Renting a Furnished Apartment: Pros and Cons to Think About

Whether you’re a first-time renter or you’re renting your next apartment in a new city, the process of finding an apartment is difficult. From scouting out the perfect location and finding an apartment that fits all your needs to buying furniture and decorations for your new apartment, the entire moving process is stressful.

Then, there’s the question of renting a furnished apartment or an unfurnished apartment in the first place. If you’re considering a fully furnished apartment as your next place, here’s everything you should know about furnished apartments.

Furnished apartment

What is a furnished apartment and what do fully furnished apartments include?

There are three different types of furnished apartments and you may wonder exactly how much furniture comes in a furnished apartment?

There are fully furnished, furnished or semi-furnished apartments. You can find furnished apartments in all apartment sizes — from a studio apartment to a two-bedroom apartment or even, sometimes, a house. Each type of finished apartment can come equipped in a variety of ways.

Fully furnished apartments are move-in ready and can include all your basic heavy furniture, such as a bed, couch, dining room table, bathroom appliances, coffee table and dressers. However, they also go above and beyond and might include amenities like interior design and décor, basic kitchen appliances and, sometimes, even a washer and dryer.

Furnished units usually include basic needs like a bed, end tables, chairs, a microwave and a couch. Some might include more or less but it really depends on the landlord or property owners.

Semi-furnished apartments have fewer items included than furnished apartments. They still come with the basic needs including a bed, couch and some kitchen appliances but you’ll get fewer amenities in something labeled “semi-furnished.”

Before you decide on which apartment to rent, ask the landlord for an apartment tour or even reach out and ask the tenants if they enjoy living there.

Pros of renting a fully furnished apartment

As with anything, there are pros and cons to renting furnished apartments. So, here’s a list of the pros and cons to consider to make it easier to rent your perfect apartment.

moving

Moving is easy

Moving from an old apartment to a new one is time-consuming. There’s so much to get done from boxing up all your belongings to then hiring a moving company or enlisting your friend’s help. You no longer have to worry about moving heavy furniture when you rent a furnished apartment.

Lower upfront costs

If you’re looking to save money upfront, then a furnished apartment might just be for you. With a furnished apartment, not only do you not have to worry about moving furniture, but you don’t have to spend extra money buying your own furniture just yet.

Furniture is expensive and takes a long time to accumulate, leaving you with a semi-furnished apartment for a while. A furnished rental eliminates the additional costs of furniture and saves you more money upfront.

Short-term rental

Renting an apartment is a big commitment you shouldn’t take lightly. If you’re unsure about how long you’ll be in one place, consider moving apartments to a place ready to go.

A business person, college student or someone who only wants to stay in a place for a few months are good candidates for short-term rentals. If this sounds like you, then pre-furnished apartments are great for short-term tenants.

stress

Reduce stress

Renting a new place is stressful, to say the least. Then, add in all the other tasks that go into moving, from filling an empty apartment with new furniture to learning your new neighborhood. A furnished apartment can help to reduce some of the big stresses that come with moving.

Cons of renting a fully furnished apartment

With every pro, there’s a con and a furnished apartment is no exception. Here are the cons of furnished apartments that you should consider before moving.

Higher rent fees

If you already own furniture or are fine to pay for new furniture, then renting a fully furnished apartment is a bad idea. Renting a furnished apartment typically comes with higher monthly rent and a higher security deposit. The higher rent prices are due to the fact that you’re not only paying for the space but also the furniture in the apartment.

If you’re renters who plan on planting roots in one place for more than a few months, then this could be one of the bigger cons of furnished apartments to consider. In the long run, renting unfurnished apartments might actually save you money. If you’re looking to buy your own furniture but on a budget, then second-hand furniture is a great option to fill your unfurnished apartment. And over time, you’ll save the extra money that you would have had to pay for rent. This is something that future tenants should take time to consider and budget out which option is best for them.

cheap furniture

Poor quality and lack of personality

Another con of furnished apartments is you don’t know the quality of the furniture. It could be old, damaged or even dirty from previous renters. You should talk to the landlord and ask about the quality and maintenance of the furniture before you rent.

You may not like the furniture in the house or it isn’t your taste or have the amenities you’re looking for, either. And while you can add little touches here and there, it’s important to live comfortably in your space and furniture does contribute to that.

Fear of damages

It’s one of the fears all renters have — damaging the apartment, or in this case, the furniture in the apartment. Damaging your own furniture is bad enough but damaging the furniture in your furnished apartment is even worse and can result in fees. If you spill or your pooch decides the couch is their new chewing toy one day, that could mean you’ll get charged or even lose your security deposit.

This can make you feel like you’re walking on eggshells in your own apartment and is something you should really think about before you rent. It’s also a good idea to ask your landlord about their specific damage policies. This will help you also avoid rental scams.

To rent furnished or not to rent furnished

Renting a new apartment is a big moment in life for anyone. Whether you decide to rent a furnished or unfurnished apartment, you’ll finally have a space that’s all your own. A furnished rental is a great option for people who don’t own enough furniture, people who are short-term renters or people who aren’t committed to a new location. Talk to your landlord about the furnishings included if you go this route.

Source: apartmentguide.com

7 Ways to Show Proof of Renters Insurance to Your Landlord

No one wants to have an apartment break-in happen to them or lose their personal belongings to an unexpected tornado but sometimes life happens. When the unexpected occurs, everyone wants financial coverage and know that they have a backup plan or safeguard in place.

That’s where renters insurance comes in. While property owners will have insurance policies covering the apartment complex and building in place, it’s often up to the tenants to provide their own renters insurance where the policy covers personal belongings. In fact, most landlords are requiring proof of renters insurance to rent their property before signing the lease.

We’ll help you understand the fundamentals of a basic tenant insurance policy and provide ideas on how to show proof of renters insurance if your landlords require it.

What is a renters insurance policy?

Simply put, insurance is protection against financial loss. Renters insurance is a type of insurance policy that’s specific to tenants and renters only. Unlike homeowners insurance, renters insurance does not usually cover the structure of the building, but it does cover the renter’s personal property that’s housed inside the apartment.

Renters insurance exists to protect you and your personal belongings should an incident — like theft or fire — occur while you rent. The insurance policy would then pay you for the damage caused to your belongings. Renters insurance also protects renters from liability in case someone gets hurt within your apartment.

Renters insurance covers property from a burglary

Why every renter needs renters insurance coverage

Landlords are requiring tenants to provide proof of renters insurance. This helps safeguard property managers from liability, but it also protects renters. People who have renters insurance can breathe easy knowing it protects their personal property. Here are a few reasons you need to purchase renters insurance:

  • Offers protection of your personal items from theft or natural disasters
  • Covers you from personal liability if someone is hurt within your apartment
  • Often required to sign a new lease
  • Sometimes required for lease renewal
  • Can save you money should something happen to your personal belongings
  • Provides peace of mind to tenants
  • Helps expedite the rental process and avoid waiting periods if you already have a policy

Regardless of the reason you purchase renters insurance, it’s smart to have it when you live in a rental unit.

What exactly does renters insurance cover?

We’ve talked about the benefits of having renters insurance, but what exactly does renters insurance cover? Your coverage will vary based on your insurance company and policy, but in most cases, renters insurance policies offer these types of coverage:

Personal property coverage

Personal property coverage includes repairs or replacements for lost or damaged property, such as furniture, electronics and clothing. Depending on the policy, it may cover the costs of things like jewelry, but you’ll have to check with your insurance provider to see how much coverage comes with your plan.

Liability coverage

Liability coverage protects the tenant in case an injury occurs to someone within the apartment and needs medical attention. There’s often a cap on how much liability coverage there is, so read your policy carefully.

Renters insurance will cover a hotel room if you

Additional living expenses coverage

Additional living expenses coverage includes the cost of hotel or travel bills should your apartment become unlivable due to an incident that occurs on-site. This part of a policy will not cover property damage to the building itself — that’s usually the landlord’s responsibility — but it will cover your hotel bills while you find a new place to rent.

You’ll likely have increased premiums when you purchase more coverage and it’s up to you to determine how much renters insurance you need and how much coverage your landlord requires. Do your research to select the best policy for you.

How to show proof of renters insurance to your landlord

We’ve mentioned that landlords require proof of insurance to rent a rental property. But how do you show proof of renters insurance to a landlord? Here are several ways to show proof of renters insurance.

1. Provide the declarations page to your landlord

Every renters insurance policy will have a declarations page that outlines the details of your coverage. The declarations page will include things like your name, the policy number and how much coverage you purchased. You can send a digital copy directly to property management as proof.

Send a digital copy to your landlord.

2. Share a digital file with the landlord

You can show digital proof of your insurance by emailing the landlord a copy of the entire policy or the declarations page itself. When you send electronic proof, you have a digital footprint that shows your communication with the landlord. You can even ask your landlord to store this electronic copy on their property management software so you have a record of it.

3. Show them the physical copy of the renters insurance policy

If you’re more old-school, you can print out a physical copy of the policy as a way of showing proof of coverage. Print out a copy for your records and print out a second copy for the landlord to have, as well.

4. Have your insurance agent contact your landlord to confirm

If your landlord will accept verbal confirmation, you can ask the insurance company to call the landlord directly to show proof of insurance. Let your landlord know when your insurance agent will contact them so they can prepare for the call.

5. Add the landlord as an interested party to the policy

On any insurance policy, you can add an interested party to the policy. This is one way to show proof that the tenant has insurance. When the insurance agent is writing the policy, they will add the landlord as an interested party and then, notify the landlord upon completion of the policy.

6. Share the policy number and insurance agency with your landlord

Another way to show proof when renting is to share details of the policy with your landlord. You can share things like the number of the policy, the name of the insurance company and agent or the amount of coverage purchased.

Simply tell your landlord you have renters insurance.

7. Give verbal assurances of your renters insurance policy

Depending on the property managers, you can show proof by giving verbal confirmation of coverage. While this is only as good as your word, some landlords are OK with this type of proof. Keep in mind that there’s often no digital or written record of verbal assurances, so it’s not the most concrete or secure way to show proof of renters insurance.

These are some of the most common and accurate ways to show proof of coverage when property owners require proof.

How much does renters insurance cost?

Renters insurance is relatively inexpensive and ranges from $15 to $20 a month, or $180 to $220 per year. The cost of the policy will depend on how much coverage you purchase. Some landlords will even require that you have a certain amount of coverage, but that varies by location, by the landlord and even by state. When you’re analyzing your budget, it’s important to include renters insurance with your other utilities.

Keep in mind that most policies renew annually and if you don’t automatically renew your policy lapses and you may temporarily lose coverage. You also need to pencil in the cost of compensation for the agent, if they charge a fee to draft a policy.

Signing the renters insurance policy.

How to get a renters insurance policy of your own

If you’re trying to rent an apartment and can’t sign the lease until you have proof of renters insurance, then it’s time to find a policy for you. There are ways to find an insurance agency who you get you set up:

  • Ask your new landlord for a recommendation
  • Use your existing insurance agency and bundle it with your car insurance, for example, to save money
  • Use an online comparison tool to find an insurance company
  • Do an online search to find an insurance agency
  • Ask your neighbors who they use
  • Go to your local insurance broker

Proof of renters insurance is key

Once your policy is in place, you’ll be happy to know that you can then sign the lease, move into your new apartment and feel secure knowing you’re protected from the unexpected.

Source: apartmentguide.com

What Does Income-Restricted Housing Mean?

Each state works with the federal government to provide affordable housing to renters with limited incomes.

There are nearly 1 million income-restricted apartments and rental homes in the United States. That translates into the federal government spending more than $51 billion annually to assist low-income Americans to have a roof over their head.

Different types of income-based apartments comprise the affordable rental housing landscape. Some are government-owned apartments. And private landlords who underwent an extensive screening process to gain acceptance into the subsidized housing hold others.

What is income-restricted housing?

Income-restricted housing is also known as affordable housing or public housing. The U.S. government established income-restricted apartments as The Great Depression of the 1930s destroyed the worldwide economy. Industrial output plummeted, unemployment soared and families became destitute.

Affordable housing became scarce as the economy worsened. The federal response initially began as the Public Housing Administration. In 1965, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) came about from five existing agencies.

Congress in session

Congress in session

Congress takes action on income-restricted apartments

With economic devastation plaguing Americans following The Great Depression, Congress passed the Affordable Housing Act in 1937. That statute implemented several measures to help develop new and rental housing across the country.  It did so while also subsidizing the rental costs of income-restricted tenants. That program allows private property owners, in addition to government-owned apartments, to offer subsidized housing for low-income families.

Around the same time, Section 8 housing started under the Section 8 Housing Act of 1937.

What is Section 8 housing?

Section 8 is the informal name of the Federal Housing Choice Vouchers Program. The federal government continues to oversee this housing voucher offer.

Participants in the program find their own housing and pay rent with a ‘housing choice voucher.’

How do you apply for Section 8 benefits?

Applying for the Federal Housing Choice Voucher Program is simple. The first step is to contact your local Public Housing Agency (PHA). They will help determine your eligibility. After that, you must complete an application seeking information about total household income, family size, assets and debts, for starters. A criminal background check is also required of applicants.

Keep in mind that in some areas, the waiting list to receive Section 8 benefits, including subsidized housing, is extremely long. For this reason, it’s best to start the process sooner rather than later.

Section 8 housing

Section 8 housing

What makes you eligible for Section 8 assistance?

You might be wondering if you’re eligible for Section 8. While the PHA will be able to tell you for sure, there are a couple of factors that play into eligibility for Section 8 that you can consider ahead of time. You must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Make no more than 80 percent of your area’s median income
  • Must have not been evicted in the past 3 years for drug-related criminal activity

Not all rentals can become Section 8 housing

Not all property owners want to make their rentals available to Section 8 tenants. However, some states or municipalities have guidelines requiring property owners to accept tenants with government housing vouchers. But that’s not the standard nationwide.

Property owners who wish to have their apartment complexes considered for Section 8 housing should consult the Section 8 Program guide.

Types of public housing

While their names are similar, there are two distinctly different flavors of affordable housing in the U.S. One commonality between them is they both involve government-subsidized living.

Income-restricted housing

In income-restricted housing, rent prices are set on the median income for the local area. The government then caps rental fees at a certain percentage of that figure. That price fluctuates based on state law and the apartment’s size.

Income-based housing

Meanwhile, rent prices for income-based apartments are based on the tenant’s adjusted gross income. That comes with rent capped at 30 percent of that figure. Unlike income-restricted housing, the rental price of income-based apartments has no connection to the area’s average income levels.

States play a key role in affordable housing

Even though HUD oversees affordable housing at the federal level, the state level sets the barometer for median income levels.

That’s because average income levels vary wildly from state to state, and even from county to county. It would be incredibly unfair if average monthly rent prices were just as high in poorer states or counties as they are in wealthier areas.

HUD calculates the median income levels for each metropolitan area within the United States on an annual basis. Once they get that figure, HUD details the maximum income a person may earn to qualify for government subsidies.

Section 8 high-rise

Section 8 high-rise

What are income-based housing limits?

HUD rates a renter’s income eligibility for government subsidies by basing it on area median income (AMI). The thresholds used by HUD to determine housing voucher eligibility are:

  • 30% AMI: Considered extremely low income and are given priority for housing vouchers
  • 50% AMI: Considered very low income and are eligible for housing vouchers
  • 80% AMI: Considered low income and are often on waiting lists for housing vouchers

In general, the lower a tenant’s income, meaning the lower their AMI, the higher priority their application for subsidized housing is given.

Role of the local public housing authority

HUD implements its subsidized housing program on the state level through a local public housing authority (PHA).

There are PHA offices in many cities across the United States. To find the one that serves your area, check the Official Housing Authority.

The PHA is an extremely important player in the low-income housing landscape because it administers both the state and federal guidelines to receive government subsidies.

Determining eligibility for public housing

The local housing authority determines a tenant’s eligibility for income-based programs.

Considerations include:

  • Annual gross income
  • Whether an applicant qualifies as elderly, disabled or a low-income family
  • U.S. citizen or eligible immigration status

Since income limits vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and sometimes, even city-to-city, be sure to check HUD’s correct income graph for the county, size of family and AMI of the applicant.

How to apply for income-restricted apartments

In order to apply for an income-restricted apartment, low-income renters should contact their local PHA. One way to find them is to check the HUD Field Office website.

The application process is slow and tedious, so don’t expect anything to happen quickly. In addition to the usual governmental bureaucracy, the demand for income-restricted apartments has increased markedly, making competition fierce and wait times far longer.

Applying for affordable housing isn’t an easy task. There’s also huge unmet demand for affordable units than there is the supply of subsidized housing. Many applicants spend years on the waiting list before receiving government assistance, which patience is imperative.

Eligibility requirements

Required information for income-restricted subsidized public housing includes:

  • Names of all persons who would be living in the unit, including their gender, date of birth and relationship to the family’s head of household
  • The applicant’s current address and telephone number
  • The family’s specific circumstances, such as whether the applicant is a veteran or currently living in sub-standard housing qualify the applicant for special eligibility consideration
  • The members of the household are all U.S. citizens or eligible immigrants
  • An estimate of your family’s anticipated maximum income for the next 12 months and the sources of that income
  • Names and addresses of employers, banks or any other information the HA requests to verify your qualifications for subsidized housing
  • Eviction for criminal activity: The members of the household can’t have an eviction from public housing or Section 8 for drug-related criminal activity in the three years prior

Filling out an application

Filling out an application

Providing documentation

The applicant must provide all the information requested in the application in order to qualify for an income-restricted apartment. In addition to the documentation you provide, the PHA may also contact your employer or other people they believe can verify or dispute your claims as to why you qualify for government housing.

Next steps

If the low-income applicant meets the eligibility requirements to receive government subsidies, their next step is to submit a written application for a housing order.

Assuming all the information submitted in the application checks out, the tenant must then partake in an in-person interview with a Housing Authority representative.

Wait times vary

Wait times for that in-person meeting vary state to state and even from one jurisdiction to another. The waiting list also prioritizes applicants with greater need. So, it’s advisable to contact the PHA to determine where you are on the waiting list. You can do so by calling the HA or checking online to see if they provide that information.

Along the way, be certain to maintain all your application materials organized and handy. You never know when you might hear from your PHA.

Written notice

A public assistance applicant will receive a written notice to verify if they received acceptance or were denied government housing assistance. Once an applicant qualifies, their name goes on a waiting list for housing.

There are rare circumstances when a PHA can help an applicant immediately. But normally, they get on the waitlist if they’re eligible for government assistance.

Home sweet home

The more specific housing needs a low-income family has for their apartment, the longer it will likely take for such a place to become available. Unfortunately, the public housing system in the United States is overwhelmed by the sheer number of applicants and the lack of sufficient housing units to provide them to all those in need.

Therefore, the best a person can do is apply, sit and wait.

Source: rent.com

Does a Landlord Have to Provide Air Conditioning? Your Rights as a Renter

If you find yourself in San Antonio, TX, in August, you’ll immediately understand the definition of a ‘hot summer day.’ The average temperature in the city home to The Alamo averages a steamy 96 degrees that month. With heat like that, an air-conditioned apartment sure would feel great to come home to. But does your landlord have to provide AC to you?

Despite the summer heat, it might surprise you that Texas does not mandate landlords to provide air-conditioning in rented apartments, townhouses or homes. Instead, Texas state laws defer to rental laws in effect. That might be surprising, especially since an average of 702 heat-related deaths (with 415 directly related to heat exhaustion) occurred in the United States annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

State laws and a tenant’s right to air-conditioned living

Texas is not the only state that does not require landlords to equip rented units with AC. In fact, every state follows its own set of regulations pertaining to the duties of landlords and the rights of tenants.

In fact, landlord-tenant laws differ in each of the 50 states. Beyond that, cities and other governing bodies promulgate their own statutes on the matter. That means that even if a state’s laws do not require a landlord to provide working air-conditioning in their rental units, a city or other entity may enact legislation mandating they do in that particular municipality.

One way to decipher what is legal and what is not in your state is to contact the Consumer Protection Division where the residence is. While that site does not answer questions directly, it provides links so users can connect with a governmental agency in their state for further information.

Local laws

In addition to state laws governing landlord-tenant relationships, local jurisdictions, such as cities or villages, may establish their own building codes. Those rules set standards for matters like electrical wiring, smoke alarms, plumbing and ventilation. For example, a local law governing security might require the landlord to install additional locks or other safety precautions on an entry door or windows.

Your landlord doesn't have to provide AC to you.

Read your lease carefully

Not surprisingly, AC is among the top considerations for would-be renters. There are steps a would-be tenant can take so the unit they wish to rent has working air-conditioning prior to signing on the dotted line.

One is to take a personal tour of the property in question prior to committing to the rental contract. If there are no window units or no central air, ask about it. Don’t just assume it will be there on moving day if it’s not there during your tour.

Also, while you’re touring the apartment, check the workability of the AC by turning it on. Be wary if the landlord balks at this suggestion.

It’s also imperative to read your rental agreement carefully before signing it. Is air-conditioning mentioned? Who pays for the apartment’s electricity? If it’s the tenant and the window AC unit is old, it may not run efficiently or be in good working order. Does the lease mention such scenarios and explain who’s responsible for the maintenance and repair of the AC?

And, if your air-conditioning breaks, review your lease to determine the steps you’re supposed to take. You may have to contact your landlord directly or your community’s maintenance department. There could be provisions for after-hours emergency maintenance, too.

Implied warranty of habitability

In most jurisdictions in the United States, landlords must provide two services to tenants to ensure the rented unit fulfills the implied warranty of habitability. They are:

  • The resident needs sufficient access to essential utilities, such as sewer, electricity, water and heat
  • The rented property must be free of dangerous or life-threatening conditions. These include exposed wires, rodents, insect infestations and contaminated water.

Even if a rental agreement specifically requires a landlord to make repairs on the property, an implied warranty of habitability means the unit is just that: habitable.

An important component of an implied warranty of habitability is the tenant’s duty to pay rent. That covenant makes it easier for tenants to enforce the landlord’s responsibility for the maintenance of the unit.

Another clause to look for in a rental agreement is the prohibition of retaliation by a landlord against tenants who file housing code violations. Consult state and local laws for further details about what constitutes a violation of the jurisdiction’s implied warranty of habitability, if it even has one.

Duty to repair

Generally speaking, if a rental unit has air conditioning units, the landlord must repair them. That’s true even if state laws did not require a rental to have air-conditioned, but the landlord provided it, anyway.

That being said, the landlord should include who is responsible for repairing a malfunctioning AC in a lease. For example, even if AC is in a unit, a rental agreement may state that the tenant is liable for repairs to a malfunctioning air-conditioner. It might also indicate that while the landlord is responsible to complete the repairs. The costs associated with doing so are possibly tacked on to the rent. A lease could also relieve a landlord from responsibility for any type of repair if that’s how it’s written.

Your landlord repairing the AC is not a given.

Timing of repairs

Most state and local laws require repairs happen within a reasonable period of time. Just as each state maintains its own landlord-tenant laws, each one also defines that term differently.

For example, Texas law provides specific instructions for handling repair situations for rental units.

In Ohio, landlords are required to provide air conditioning units in rentals. Tenants must provide written notice to their landlord about the situation. And, according to Ohio law, the notice must come by U.S. mail.

In the Buckeye State, a ‘reasonable time’ is no more than 30 days. However, in case of an emergency, such as a malfunctioning furnace, the time for repair goes down to five days. Moreover, a tenant must permit the landlord access to the property to make the necessary repairs. Conversely, the landlord must provide the tenant with reasonable notice when the repairs will happen, generally defined as 24 hours. Emergency situations call for more immediate action.

Keep your cool to stay cool

Although air conditioning is among the most highly coveted amenities of rental living, there’s no uniform law across the United States requiring all landlords to provide it in their rental units. That means it’s imperative to personally tour a proposed property to ensure working AC is available if you want it. It’s also wise to review the lease agreement to determine the responsible party for the costs associated with repairs.

Outdoorsy Review: Enthusiasts on This Site Want to Rent an RV From You

Start your RV business and bring in rental income today. Listing is free and the earning potential is high.
For renters, the episodic insurance Roamly offers through Outdoorsy grants peace of mind that includes up to million in liability protection and roadside assistance.
With Outdoorsy, you get paid at the beginning of the RV rental period, rather than at the end. You’re paid within 24 to 48 hours of handing off the keys to a renter.
And Outdoorsy verifies each renter and audits their driving history, so you know your rig is in safe, capable hands.

What is Outdoorsy?

RV owners who rent out their RVs on sites like Outdoorsy save about 25% on average when using Roamly for coverage. That’s because Roamly won’t force you to switch from a personal to commercial policy for renting out your rig.
Most personal RV insurance policies won’t allow you to rent out your rig. Your insurance company will either force you to pay a higher premium for a commercial policy or drop you.
Ready to stop worrying about money?
Outdoorsy and Roamly have also partnered to provide protections for renters with “episodic insurance” that must be purchased by anyone looking to rent an RV through Outdoorsy. This trip insurance protects both you and the renter and includes up to million in liability protection for renters as well as roadside assistance should the renter opt for that coverage.
Outdoorsy invites a wide range of RV types to its rental marketplace:

Becoming a Highway Hotelier 

Plus, there are affordable insurance solutions that’ll give you true peace of mind and put any worrying thoughts to rest.
The comprehensive insurance policies still may not put your mind at ease if it’s your first time renting out your rig to people you’ve never met.
Outdoorsy is a meeting place for people to share recreational vehicles safely and with full confidence on both sides. That confidence is founded in renter verification and the protections assured by comprehensive insurance policies for all parties involved.
Outdoorsy has done a spectacular job in helping owners and renters get comfortable with the rental RV experience. The company has clearly applied lessons it learned early on to make the experience on par with renting out rooms on Airbnb, renting out rides on Uber and renting out private cars on Turo.

Towable RV Rentals
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Drivable RV Rentals
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The platform also lets you detail your amenities and display them prominently in eye-catching tiles on the page to attract potential renters to take their next RV adventure in your rig.
Part of why you’re listing your RV rental on Outdoorsy is because you want to share your passion for RVing and the great outdoors with people who appreciate both just as much as you.

Ease of Use

Roamly explicitly permits you to rent or consign your RV on peer-to-peer platforms like Outdoorsy. And the more you rent out your RV on Outdoorsy, the more you’ll save on premiums with Roamly.
Plus, it’s your way or the highway: You get to determine when your rig is available to rent, how renters can use it, how long they can borrow it and how much they’ll pay for the privilege.
Yes. Outdoorsy is a trusted RV rental marketplace that offers driver verification and multiple options for insurance protection, including comprehensive and collision coverage.

Promoting Your Property

Ever come across pictures tagged with #VanLife on social media? There are people, young and old, all over the country who’d love to borrow your RV, camper or van to make memories at some of our nation’s natural treasures.
Registering is straightforward, and so is creating an attractive listing with photos and descriptions of amenities. And if you need a little coaching to help your listings stand out, you can book a session with the company’s support staff to help you promote your property.
It currently enjoys a 4.4/5 on Trustpilot, 4.6/5 on Google Play and 4.8/5 on Apple’s App Store and has highly positive ratings in other Outdoorsy reviews.
Outdoorsy lets you get granular in detailing your listings. Your daily, weekly and monthly rates are clearly visible on your listing — remember, you get to specify how long your RV can be rented, and you can even set a minimum amount of time a renter can take it out.
More than just a rental marketplace, home to about 40,000 listings, Outdoorsy is a symbiotic community made up of people who love RVs. The only difference is that some RV enthusiasts loan out their vehicles, while others pay their hard-earned money to rent one.
Outdoorsy will ask you to give your renters some space while they vacation, but you can also get in touch with them through the app or website if there’s something important you need to relay to them.

Safety Measures

Can’t stop talking about your RV? You can share that passion for life on the road with people interested enough to actually pay you to rent an RV.
You get to set your own rates, including the security deposit.

Safe to Roam

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The platform awards you for being a good host and facilitating a great experience for drivers who are fully aware that they’re being entrusted with something that’s special and prized by you, the RV owner.
The other reason is that your RV is just sitting there, when it could be making you a lot of money.
It’s free to list your RV rental on Outdoorsy. You’ll get paid within 24 to 48 hours after a renter departs and you don’t pay listing fees until after you’ve got your money.
Some of the many amenities you can promote include a kitchen sink, tow hitch, generator, audio players, audio inputs, microwave, stove, an inside shower, outside shower and many other selling points.
And if you use an RV-rental marketplace called Outdoorsy, you’ll get renter verification, short-term insurance plans built into the booking flow that protect your RV, and the potential to earn 0 to 0 a night.
We all need boundaries in life, and Outdoorsy has in place a framework for setting and enforcing the ground rules. But as an RV owner, you determine just how tight or loose the boundaries are for renters.

Support (Fees, Compensation, Customer Service)

Whether your RV rental is booked within weeks or minutes, there’s no upfront cost to list your vehicle on Outdoorsy. After they receive your payment from the renter, Outdoorsy will deduct its service fees from your earnings and then pay you.
Outdoorsy even has an entire insurance division in a sister company called Roamly to make sure you’re totally covered, no matter how unique your situation.

Service Fees and Compensation

Source: thepennyhoarder.com
Safety and security are important to you, and Outdoorsy’s safety measures have always included insurance options so RV owners and renters don’t run afoul of their everyday policies and have their coverage dropped.
Roamly, a self-service insurance platform, serves both renters and RV owners in all 50 states. It provides renters with trip insurance and it offers RV owners personal policies without any commercial exclusion clauses.
The fastest way to get in touch with Outdoorsy is by phone, via a 1-800 number or online through their chat service. You can also email them if it isn’t a pressing matter.

Outdoorsy Customer Support

Road Rules
Outdoorsy maintains several avenues for you to get the support you need, whether that’s guidance on setting up your listing or facilitating roadside assistance for a renter suffering a no-fault incident on the road.
Privacy Policy
This Outdoorsy review will rate the platform’s ease of use, safety measures and customer support.

Frequently Asked Questions

With Outdoorsy, everything you need for listing your RV (or several RVs) is at your fingertips, whether you use Outdoorsy’s app or website.

Can I just use my own insurance?

You don’t have to go the extra mile, but doing so will make renters rave about you and attract more people to your listings.
The more positive reviews and social shares your listings get, the more Outdoorsy boosts the visibility of your ads.
Your security deposit collected at the start of the RV rental process encourages renters to keep your RV clean. So keep sanitation tasks in mind when setting a security deposit.

How should I deliver my RV to renters?

Their 20% cut covers a lot: insurance, listing your ad, promoting your ad, facilitating the reservation and providing support services.
Here’s where Roamly can really save you serious money. They’re one of the few companies that won’t drop your coverage or force you to pick up a commercial policy with a much higher premium if you decide to rent out your RV on a platform like Outdoorsy.

Who’s responsible for cleaning the RV?

You can decide whether to allow pets, smoking, tailgating and festival attendance, among other things. You can also limit or unbound mileage or generator usage.
For most consumers, a website or app’s user experience pretty much tells you all you need to know about a company. All of the other elements consumers care about, like security and support, all tie into the user experience.

Is Outdoorsy reputable?

You have a lot in common with the verified renters on Outdoorsy. You both love the outdoors, the open road and all the diverse landscapes North America has to offer.
Still have a few more questions after reading our Outdoorsy review? Here’s a roundup of some of the more frequently asked questions people have when looking into Outdoorsy and similar RV rental companies.

Bottom Line

You also get to set your cancellation policy. Outdoorsy lets you select from three frameworks: flexible, moderate and strict cancellation policies.
Both you and the renter share responsibility for keeping your RV clean. While renters are responsible for picking up after themselves and returning it in the same condition they found it, you will be responsible for sanitizing your rig and restocking supplies after each rental period.
Just talk to some of the other RV owners in the Outdoorsy community for helpful insights from people using their RV to finance their next vacation, their grandchild’s tuition, home improvement or even a bigger rig.
RV owners can pocket thousands of dollars just by loaning out their RVs to other adventurers, especially when the weather warms up and social media users unofficially vie for the season’s “best vacation photos.” <!–

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And remember: You get the final say about who rents your RV. You can ask questions of the renter before deciding whether to rent to them, and there’s no penalty for saying “no thanks.”

Adopting A Rescue Pup? Here’s How 15 Dog Experts Recommend Introducing A New Dog To Your Home

Here’s how to help your rescue dog go from shelter life to the good life!

With approximately 3.1 million dogs ending up in U.S. animal shelters each year, it’s safe to say — there are rescue dogs aplenty anxiously awaiting to find their furrever homes. May is National Pet Month and while there’s no perfect time to adopt a rescue, there’s a lot to consider before introducing a new dog to your home. Here’s what 15 dog experts recommend you do when it’s time to welcome Fido into the fold.

1. Build trust little by little

Woman with a rescue dog on her couch.

Woman with a rescue dog on her couch.

“If your new dog is fearful or shy, help your dog by guiding the dog to different options than being afraid, without feeling sorry for the dog,” says Julie Hart of Rescue Dogs Responsibly. “Encouraging a dog to engage his nose will help him understand scary objects and new environments. Fearful dogs thrive with predictability and routine, so try to do approximately the same things with the dog every day until the dog gets more comfortable. Use a leash or a long line to move the dog around the house and yard to be in the same area as you, but not too close.”

“Building trust in small steps with fearful dogs and laying a good foundation will lead to greater progress in the long run,” says Hart.

2. When introducing a new dog to your home, let your pup explore at their own pace

“When introducing a new dog your home, keep the first week quiet and low-key,” says Debi McKee from Rescue Dogs 101. “Start by allowing your dog one room or area before overwhelming them with the entire house. Allow the dog to go at their own pace.”

3. Feed your new best friend the right dog food

Dog looking up from its food bowl.

Dog looking up from its food bowl.

“Bringing home a new rescue pup can be stressful for your pup,” says Danielle Marchessault, a pet wedding planner and coordinator and owner of For the Love of Paws. “There are so many changes happening, which can cause stress-related tummy issues. To help reduce any potential tummy upset, ask the shelter staff what your pup has been eating so that you can replicate it for the first few meals at home!”

4. Establish a routine that you and your pup can stick to

“One of our biggest tips for new dog owners is establishing a routine for your new dog right away! There’s so much stimulation and new things going on for your pup when it first arrives home that it can be super overwhelming.” says the OC Pom Rescue.

“For you new owners, decide when mealtime will be, when and where the pup will go potty, when you want to take the dog for a walk and when it’s time for bed. Getting into a routine promotes comfort and stability, which will make that transition into the home that much more comforting and seamless!”

5. Keep your rescue dog active and stimulated

Dog standing in the doorway next to a welcome mat.

Dog standing in the doorway next to a welcome mat.

“To help your new rescued family member feel comfortable in its new home and environment, stimulate your furry friend with activity. Just like with people, young and old, it’s important to keep your furry family member’s brain active,” says Healing4Heroes, a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting military service members and veterans by connecting wounded service members, as well as those with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injuries with A.D.A compliant service dogs.

“As a renter, you can drop pieces of kibble indiscriminately around your home. This will keep their brain active as they search for yummy treasures while getting them comfortable with the different rooms in their new environment. Congratulations on adopting a family member that will love you forever, no matter what you do!”

6. Practice patience

“Patience is the most important part of welcoming a rescue dog into your home,” says Molly Weinfurter and Mabel the rescue dog. “Most dogs have moved between shelters and foster homes their whole lives, so it will take some time for them to get comfortable and let their true personalities show. Watching a dog come out of their shell and thrive is the most rewarding experience, so give your new dog plenty of space in the beginning.”

7. Pick up some eco-friendly, doggy-approved products

Rescue dog with toys in his mouth at home.

Rescue dog with toys in his mouth at home.

“As a new pet parent, providing a comforting safe space for a new rescue pet is a must. Part of making a safe space for them is providing mental and physical stimulation through toys that help keep them entertained mentally and physically,” says the Gone to the Dogs team.

“Sustainably- and ethically-made toys are great for both pets and pet parents alike! You can find eco-friendly toys made out of materials like wool, hemp, cotton or wood. These are all-natural materials that won’t harm animals or the environment in the manufacturing process like some plastics do. If you’re just starting out as a fur mom or dad, then it might be worth considering the idea of buying eco-friendly cat and dog products!”

8. Keep safety and stability top of mind

“Take things slow and understand your new dog might be confused or frightened, so your No. 1 priority is keeping him feeling safe. You don’t want him to learn that you’re the person who scares him or will force him to do things he doesn’t feel safe doing. Now is the time for trust-building, never intimidation,” says Kate LaSala CTC, CBCC-KA, PCBC-A, CSAT from Rescued By Training.

9. Lean into crate training

Two rescue dogs in a crate.

Two rescue dogs in a crate.

Photo courtesy of Lucky Dog Animal Rescue

“When bringing a new dog to their home, we recommend getting settled into a reliable routine with plenty of exercise right off the bat!” says Lucky Dog Animal Rescue. “Long walks and trips to the dog park are great ways to tire your pup out so they have less desire to get into things at home. Teaching your dog that the crate is a safe space for them to stay when you’re not home, taking them out on regular intervals and rewarding desirable behavior are all great ways to set a routine.”

10. Stock up on doggy necessities

“Homecoming day is an exciting time, both for you and your new rescue, but it’s important to keep it low-key when introducing a new dog to your home,” says Janice Jones from Small Dog Place. “Your new dog will be anxious so having everything prepared beforehand is a must. Stock up on a comfortable bed and blanket, dog bowls, leash, harness and, last but not least, assure you have a good supply of toys and treats.”

“This special day should be reserved for you, your family and your new rescue — a time to get acquainted in a peaceful environment. Your dog will not only want to explore his new home but also where to find his bed, the water bowl and where to eliminate. This is also a good time to show your neighbors just how responsible a pet parent you are during walks, by picking up immediately after him and keeping the grounds clean.”

11. Show affection through playtime and walks

A dog walking on a leash outside.

A dog walking on a leash outside.

“The most important thing you can do when introducing a new dog to your home is creating a space they can call their own to help comfort them as they adjust to their new surroundings,” says Jennifer Dew, the founder and owner of 9 to 5 Pets.

If you’re looking for an easy transition with your rescue pup, Dew recommends the following:

  • Take your rescue dog on regular walks and give them lots of playtimes to release their energy and help lower their stress as they’re wrapping their paws around the transition and change.
  • Shower your new pup with affection to help reassure them that everything’s OK and make plans to stay at home with them as much as possible that first week to help reinforce their sense of security (which is you) in their new home.

And lastly, Dew shared, “Dogs thrive on routine, so when they experience a lot of change (good or bad), it causes stress and anxiety which can lead to unwanted behavior like accidents in the house or excessive barking. So, stay patient with them and keep in mind that this behavior is relative to the stress and anxiety they’re feeling and that they are doing the best they can. With love, patience, routine and positive reinforcement, any negative behavior should subside in time as they settle into their new home with you.”

12. Repeat the old adage “Slow and steady wins the race”

“Forget Me Not Rescue highly encourages slow introductions to other pets in the home. We specialize in hard-to-place pets like seniors so it may take several visits to make the adoption successful. Patience, time and a loving touch are very important,” says Margarita Fazioli from the Forget Me Not Rescue.

13. Keep calm and carry on

A woman holding a dog.

A woman holding a dog.

“When preparing for your new rescue pup to arrive, make sure to have a sense of calmness be your focus,” says The Peaceful Pack. “This will help when you start introducing a new dog to your home and promote a greater feeling of peace, stability and trust for your pup. Control what you can in your environment by creating cues for calmness, such as playing classical music, giving your pup their own space & providing enrichment-filled playtime.”

14. Regularly remind yourself and your family that introducing a new dog to your home takes time

“Our No. 1 tip for welcoming a new rescue dog into your home is to provide the new dog with time to become accustomed to their surroundings,” says Amber L. Drake from the DogBehaviorBlog. “There will be new sights, smells and sounds, which can be overwhelming to a new dog. Waiting one or two days to begin introducing new guests or pets to your rescue dog is recommended. And, as with any new adventure, patience is key.”

15. See what your pup gravitates toward

A woman scratching a dog under its neck on the couch.

A woman scratching a dog under its neck on the couch.

“When you start introducing a new dog to your home, especially a rescue animal, you need to provide the most comfort possible,” says Lauren Farricker from WoofRepublic.com. “Patience is very key during this time of transition as you learn how to integrate with each other. So, for new rescue pup parents, I advise trying to obtain their existing bed, blanket or a toy that gives them a sense of comfort in the new space that provides a semblance of where they’ve been as they are learning their new safe spaces. Shelter dogs may not have any existing items, so observe what they gravitate towards in their first few days to see how they find comfort.”

No bones about it

Welcoming a new animal into the family is just as much of a transition for you, as it is for the dog. So, while you show patience in welcoming your new best friend into your apartment, make sure to show a little grace for yourself. After all, this is an adjustment period for everyone.

Source: rent.com

How to Earn Money Renting Your RV – Rent Out RV, Profit, Repeat

You love your RV. But chances are, you’re not using it every day of the year. In fact, there are more than 18 million RVs in the U.S, that sit idle for 350 days out of the year. Not only that, but RVs are often the second-most expensive purchase Americans make outside of their home.

If you’ve got a road-ready RV sitting in storage or in your driveway while you make payments on it, you have an opportunity to offset that major expense and let it pay for itself. We’re talking about renting it on an RV rental marketplace like Outdoorsy.

Years ago, homeowners couldn’t fathom allowing “strangers” to rent out their homes. The same way homeowners found online vacation rentals a lucrative and safe enterprise, Outdoorsy is proving that RV rentals can deliver similar success.

RV owners are making up to $50,000 annually by renting out their travel trailers, campers, conversion vans and luxury motorhomes on Outdoorsy.

Entertain the question for a moment and learn just how much you can make by renting out your RV to vetted and verified renters who share your passion for the RV lifestyle and the great outdoors.

How Much Money Can You Make Renting Out Your RV?

No doubt, there’s more to renting out your travel trailer or conversion van than simply listing your property online, accepting a reservation and swapping your keys for money.

Outdoorsy is built on trust. And thoughtful assurances, at every level, are what make that trust rock solid.

Every prospective renter on Outdoorsy has their driving record verified, so you know your RV will be in safe hands with a strong track record of defensive driving.

And then there’s trip insurance, up to $1 million in coverage, and roadside assistance, both of which help strengthen the trust between owner and renter.

Once you account for the insurance costs, listing and reservation fees and driver background checks, RV owners take home about 80% of what renters pay for the pleasure of renting your RV.

Here are some estimates on how much you could make by renting out your RV for just one to two weeks:

  • Class A: $2,569 – $5,138
  • Class B: $1,624 – $3,248
  • Class C: $1,540 – $3,080
  • Camper van: $1,204 – $2,408
  • Truck camper: $875 – $1,750
  • Travel trailers: $693 – $1,386
  • Folding trailer: $490 – $980
  • Fifth wheel: $1,113 – $2,226
  • Toy hauler: $770 – $1,540
  • Passenger van: $420 – $840

RV owners can make even more than these estimates if a renter exceeds your mileage or generator restrictions. Outdoorsy accepts even more RVs than those listed above — anything from conversion vans to luxury motorhomes.

You’re paid handsomely for every little bit of wear and tear your RV could potentially sustain for everyday use and insurance protects your property from abuse.

It’s free to list your RV on Outdoorsy. They won’t charge you anything until a renter pays to rent out your RV.

How to List Your RV and Start Earning

Creating a listing is simple, and there will likely be strong interest when you do set out in the RV rental business. But creating a great listing takes a little bit of effort and will be worth your while when renters start to rate the experience.

Signing Up

It’s not a commitment to anything. Signing up for Outdoorsy only indicates you’re open to learning about what could come next.

You’ll need to supply your name, email address and your contact number. You can sign up in a web browser or download the Outdoorsy app.

Creating Your Listing

Outdoorsy will do its part to ensure you can trust renters. With your listing, you’ll have to do your part to attract renters and help them understand just how great of an opportunity renting your RV will be for them.

Take photos showing off your RV. Staging your photos is fine, even encouraged, as it’ll help renters start to daydream about it. You can select the amenities your RV offers and Outdoorsy will compile them on your listing.

You’ll also need to establish your rules for your RV: how many miles they can put on it, the types of places they can take it, how much they can use the generator and so on.

Accepting Reservations

You are never obligated to accept any reservations. But if you’re still nervous about handing over the keys, it gets a lot easier each time.

Also, it’s perfectly acceptable to throw a few questions at potential renters before accepting their booking requests to rent out RV time from you.

Preparing for the Next Renters

More than just removing personal belongings, you’ll want to make sure your RV is clean and is road ready. Your renters will do the same for you when they return it — neither side wants to clean up after the other.

Swapping the Keys for Money

It’ll be back before you know it, and in as good a condition as you remember. The last thing a renter wants is to be liable for insurance costs.

You get to determine where you’ll meet renters to drop off the keys and where they’ll have the RV delivered. But remember, going the extra mile to accommodate your guest will probably earn you rave reviews and will ultimately help attract even more guests.

Getting Paid

Once the key exchange is done, you’ll be paid through Outdoorsy about 24 to 48 hours later. Your bank may take the usual three to five business days to update your ledger, however.

Outdoorsy won’t charge you a dime until a renter has paid to borrow your RV. Once Outdoorsy is paid, they’ll collect insurance and other fees before initiating your payout.

How Insurance Works

If you’ve ever thought about renting out RVs in the past, you were probably dissuaded by your insurance policy’s commercial exclusion clauses and RV rental restriction.

Nearly all RV insurance policies rule out renting out your RV.

Episodic Insurance built into the Outdoorsy Platform

Roamly’s  “episodic” insurance coverage begins covering your RV from the moment you hand over the keys to the renter until the moment you get them back. The renter must purchase Roamly’s episodic insurance as part of the RV booking process, ensuring that the renter, and your RV, are protected on the trip.

This comprehensive policy comes with up to $1 million in liability coverage for each trip.

Personal RV Insurance with No Commercial Exclusions

While your RV is protected through Roamly’s episodic insurance when it’s being rented out, you’ll want to make sure that your RV insurance carrier even allows you to rent it out in the first place. That’s where Roamly’s personal lines of insurance can help.

Roamly’s RV policies explicitly allow you to rent out your RV when you’re not using it by removing the commercial-use restriction found in traditional RV policies. While other carriers will deny legitimate claims or drop your coverage if you rent out your RV, Roamly won’t. In fact, Roamly encourages it, and it offers unique premium discounts the more you rent out your RV on Outdoorsy.

And yes, you really can save up to 25% in many cases by switching over to Roamly, an insurance company that was built by RV enthusiasts just like you.

To see how much Roamly could save you, get a quote here. It takes just 60 seconds and can be done completely online.

Get Paid to Share the RV Lifestyle

People don’t just want to see our country’s National Parks and scenic drives, they want to savor them through immersive experiences that a car or SUV just can’t accommodate.

Ready to rent out your RV? Even if you aren’t quite ready, joining the Outdoorsy community is the next step and it’s completely free.

You can learn from other RV owners who are using extra income from Outdoorsy to pay for their grandkids’ tuition, pay for home improvements or cover all the expenses for their next big adventure.

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Source: thepennyhoarder.com

How to Navigate an Apartment Lease Takeover Like a Pro

If you’ve got to leave your apartment mid-lease, finding a qualified person to step in and take over your lease goes a long way to making the process go smoothly.

You gone.

Or, at least you need or want to go. But you’ve got this lease on your apartment that’s not up yet. You don’t want to break your lease because that’s got some consequences that may linger. You’ve got some other options, such as a lease takeover or a sublet. Here’s how you go about getting out in the best way possible.

What’s the difference between a sublet and a lease takeover?

In a sublet, a new person comes in to finish up your lease. They pay you and you continue to pay rent to the landlord. Three things to remember: Make sure your lease agreement allows you to sublet your apartment, let your landlord know you’ll sublet and you’re on the hook if the subletter doesn’t pay the rent.

An apartment lease takeover (a.k.a. lease transfer or lease assignment) is when a new renter agrees to take over your lease and has a separate, formal agreement with the landlord. That person would then be the lessee (the person taking over the lease). You still have to find out of your lease allows this, but a lease takeover is more of a clean break than a sublet.

Lease agreement

Lease agreement

Getting started

Transferring your lease may seem like traffic has parted and you’re ready to hit the gas, but first, you’re going to adjust your mirrors and check that you’ve got a full tank. Full stop on the driving metaphors, but you’ve got work to do.

Read your lease agreement

The lease may state you can’t sublet or otherwise transfer your lease to anyone else. And, if you’re allowed to sublet or do a lease transfer, you may have to pay a processing or transfer fee. You might have to let go of your security deposit or your last month’s payment.

Contact your landlord

Get it in writing that your landlord or property manager is on board with a lease takeover. Find out what your responsibilities will be. For example, do you have to find the lessee? Will you still be on the hook for rent if the lessee doesn’t pay? You may have to get your landlord to specify in writing that unpaid rent is not your burden.

Ready to do the lease takeover

You’re not done yet. The easier you make life for your landlord or property manager, the smoother your lease takeover process will be.

Find someone to take over the lease

You may not have to do this, but it will help your case.

It should go without saying that the person should have good credit and be able to pay the rent on time. The potential lessee will have to fill out a rental application and provide all the documents and background information you had to do when you began renting the apartment. Be prepared for your landlord to say no to your candidate. Have a backup person. And then another one just in case.

If you’ve made your case for your lessee candidate and your landlord is being difficult or unreasonable, you may need to find a lawyer. Look for someone who specializes in your state’s landlord-tenant laws.

Start your lessee search early

Just because it seems like everyone you know is looking for a place to live doesn’t mean they’re actually ready to find a place or put down money on something. Remember the months of scrimping, saving and organizing you had to do before you rented your place?

Word of mouth is great, particularly among friends, family, co-workers and others that you may already know. But you can also use social media to find someone. If you’re having trouble, you might think about offering to cover the first month’s rent or paying the utility bill for a couple of months.

Take good photos of your apartment

Take good photos of your apartment

Create an apartment listing

Write a description and take some great photos of your apartment. (A picture is worth a thousand words, they say.) Three to five images (kitchen, living room, bathroom, bedroom, common space) are probably enough. You don’t need a fancy camera to take them. Make the rooms look cozy and inviting. Clear the clutter, let in as much natural light as possible and add some flowers.

Done deal

Once you’ve got your landlord’s approval, you’ll need to create an official document of the lease transfer outlining everything you all agreed to. (You can find a lease takeover template at wonder.legal.) You, your landlord and the new tenant will all have to sign the document.

You’re free to go now

Once you’ve found the perfect person to take over your lease, and they’ve signed on all the dotted lines, you are good to go.

Now, you can floor the gas and head into your new adventure.

Source: rent.com

Caught in the Act: Lying on Your Rental Application

In today’s ultra-competitive rental market, many tenants are finding themselves stuck on long waiting lists. Or, they’re in bidding wars with other qualified applicants. Demand for rentals is surging across the country, and supply isn’t keeping pace. There are steps you can take to help you stand out. But lying on your rental application is never the answer. No matter how much you need to find new housing.

The most common lies in rental applications

There are many reasons why you may feel the need to fib on your rental application, but it usually won’t help you get to where you want to be. Most of the time, landlords will be able to sort out the truth and will move on to the next applicant on the list. They may even warn other landlords in their network about your application.

1. References

It can be tempting to list friends and family as your rental application references. But with even a minimal amount of research, your landlord will likely be able to figure this one out. Always list real and accurate employment and rental references to boost your chances of passing the tenant screening process. If there’s a landlord on your list whose reference might not be completely positive, either don’t list them or contact them before submitting your application to see if you can work through the issue.

2. Income

Fabricating documents like pay stubs or bank statements have become much easier as technology advances. But this is also something that’s very easy for your potential landlord to cross-reference on a detailed credit report. While it’s legal for an independent contractor or business owner to submit their own pay stubs, creating fake pay stubs for verification purposes is actually illegal. If you’re applying for a rental and don’t meet the income requirements, it’s probably not the right fit for your situation anyway.

3. Pets

It can prove difficult to find housing with a furry friend, but certainly not impossible. Even if you make it through the application process without disclosing a pet, your landlord can end your lease agreement and evict you for breaking the lease if they discover an unapproved pet living at the property. In addition, if your pet causes any damage, you are financially responsible on top of your security deposit. If you already have a pet you can’t live without, look for a pet-friendly rental from the start.

man filling out a rental application

man filling out a rental application

Application lies vs. outright fraud

It’s one thing to make a mistake or forget some of the details on your application. But intentionally misrepresenting yourself on your rental application is a form of fraud. No matter how small it seems. If you use someone else’s personal information on your application, you’re committing identity fraud.

What happens if you get caught lying on your rental application

If your landlord finds false information on your application, they are likely to reject you and move on to the next qualified tenant in line. Since you won’t end up with the apartment anyway, was it really worth the lie? Some landlords will contact other landlords in their network or associations to warn them about you. This could cause trouble the next time you apply for a rental.

If your lie comes to light after a lease agreement has already been signed, your landlord might be able to proceed with an eviction. If you’re evicted for lying about your rental application, this is now part of your rental history and complicates your ability to secure future rentals.

Help your rental application stand out from the rest

Instead of straying from the truth on your application, the best way to stand out as a qualified tenant in a competitive market is actually to be completely transparent. If there are any potential red flags on your application, such as poor credit or a criminal record, attach a note that explains the situation and any steps you have taken to mitigate the issue.

Here are some other best practices:

  • Be sure to follow all application instructions carefully and submit all of the required materials. If the application details instruct you to call and set up an appointment, but you show up in person and knock on the door, you’re not going to start off on the right foot.
  • Spend time solidifying references who will speak to your responsibility and reliability
  • Consider taking additional steps like highlighting that you already hold a renter’s insurance policy. Or, try writing a cover letter to explain why you’re the right tenant for the property

Focusing on the factors you can control, like applying quickly and providing accurate documents and stellar references, increase your chances of being accepted for a new rental property.

Lying on your rental application is never a good idea

It might seem easier to lie in the moment. But it usually leads to more stress and costs down the road. It’s always best to start your landlord-tenant relationship on a positive note. And this positivity can continue throughout the term of your tenancy. Plus, having a great reference for your next rental is indispensable.

Source: apartmentguide.com

The Best College Towns in California

From ocean-side towns to urban and metro cities, California has hundreds of college towns for students and residents alike to select from and call home. Check out our report card to learn what California college towns have to offer.

California is home to more than 700 public and private universities and community colleges. That means the Golden State has a variety of great California college towns.

So, what are some of the best college towns in California and what makes them so desirable? We’ve done our homework and put together a report card of the best California college towns to live in. Extra credit — people other than students can live in these areas, too!

10 best California college towns

Whether you’re a freshman just starting school or looking to relocate with your family, these college towns in California offer something for just about everyone.

1. Los Angeles

UCLA in los angeles

UCLA in los angeles

You may not immediately think of Los Angeles as a college town, but the city is home to 63 colleges. Some of the most well-known schools include the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of Southern California (USC) and Loyola Marymount College. These are just some of the great schools with diverse student populations.

In addition to having several colleges to choose from, there’s so much life in the city of L.A. What’s not to love about living in Los Angeles? You’ll have access to world-class entertainment, countless restaurants and bars, great shopping and hundreds of outdoor parks. L.A. is the center of entertainment so you might even spot a celebrity walking the sunny streets of L.A.

People love L.A. for the year-round, mild climate. There are great hiking trails — like Runyon Canyon Loop or Griffith Park Trails — and outdoor parks to enjoy. Also, you’re also close to beaches like Santa Monica or Long Beach.

Los Angeles is a city that gives you a little bit of everything. You have access to one of the largest cities in the world so you can get your fix of city life while also escaping to the beach or trails. There are many neighborhoods and apartments in Los Angeles, so college students and other renters have plenty of options when looking for their next home.

Renters can expect to pay between $2,700 and $3,600 for a one or two-bedroom apartment.

2. Palo Alto

palo alto, a california college town

palo alto, a california college town

While not technically an Ivy League school, Stanford University is a prestigious, private school that’s comparable to an Ivy League. Located near the city of Palo Alto, Stanford itself is actually the town in Santa Clara county. Home to roughly 16,000 students, Stanford is one of California’s best college towns. Living here, you’ll enjoy mild weather and have access to a variety of great outdoor activities. This entire area is known as the “birthplace of Silicon Valley,” so you’ll be surrounded by tech and innovation.

When you’re living in Palo Alto, you’ll want to check out some of the sights like Hoover Tower or Cantor Arts Center. You can also enjoy the Palo Alto Baylands Natural Preserve. Once you’ve settled into Palo Alto and hit the major spots, ease into hikes, explore the neighborhoods and walk around Stanford Campus on your evening walks. You’ll be a local in no time.

The neighborhoods are beautiful and the climate is great but the rent is steep. Students and renters living near Stanford in Palo Alto will enjoy a great college town but should know that rent here is much higher compared to other cities in California. For instance, rent ranges between $3,700 and $4,300 depending on the size of the apartment. However, if you’re the next Steve Jobs and are ready to change the world with your tech start-up, this is the college town to live in.

3. Riverside

riverside, a california college town

riverside, a california college town

Riverside is home to UC – Riverside, a college that’s part of the 10 University of California schools. With roughly 21,500 students attending each year, this is a great school for students in the Palm Desert area of California. Riverside is one of the best college towns in California for its diverse student population, dedicated researchers and abundance of activities for students and their families.

People like living in the city of Riverside as it’s a vibrant community with mountains, deserts and coastal areas close by. It’s less expensive compared to other Southern California cities, yet you get the perks of California with the rolling hills and close access to beaches in this city.

Riverside is home to the citrus industry, so if you like navel oranges, you’re in luck. If that’s not your thing, don’t worry. Riverside is a sprawling urban area within 60 miles of L.A. Students and residents alike will enjoy the lower cost of living in this city while still having access to everything that makes sunny California great.

The cost of rent averages $1,800 for a one-bedroom apartment and approximately $2,000 for a two-bedroom apartment.

4. Berkeley

berkeley, california

berkeley, california

The college town of Berkeley seems to have it all — a diverse population, great bars and restaurants, a thriving nightlife, great schools from Kindergarten on up, dedicated students and a variety of housing options. Renters are within close proximity to the University of California, Berkeley campus, which is a public land grant university.

People like Cal Berkeley for the diverse higher education programs offered. From liberal arts education to STEM-based degrees, the school offers it all. Renters in Berkeley will love this college town that has a healthy blend of student-related activities near campus and a thriving city apart from the college itself.

Ranked one of the healthiest cities in the nation, Berkeley has great food, fun shops and restaurants and a vibrant live music scene. There are plenty of bike-friendly trails so you can cycle yourself from place to place. It’s a liberal, easy-going area that residents love to call home.

Rent ranges anywhere from $1,850 to $5,100 but rent has decreased by 22 percent overall year-over-year in this college town.

5. Orange

orange california

orange california

Chapman University is in the city of Orange, California. This is a small, private school in a college town located only 15 miles from the beach. The school itself has approximately 10,000 students enrolled but the city of Orange has 139,000 residents. If you live in this California college town, you’ll live near a school dedicated to liberal arts (they’re famous for their film school!) while also getting to enjoy a bigger city atmosphere.

Ninety-two percent of students live on campus during their first year, so as a student, you’re sure to make friends with your dorm buddies. However, if you move off campus you’ll have plenty of rental options and will love living in this vibrant Southern California beach city.

Whether or not you’re a student, residents alike can meander through Hart’s Park or catch a ball game at Angels Stadium. All public schools are highly rated, so it’s a great city for families to settle down. You’ll have access to great parks and the neighborhoods are family-friendly. A lot of young families and professionals settle down here as there are good job prospects, relatively affordable cost of living and easy access to fun things to do.

Rent averages $2,100 to $2,400 for studios, one-bedrooms or two-bedroom apartments.

6. Malibu

malibu, california

malibu, california

Pepperdine is a very small, private university with 9,000 students enrolled annually. Malibu itself is fairly small when compared to other California towns, with 13,000 residents. Pepperdine is a great college town because of the proximity to amenities in Malibu and the tight-knit community on campus. The Pepperdine student community is strong and students can live on or near campus and participate in a variety of student-led activities.

Outside of the campus itself, the city of Malibu is a glamorous Southern California city known for its beaches, amazing climate and frequent celebrity sightings. If you’re a renter looking for a mix of student life nearby and picturesque California glam, Malibu is the college town for you.

Keep in mind that Malibu is as expensive as it is glamorous. Rent is between $4,900 and $5,500 a month. While you’ll pay a pretty penny to live here, residents all love it. There are ample beaches to enjoy, safe neighborhoods with low crime rates and an amazing school system.

7. San Francisco

san francisco, ca

san francisco, ca

The University of San Fransisco is one of the colleges located in this famous tech city. Students and renters will enjoy calling San Francisco their college town while having access to campus life, too. San Fran is known for its liberal and diverse population and the university prides itself on its commitment to inclusiveness, equality and social justice.

Other benefits of living in this college town are your access to the San Francisco Bay, Golden Gate Bridge and the amazing downtown scene. You’ll enjoy cooler weather and more foggy days but also have sunny days to enjoy the outdoors. This big college town offers everything from outdoor adventures to downtown life.

San Fran residents love this area. You have a metro downtown with amazing restaurants and shops. There’s access to world-class destinations like the Golden Gate Bridge. You can enjoy an afternoon at Golden Gate Park and then head to the city for dinner that night.

San Fransisco is one of the most expensive cities in the world, though, so keep that in mind before deciding to settle in this California college town. You should plan to budget anywhere from $3,400 to $4,500 to live in the Bay Area.

8. Santa Barbara

santa barbara, a college town in california

santa barbara, a college town in california

Located on the coast, UC Santa Barbara is a college town in — drumroll please — Santa Barbara, CA! The school itself has nearly 24,000 students enrolled each year, making it a large public school in the state. It’s one of the top-rated universities in the country and has produced several Nobel Prize winners.

Not only is it a great college, but the city of Santa Barbara is also top-notch. Renters will enjoy amazing beaches, breathtaking cliff-side views, endless trails and walking paths and good weather almost all year long.

People living in Santa Barbara talk about the sense of community they feel living here. You’ll enjoy a close-knit community in one of the most gorgeous beach-side cities in California. Rent ranges from $2,400 to $3,200 in Santa Barbara.

9. San Diego

san diego, california

san diego, california

San Diego State University is a public university located in San Diego. The school population is large with more than 35,000 students. Living in this college town near campus, you’ll be surrounded by students who are eager to learn and cheer on the basketball team, the Aztecs. Another college located in this city is the University of San Diego.

Living in San Diego comes with perks, too. You’ll be located near the beach and can visit the famous San Diego Zoo. If that’s not your thing, you can enjoy great seafood, try a new coffee shop or go whale watching, hiking or biking. Renters can expect to pay between $2,300 and $3,400 in rent, but prices may vary for on-campus housing. San Diego is one of the best places to live in California.

10. Claremont

homes in claremont, california

homes in claremont, california

Claremont is a great California college town and is home to Pomona College, a small, liberal arts college. With a small student body of 2,000 students, residents of Claremont can live close to the college campus without having the overwhelming number of students that other state schools have.

Living in Claremont you’ll have a suburban feel and are friendly with your neighbors, but L.A. is only 35 miles away so you have quick access to a big city, too. Claremont is great for parks, fine arts and food. Rent ranges from $1,600 to $1,900 for one and two-bedroom apartments.

Living near a college town

Like all things, living near a college town has its pros and cons. Pros include lots of housing options, a younger population of eager students, several restaurants and bars and a thriving nightlife. Depending on your perspective, cons can include too many young students and party-goers and potentially worn-down housing from college students residing in them.

However, we can all agree that living in California near a college town, you’ll enjoy the perks of California weather, good food, friendly people and a variety of housing options that fit your needs and budget.

Source: rent.com