After you hire a moving company or call all your friends to promise the classic “beer and pizza” (or a variation that fits your lifestyle) incentive for help schlepping your stuff across town, or country (or world!) here’s the top 5 tips we’ve gathered from renters.
Do Your Walk Through - your landlord and/or property will probably use a standard checklist to evaluate the condition of the property that you sign. Pay attention. Even ask your most detail-oriented critical neat-freak friend to come along. Try everything and write it down. Flip that light switch. Try that doorknob. Turn on that faucet. Check to see how long it takes for hot water to run (that will add up on your utility bills!). AND GET A COPY OF THE WRITTEN REPORT - no exceptions, no matter how many times you have to ask.
Take Photos During the Walkthrough - we know that you have way more on your plate during a move than usual, but this step is CRUCIAL. Is the tub stained from years of use? Document it. Scratches to the paint on the molding? Snap a photo. Hard water deposit around the shower head? Capture that too. Anything and everything that is not pristine you’ll want photographic evidence of - it could help you later with any security deposit disputes.
Follow Up - Send all photos to your landlord/property manager with your copy of their walk-through form so you have a written record of everything. Bonus example text: Dear <Landlord>: Thank you for taking the time you spent on <date> from <1-1:30p> completing the walkthrough of <address> I leased until <end date of lease>. As I intend to be an excellent tenant, I wanted to follow up with some photographs of details we noted, and a few things I noticed after. I look forward to an amicable and pleasant renting relationship. Thank you for this opportunity to rent, and for helping this place where I live feel like home. Sincerely, <your name>. (And don’t forget to attach the photos and walk-through form!)
Make Back-Up Plans for the Worst Case Scenarios: What will you do if the water heater breaks and is spraying hot water all over the kitchen at 4am? (a true tale from our collection of real renting stories) Ask your landlord what their policy is on normal maintenance, emergency maintenance, and key replacements. Put the maintenance number in your phone IN ALL CAPS. Pro-tip, after you confirm the key replacement policy with your landlord, and have the green light to make key copies, have a friend that lives nearby hold onto a spare key! It costs sometimes around $50 extra to have the property manager bring a key to you, or upwards of $150 for a locksmith to swing by. Be prepared for the worst!
Make it Home. Where you live should feel like home. Do whatever it is that makes you feel it. Go to a local boutique and get yourself a little housewarming gift. Visit your local farmer’s market and cook up a healthy and delicious meal. Have some friends over for a dance party (being mindful of the noise levels because being a good neighbor is so important when you are renting in Savannah, GA). You will be there for a while--make it yours!
We’re so happy you’re here visiting HOOGA-SAV and hope we’ve helped you believe that where you live should feel like home. Leave a landlord review, become a HOOGA-trusted landlord, share your best and worst renting stories, add your business to our renter’s resources, or show us some social media love on Instagram. We’re changing the renting game together.