Renting a Home: What You Need to Know Before Starting

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  • Understand your lease agreement and tenant rights before renting.
  • Inspect the rental property for any repair issues.
  • Get renter’s insurance to protect personal belongings and liability.
  • Choose roommates carefully to prevent conflicts.
  • Improve living space with paint, furnishings, storage solutions, and decorative accessories.

Renting a home can be an exciting experience, but it’s essential to research before starting the process. Whether you’re a first-time renter or have rented in the past, there are certain things you need to know to ensure you get the most out of your rental experience. Here’s what you need to know about renting in the U.S., a couple of essential things you need to know before renting, and ways to improve your space before you settle in.

Renting in The U.S.

It’s estimated that about 44 million homes are occupied by renters in the U.S. There are still many more homes left unrented in the country. Here are a few things you need to know before renting a home in the country.

Understand Your Lease Agreement

The lease agreement is a legal document outlining your rental agreement’s terms and conditions. It’s essential to read the lease agreement carefully and understand all the terms before entering a rental agreement. Ensure you understand the lease term, the monthly rent, the security deposit, and any additional charges that may be included in your rental agreement.

Tenant agreement at work

Know Your Tenant Rights

As a renter, you have certain rights that protect you from unfair treatment or discrimination from landlords. Some rights include privacy, discrimination-free housing, and a safe and habitable living environment. Make sure you are familiar with your tenant rights in your state to ensure your rights are protected.

Check for Repair Issues

Before signing on the dotted line, make sure to inspect the rental property for any repairs that are needed. It’s a good idea to take photos of any damages you find, including cracks in the walls, leaking faucets, or broken fixtures. This information will come in handy to protect you if the landlord tries to withhold your security deposit after you move out.

Get Renter’s Insurance

Getting a renter’s insurance policy is highly recommended, as it will protect you in case your personal belongings are lost, stolen, or damaged. In addition, renter’s insurance can protect you if someone is injured on your property, and you are held liable for their injuries.

Choose Your Roommates Carefully

If you plan to share your rental home with roommates, choose your roommates carefully. Ensure everyone is on the same page regarding rent payments, household chores, and other living arrangements. Having open communication and setting clear expectations from the beginning can help to prevent conflicts down the road.

How to Improve Your Living Space

It’s vital that you also accommodate your rented space the way you want it to be. However, make sure to talk to your landlord before making these changes. Here are four main changes that can make your rented home a better livable space:

Painting a wall


Most homes might not be painted the way you want them. If you have your landlord’s permission, painting is one quick and inexpensive way to personalize your home. However, it can be pretty tedious to do and might also require specific expertise to do. Consider hiring an experienced residential painting contractor to do it for you. The contractor can expertly help you repaint your rented home without damaging the walls.


The next step in transforming your rental space is adding furniture and other accessories to make it look and feel like a proper home. Invest in quality pieces that will last years and styles that fit your budget. You may also consider using anti-slip mats or carpets to protect wood floors from wear and tear.

Storage Solutions

Enough storage solutions can make all the difference in protecting your belongings from spills, dust, pet fur, and dirt. Investing in attractive storage baskets or bins can keep items neatly organized while giving any room an effortless style boost. Consider wall-mounted storage solutions like shelves or hanging baskets to maximize your rental space.

Decorative Accessories

Finally, adding small decorative accessories such as throw pillows, wall art, and area rugs can make your rented home feel more inviting and complete. Consider shopping for items that reflect your style, but don’t break the bank.

Renting a home doesn’t have to be complicated or overwhelming. With the right knowledge and advice, you can enjoy renting and living comfortably without worrying about breaking your landlord’s rules. Remember to research all the laws applicable to renting in your state before signing any agreements, so you know all your rights as a renter.

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