Get the facts before renting a house

by Tom Simplot

Jun 6, 2014

In Arizona, the single-family home rental market changed overnight as a result of the Great Recession. Thousands of homes came into the rental market as people were losing their houses to foreclosures.

Rental homes offer a wide variety of advantages — from more space to larger outdoor spaces, a sought-after school district, etc. But they can also mean more upkeep for the renter, varying utilities and fewer shared amenities. Bottom line: You may be paying some more bills, and there's likely not a pool or gym.

When considering renting a home, it's important to get the facts about how that home is managed and by whom. You don't want to be in a home that's owned by someone out of state who isn't able to respond in an emergency, or someone without the resources to make major repairs quickly.

Professional management companies can ensure that your house is taken care of in a proper, timely fashion. Many local management companies can assist you in a search for the right rental home. They will take you through the home-inspection process and the legal documents necessary to begin the lease. Once you have moved in, the management company will help you with minor and major repairs, maintenance and other issues.

Here are a few additional questions to ask when renting a home:

• Who is responsible for minor repairs or regular maintenance?

• Which appliances are included?

• Would a longer lease cost less per month?

• Who is responsible for maintaining the yard/landscaping?

• Which utilities are included? Will there be a gas bill? A water/sewer/trash bill?

As a renter, it's important that you know your rights and ensure you are protected. Happy house hunting!