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Renting and Leasing

    • Before you write a check for an application fee or a deposit on an apartment, ask about the length of the lease, the amount of rent, and the amount of deposit.

    • Make sure the lease specifies that water service is included, or that it is billed at the prevailing rate in the community.

    • Never sign an apartment lease on the spot. Take it home with you and read it. If you don't understand something, put question marks next to the item and get an explanation.

    • If you pay a deposit or an application fee for an apartment and decide not to rent the apartment, you probably will lose the money.

    • Always add a clause to an apartment lease giving you the right to terminate the contract before its normal expiration if your circumstances change.

    • Many leases renew automatically unless you notify the landlord that you are leaving.

    • Make sure to be present for the move-in inspection, and note everything you can find wrong with the apartment. Be present for the move-out inspection, too.

    • If a landlord doesn't give you back a security deposit, you have the right to sue in small claims court.

    • Renting from a private owner is fine, but be aware of the danger of not being able to renew your lease, or of the owner being foreclosed upon.

    • If your landlord fails to respond to maintenance requests, send written requests. If a landlord doesn't respond to a breakdown that makes the apartment unlivable, consider paying for the repair yourself and deducting the amount from your next month's rent.

    • If you know you're going to be evicted, try to make some arrangements to move your possessions, either to a friend's house or into storage.

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A New Easy Way To Shop for Insurance Online

Shopping for any kind of insurance is a complete pain. But what if there were a way to get rate comparisons emailed to you and no unwanted phone calls from pushy agents? Too many people don't shop for insurance of all kinds because they're afraid of having to deal with ...

Becoming a Landlord: How To Find a Good Tenant

The key rule in real estate is obviously “location, location, location.” We  have all heard that before. If becoming a landlord is in your future, you’ll want to follow the key rule to owning an investment property: “tenant, tenant, tenant.” Clark always talks about Landlord.com being a great resource for ...

The $15 Insurance Policy All Renters Need

More than 1 in 3 of Americans now rent a home instead of owning, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council. That makes renters insurance a necessity, though I often have trouble convincing people to get it. Why you need renters insurance Renters insurance typically costs around $10 or $15 ...

Rent payment can now help (or hurt) your credit score

Rent payment can now help (or hurt) your credit score

Renters who pay their rent on time every month may soon find their credit scores getting a nice boost. But one of the credit bureaus isn't playing nice with renters on this new effort...

Timely Rent Payments Will Be Factored Into Your Credit Score

Renters who pay their rent on time each and every month may soon find their credit scores getting a nice boost. If you are a homebuyer and you have a mortgage, that mortgage is reported to the credit bureaus each month. But if you are a renter -- which is ...

Real estate projections for 2014

Real estate projections for 2014

Will 2014 be a buyers' or a sellers' market ? And what if you're a renter? Clark has the latest scoop from the real estate industry.

First-Time Homebuyer Guide

For many people, right now is most ideal time that may come along in your lifetime to be a first-time homebuyer. There are two reasons: Cheap home prices and incredible mortgage interest rates. Here are some key pointers to keep in mind as you undertake the process of qualifying for ...

The price of rent is headed down

2014 looks set to be the year of low rent if you're willing to accept the shopping challenge! Here are some tips to get you started. Apartment complexes are being radically overbuilt across much of the country. Everybody in the Big Money crowd all at once decided the next El ...

Negotiate a lower rent

Negotiate a lower rent

Rents are coming down after a long run up. It's time to negotiate. Clark explains.

Rental rates are about to ease up

Rental rates are about to ease up

Clark explains why home renters will soon be finding more money in their pockets every month.

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