Frequently Asked Questions about Renting a Property


Roughly 35% of all homes in the United States are rented, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC). There are certain perks to renting a home, such as peace of mind knowing that major repairs are covered by the landlord or property owner. But if you're thinking about renting a property, you may have some questions.

Common Questions about Renting a Property

This article covers some of the more commonly asked questions by property renters. Remember that property managers and landlords each have their own criteria, so it's best to ask these questions prior to signing a lease.

What Modifications Can I Make to a Rental Home?

This varies depending on the landlord's terms. Some landlords allow tenants to make a variety of modifications, while others have strict rules prohibiting things like painting the walls, hanging pictures with nails, etc. Always check the terms of your rental agreement to determine what modifications are allowed.

Is Renting a Smart Long-Term Decision?

Generally speaking, buying a home is a smart decision than renting a home, assuming you plan to stay in the home for a minimum of five years. Depending on the length of the loan, the down payment, the cost of the loan, and other factors, this should be enough time to begin acquiring equity. On the other hand, if you need short-term housing, renting is a better choice since it doesn't tie you down to a 30-year mortgage.

Who Pays for Major Repairs?

This is one of the perks of renting vs buying a home. The landlord is typically responsible for paying all major repairs, assuming they weren't caused by the tenant. If the central air conditioning in your rental home breaks down in the "dog days" of summer, for instance, the landlord will pay to fix it. With that said, the tenant is typically required to pay for basic and ongoing maintenance like mowing the lawn, replacing light bulbs, etc.

Can I Have a Pet?

Being that more than half of all U.S. households own a dog or cat, you might be wondering if you can rent a home with a pet. Again, this is something that varies depending on the landlord's terms. If the landlord does allow pets, however, you'll probably have to put down a pet deposit, which is in addition to the security deposit. Pet deposits are oftentimes non-refundable, meaning you won't get them back at the end of your lease.

Do I Need Renter's Insurance?

South Carolina doesn't require tenants to buy renter's insurance. However, it's still a smart investment that can save you from a world of heartache. Renter's insurance can provide financial reimbursement if your property inside your rental home is stolen or damaged.

This article was brought to you by Premier Island Properties - A full service real estate firm serving Hilton Head Island and Bluffton, South Carolina. For more real estate news, information, and interesting facts about the Lowcountry, please visit our website.

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