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Top tips in renting a house

Nowadays many people choose to rent a house instead of buying or building. The hard financial times we are in are not the best time to invest in property. Renting a house is a secure way to save some money in the short run, especially if you are planning to buy in the future. Renting a house may not be the same as building one but it is still a serious investment and making a wise choice is important. There are several things to look out for before signing an agreement.
The first thing to check is the neighborhood - if you are looking for a house in your own town you probably have a general idea of which areas are secure and best for raising children, for example, and which you better avoid. You wouldn't want to be a prisoner in your own home. Choose the neighborhood based on your opinion, recommendations and check forums online.
The next important thing is the age of the building. It is a rare thing to find a new building to rent, so get used to the idea that your rental home has probably been occupied before and you may encounter various problems - plumbing, electricity, walls structure. An older building usually lacks innovations which makes it less safe for you and your family, but if you don't have a better option at least choose one in a pretty good condition.
The size of the rooms is always a serious issue - make sure the bedrooms, kitchen, living room and bathrooms are in the size your family is comfortable with. When you are renting a house you cannot make structural changes unless the owner lets you, which can be frustrating. Be realistic - there is a little chance of finding your dream home, but choose wisely. If you are planning to have more children or if you have many relatives, it is reasonable to have an extra bedroom. You may think that renting should be within your means, but once you move in this rented house will be your family home and the more space and conveniences you have, the happier you will feel.
Other things to check before renting the house are the electric appliances, wiring and plumbing, showers and taps- everything needs to be in a good working condition. Don't make compromise with these things. If you are planning to move in straight after signing the contract, your landlord should sort out any existing or potential problems. Many problems are only discovered after moving in so be smart about it and have a trusted electrician or plumber check the facilities in advance.
Don't rent the first house you view - compare a few houses which are the closest to your dream house. By comparing houses you can even negotiate a different rent. Inquire about the former tenants - were there any problems with security, has the house been broken into. There is nothing wrong with insisting to know about the past of the house.
Don't tolerate discrimination - landlords can legally reject renting you their house for various reasons. You have to present yourself in your best light, showing that you are going to take good care of the property, pay the agreed rent on time and be cooperative. You may be the one looking for the best home, but your landlord is also looking for the best tenants. Follow these tips for an easy and successful renting process.