Short-Term Vs. Long-Term Rental Agreements: Which Is the Best Option for You?

Hispanic couple outside home for rentThere are millions of compelling reasons why you should build a new life in California. The friendly weather, great career opportunities, fancy clubs and restaurants and awesome sandy beaches are only a few of the decisive factors that always make you pack up your bags and get the first plane to Cali. However, when it comes to renting a place in America’s most densely populated state, things tend to get a little more complicated. For starters, you would have to answer pressing questions such as: should I go for a short-term rental or a long-term rental? Does a long-term rental involve the kind of commitment and responsibilities that I may not be ready for at this point? Do short-term rentals involve greater risks than long term ones? Each and every answer to these questions will bring you closer to finding the perfect rental for you. To make a smart final call, you should start by carefully analyzing the pros and cons of both short and long-term rentals.

Discover the Pros of Short-Term Rentals

Short term rentals are well-liked by many tenants for a number of reasons. First of all, they ensure the highest level of flexibility that a prospect could ever hope to experience. One day, you could rent a house on the beach; the a few months later, you could get the keys to a gorgeous Napa Valley villa that could become the perfect home away from home for the next ten months or so. For those who love to travel extensively and don’t wish to put down roots in a specific area, short-term rentals are a clever solution stimulating tenants to broaden their horizons and maintain an active, nomadic lifestyle.  Also, for businesses seeking new properties for rent, short-term rental agreements may work best simply because they ensure an easy way out. If your new business idea were to fail, this type of lease would give you the opportunity to cut your losses and close this chapter without getting covered in debt; on the other hand, long-term rentals leave business owners on the hook for their delayed rent payments. This advantage is quite significant, considering the fact that 8 out of 10 companies close their gates within one year and a half of opening, according to recent statistics quoted by Huffington Post. Short-term rentals may not offer you the stability that long-term contracts usually provide, but they do ensure a safety net that you may appreciate when it comes to developing new business or travelling frequently.

Short-Term Rentals Also Have their Disadvantages

Lack of stability leading to frustration, a never-ending stressful and time-consuming house hunt and increased housing costs, is by far the most important drawback that tenants should take into consideration before renting a house or apartment for a short period of time.

Weigh the Pros of Long-Term Rentals

Predictability. Long-term rentals are the perfect alternative at hand for people who would like to settle down in California, but can’t actually afford to buy their own place here. In other words, long-term rentals lead to a sense of security. They help tenants discover the thrills of a predictable existence. Moreover, companies that sign short-term rental agreements could witness an increase in their real estate costs every single year. On the other hand, long-term contracts enable tenants to prevent such risks and make the most of their rental properties without spending more than they can actually afford to on rent.

Stability. Tenants who don’t really like to move around much appreciate the stability associated with a long-term rental. Unlike short-term rental agreements, long-term ones protect you from a number of unpleasant situations, like being forced out of the property that you are currently occupying, very unexpectedly and for no apparent reason. Long-term leases are perfect for people who want to turn the house that they live in into a home and prevent the stress associated with endless relocations.

Concessions. Let’s face it: long-term rentals allow you to build a solider relationship with landlords and property managers. This type of bond could help you unlock various benefits, such as rent deduction or improvement allowances. Sometimes, short-term rental agreements can offer similar advantages; however, in most cases you would have to put your negotiation skills to the test to benefit from major tenant improvements that will enhance your level of comfort and satisfaction.

Find out why Long-Term Rentals May Not Be the Best Option for You

For those who don’t really like serious commitments and hate the idea of putting down roots in one place, long-term rentals may not be the best alternative at hand.

Bottom line: both short-term and long-term rentals are options that may work for you, as a newcomer determined to upgrade your personal and/or professional life in California. At the end of the day, you should go in favor of the option that is fully compatible with your lifestyle, necessities and financial possibilities.

Identify the Most Tempting Listings with Apartment Hunterz

Now that you are familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of both short-term and long-term rentals, perhaps you feel ready to move into a new house or apartment. In this case, choose to find the most amazing Californian properties with just a little help from Apartment Hunterz. Using this premium apartment finding service you can check out thousands of regularly updated listings, compare different options in terms of location, features and price, narrow down your search by targeting houses or apartments available in your favorite neighborhoods, get in touch with property managers and landlords online, with just a few clicks, submit your applications over the Internet and schedule in-person meetings with the people who hold the key to the place that you could call your new home.

10 Things to Ask Before Signing Your Lease

signing a leaseYou have found that perfect apartment. Everything looks great, you love the location and you’re ready to sign. But, wait, have you read what you are signing? Before you sign your lease, there are 10 questions you should ask your property manager and have solid answers to.

1. How do you handle emergency repair situations?

Not all apartments offer emergency repair services. You may have to wait for the next business day or contact an emergency repair service on your own. Therefore, you will want to work this out first before signing.

2. Can you enter my apartment without notice? What situations would allow this?

You don’t have anything to hide, but it is nice to know when a property manager will enter your apartment without telling you. While you might not own it, you have the right to some privacy.

3. Will you show the apartment before I move out?

This is important. If your lease is about to end and you aren’t renewing it, how do they show the unit? You don’t want strangers walking through your apartment while you’re still there.

4. How much notice do you need before I move out?

This should be in your lease, but you also want to clarify it with the property manager. Some places require 15 days’ notice while others can require up to 60 days.

5. What are the rules about subletting?

These days it is hard to find an apartment building that lets you sublet. So, if you can’t finish out the lease or need to get rid of the apartment, you might be in a bind. Find out the rules for subletting before you sign the lease.

6. What alterations can I make to the unit?

Some places will let you paint a wall, while others won’t even let you hang pictures or put any nail holes in the wall. Find out what alterations are allowed and what alterations could reduce how much of your security deposit (if any) you get back at the end of the lease.

7. Are you planning any construction or updates to the units?

This is important. You don’t want to be relocated or deal with loud construction that you didn’t know about.

8. What utilities am I responsible for?

Some apartments cover a lot of utilities, others will only cover the cost of sewage. You want to know how much you have to pay for your unit and how much of your rent goes to utilities.

9. How do I earn my security deposit back?

Find out how you get your security deposit back and what situations could cause you to not get it back.

10. How do you keep the apartments and tenants safe?

You want to know what your managers do to keep you and your possessions safe. Do they have security cameras? Do they do background checks on new tenants? If you want to feel secure where you live, this is important to ask.

11
Apr 2014
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Do You Know How to Read Your Lease?

Lease AgreementWhether you are transferring to a new apartment or this is your first time renting, there will come a time that you need to review your rental agreement. The language in these agreements is meant to be simple, but that doesn’t mean everyone knows what they are looking at. Before you sign anything, make sure you understand what it is you are signing and learn some of the details that are commonly found on lease agreements.

The Basic Information

A lease needs the basic information, such as the manager of the property, who is in charge of collecting payments, phone numbers and contact information for management and service repair staff. Also, your lease should spell out how long the lease is for and your exact rental amount. If you had to pay a security deposit, that amount should be in the lease as well as any information about how you will get the security deposit back.

Pets

If you have a pet or you are thinking of getting a pet, what does your lease say about those furry friends? A lease should tell you whether or not pets are allowed and any restrictions on those pets. Some apartments will only allow dogs, for example, up to a specific weight. Also, make sure there isn’t an additional rental fee for having a pet stay with you — some apartments add a few hundred a year for your pet addition.

Roommates

If you decide down the road to have a roommate help you out with the rent, what is the process? Your lease should specify if the roommate must be on the lease (which means they will have to pass the credit check too) and how you must go about notifying them. Some apartments even have restrictions about guests who stay longer than a week.

Maintenance

See who is responsible for maintaining the apartment. You might be surprised at how many responsibilities apartments are now putting on their tenants and don’t mention it upfront — instead they hide it in the lease. If you have to pay for a plumber or electrician to come out and make repairs, it probably isn’t a lease you want to sign.

Utilities

Utilities that are included with your rent should be on the lease. This could include water, sewage, etc. Some apartments pay for internet and electricity, while others don’t cover any utilities at all. You should have a detailed list of what utilities you must pay for on your lease.

If you are ever unsure what you are signing, speak to the apartment manager and have them explain the lease to you. Managers must be transparent about these legal documents — if they aren’t willing to take the time to explain them, it might be in your best interest to find a different apartment.

28
Mar 2014
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Things to Consider Before You Sign the Lease

sign lease imageChoosing a new place to live is a daunting task. From looking through endless advertisements to visiting properties and meeting with managers, you have a lot on your plate. When people are overwhelmed it is easy to make haste decisions. But, before you commit to a particular lease there are a few questions you should ask to make sure it is a sound decision.

Keep Track of Where You Go

When you visit multiple apartments it can be difficult to keep track of what you saw and where you saw it. Simplify keeping track by bringing along a notebook. Write down the address of the property, the date and time you visited, who you met with and what you saw. Write down a few details that will help you decide what apartment is right for you when you sit down to compare. These can include:

What is the rent?
How close is the new place to school and/or work?
What are the lease terms?
Is it close to other amenities such as a gym, grocery store or local attractions?
How is the parking situation?
What is the neighborhood like?
Settling In

You will want to ask each property manager how much you can do to your apartment to make it more like home. Are you allowed to paint? What are the restrictions when it comes to hanging stuff on the wall? Finally, ask what you have to do to prepare the apartment for a move out.

Long-Term Commitment Considerations

Life is full of unexpected twists and turns. If you are locked into a long-term lease and you get a new job, what will happen with your lease? Find out what options the property manager has, such as one-year, six month or month-to-month lease terms. Find out how much notice you have to give and what your options are if you have to move before your lease is up.

If you plan on having a roommate, find out if your roommate needs to be on the lease. If so, you will want a roommate you can tolerate, because if the relationship goes sour, it might be difficult to remove just one roommate from the lease in the middle of the lease term.

Questions to Ask Property Management

You need all of the details before you sign the lease. These details should be in your lease and include:

  • What day of the month rent is due and what day late fees are assessed.
  • What the security deposit is and how much you get back when you leave.
  • What the penalty fee is for breaking the lease early.
  • What utilities you are responsible for on top of your rent.

Picking a new apartment should be exciting. If you feel overwhelmed, slow down and take a break. There is nothing worse than getting locked into a lease on an apartment you don’t like. So, before you sign the lease, make sure it is the apartment you want to commit to.

24
Jan 2014
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