Get the 411 for First Time Renters

By Nancy Kaller on Sep 15, 2021 at 06:17 PM in Articles

Get the 411 for First Time Renters

Get the 411 for First Time Renters

Let the adventure begin for our first-time renters. This is an exciting time, being on your own, enjoying that Freedom to find yourself and think for yourself. And it also means added responsibilities, but of course, right! We hope these tips will help you start your search and find a wonderful place to rest, relax and perhaps do some entertaining. 

Start by determining how much you can spend each month. The many articles we reviewed suggest 30% of your monthly income on rent at maximum, for example: If you earn $4,000.00 per month before deductions and taxes, you should spend about $1,200.00 or so per month on rent. However, you will need to use your best judgment on what you feel is comfortable and affordable for you.

Living with a roommate will allow you to split the rent & utilities, which is something to consider, however, you might want to take a glance at our previous blog titled: To Share or Not to Share, to get a better idea if this is the route you want to take -click to view the blog!

Along the line of affordability, one must not forget about paying utilities. Find out what utilities are included in the rent, and which ones are not included. Utilities consist of water, electricity, gas, trash/sewer, cable/internet.

What if you have a pet and you want them to live with you, do they allow pets? Will there be an extra cost, either initially or each month? Will your security deposit be more with a pet?

Picking your location. Consider how long you want to commute to work or school. If you will be relying on public transportation, will you be within walking distance to the pick-up spot? Also consider what is nearby in regards to shopping and services, especially if you do not have a car.  

Touring the potential rentals. Get to know the area, tour the community, walk the complex and neighborhood. Get a good sense of how the area is kept up and how the amenities look, are they clean? Now is the chance to ask the property manager all your questions. Here are a few to consider asking; inquire about security, quiet hours, having visitors, trash pickup, deliveries, parking restrictions or parking passes, street sweeping, etc.

Once you have decided on the property, the next step is to complete an application to rent document. This document usually asks for information about you and your rental history, employment & credit history, references, vehicles, etc., and if you will be having additional occupants residing with you. Once you submit the document, the property manager usually will collect a small fee and run a credit check. If you don’t have credit established, you may need to have a guarantor, which is someone that is guaranteeing the rent will be paid on time. Your guarantor will then need to have a credit check ran too. Within a day or two, you should have an answer of acceptance or not.

You’ve got the keys, now what? It’s time for a walkthrough of the home. You and your property manager will go through the home from top to bottom and make a note of every item you see that could potentially be considered your responsibility at the end of your lease. At Ultimate we use our Inspection Checklist. This list highlights each room and calls out if something is damaged, dirty or missing. Once completed, be sure you received the completed document and save it so you can refer to it should you have any questions later on.


Generally, except under special circumstances, the owner of the property is not legally responsible for loss to your personal property, possessions, or personal liability, and the owner’s insurance will not cover such losses or damages, therefore, you should get renters insurance to protect your belongings from theft and fire. 


We hope this article helped you understand the process. Now get out there and start your adventure.

We are the "Ultimate" in property management and would be pleased to have the opportunity to work with you and exceed your expectations! 

Phone: (805) 324.4801
After Hours Emergency Phone: (805) 618.5226
Email: [email protected]

This article is not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for qualified legal advice. Laws and statutes are always subject to change and may vary by county or city. You are responsible for performing your research and complying with all laws applicable to your unique situation.

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Give us a call:

  • Phone: (805) 324.4801
  • After Hours Emergency Phone: (805) 618.5226
  • Email: [email protected]