you the freedom and mobility you need to find the right job before you tie yourself to a massive home investment.