Renters: What to Expect

\"LivingWhen you’re considering renting a home in Morris, Essex, or Union county, there are several things to keep in mind and be prepared for.  As with buying a home, it’s important to have a realtor who will help you find your next home, represent you in the process, and negotiate on your behalf.  These are tips that will help you be prepared for the process that goes along with renting in this area:

1. Know your credit score and have a copy of your report before you start looking.  Nearly every Landlord will require a copy of at least the score, and it will play a huge role in whether or not you can get that rental.  If your score is low, your realtor can help advise you and strategize with you on alternative ways you can secure the rental you want, despite your credit score.  If you don’t know how to pull your own credit, as your real estate agent to help you.

2. Get an employment verification letter from your employer.  Again, most landlord’s will require this letter, and you should have it ready to go before you even start looking.  Then, when you find the home you want to rent, you can immediately put in your offer.  The letter generally states where you are employed, your position, how long you have been employed, and your salary information.  It needs to be on company letterhead.

3. Learn the costs that come with renting.  For most rentals, the tenant can expect to pay the first month’s rent upon signing the lease, 1.5 months security, and the realtor fee, which is typically the equivalent to one month’s rent.  So basically, you’ll need the equivalent of 3.5 months rent, in your first month of renting a home.  Of course, all of these fees could be negotiable, but this is the standard in this area.

4. Read the lease and know your rights.  We are strong believers of reading contracts before you sign them, so take some time to get familiar with the NJ Standard Lease before you sign it.  You can ask your real estate agent for a copy.  You should also know your rights as a tenant in NJ, which you can learn more about by clicking here.

5. Budget for renters insurance.  Many landlords require that their tenants get renters insurance to protect their belongings, should something happen at the house.  Most insurance companies can help you obtain it, and whether or not it is required by the landlord, it is a good idea to have it.

Now that you know what to expect and prepare for when renting in this area of New Jersey, the next step is to find the community and home for you. Please feel free to reach out if you’d like to get started!

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