Finding the perfect housing solution to meet your needs can be a hectic, time consuming process. Save yourself some headaches by knowing up front what type of housing you require; the neighborhoods you would be comfortable living in; and if possible, walk all possible rentals prior to signing anything.
In this four week series, we will be covering the various aspects of smart renting and the steps that should be followed before signing a legally binding agreement. Below are some helpful hints and tips regarding a unit’s condition prior to arrival:
- Always inspect the interior of a rental with the landlord or leasing agent prior to signing a lease.
- Take photos of any and all damages and also complete a “condition upon arrival” form within 24 hours of moving in.
- If this form is not provided, make sure to document all damages in writing too.
- These items should include:
- Mold and odors;
- Rusty water;
- Faulty electrical wiring/outlets/light switches;
- Inadequate heating/A/C;
- Damaged furnishings (if applicable) and appliances;
- Damage to the floors/carpets/baseboards;
- Any signs you may see that there are insects or rodents living in the premises.
Have the landlord and/or leasing agent sign a copy of either the form they provided or the written report about all damages that you created. Keep a copy of this form in a safe place for your records and so you can refer to this when you fill out the same information when you move out.
- Check out the exterior of the building(s), common areas including courtyards, hallways, parking, and dumpsters and determine if these areas are in good condition and are well maintained.
As always, if you get an uneasy feeling about a particular complex or unit, do not sign any agreement until you are 100% satisfied with your new home.
Stay tuned for more on your rights and responsibilities as a renter next week. 🙂
Many believe that travel insurance is unnecessary and costs too much to be used regularly. The following tips and facts about travel insurance from InsuranceHotline.com might make you reconsider purchasing travel insurance for your business trips and/or vacations this summer.
- Myth – travel insurance is only needed while traveling outside of the country. Traveling within your country does provide less of a risk of financial trouble but risk is still present. If you have to cancel your trip or have a medical emergency while traveling, your travel insurance policy can cover you for these costs incurred.
- Myth – airlines cover costs for cancelled flights. Whenever a flight is cancelled because of weather or other natural causes, the airlines do not help pay for your hotel stay, food, or re-booked flights the majority of the time and these costs would all be up to you, the traveler. If you purchased travel insurance; however, you would be one happy camper as it will cover these costs for you.
- Myth – short trips don’t need travel insurance. It is common thought that risks are decreased depending on the length of time and this frankly isn’t true. Accidents happen all the time and no one sees them coming so be prepared even when only traveling for short periods of time.
- Myth – if an emergency comes up bookings will be refunded. Airlines, hotels, and attractions have specific cancellation policies and unfortunately are not that understanding. The majority of pre-paid tickets are non-refundable and many hotels still require payment for at least one night. Travel insurance would get your money back from all of your pre-booked accommodations, flights, attractions, etc.
- Myth – insurance is too expensive, especially with multiple people and vacations. Travel Insurance is actually pretty affordable these days. Some companies even offer policies that are good for an entire year and multiple trips and family policies which covers everyone listed on the plan.
To review different insurance companies offering travel insurance, visit InsuranceHotline.com which acts as a free online insurance rate comparison service with more than 30 insurance companies. All quotes are based off of the lowest rates available on the network. This site is designed to give consumers a truly unbiased quote.
When it comes to unit damages, it can sometimes come down to the company’s word against yours, so protect yourself from unnecessary charges at check-out by referencing these three tips:
- Conduct Thorough Check List Review: The corporate housing provider should give you a unit condition sheet (i.e. an inventory check list specific to the property upon your arrival). Be sure to fill this out in detail after you first move in, make a copy for yourself, and re-submit the form back to the company within 24 hours.
- Take Photos: If there are damages to the unit when you first move in (such as scratches in appliances, torn furniture, stains on the carpet/upholstery, etc.) be sure to take photos. Better yet, take a recording on your phone of the entire unit from top to bottom while completing the initial walk through upon move in. This way, if the company charges you for any damages that were there before, you will have your own proof to prove otherwise.
- Create Your Own List: Compile your own checklist of the unit’s inventory within 24 hours of checking in and before departing the unit in detail in case any missing items are charged to you. Also, property management corporate housing companies will have the specific inventory for all of their properties in their office. Be sure to ask them for a copy so you can compare it with yours. Send in your arrival and departure inventory lists with the unit condition sheet to the company as soon as possible.
Remember everything needs to be in writing and in photo/video to ensure you will not be charged for damages. The more thorough you are, the better covered you will be in making a case.
Protect Yourself from Rental Fraud: Three Steps to Take Before Reserving Your Next Corporate Housing Property
Technology creates ease of use when it comes to reserving a corporate rental; however, it also increases the potential for fraud. Before signing any rental or leasing documents, be sure to take these three important steps first:
- Run a Google Search on the Company. Look at any reviews about the company, review the website(s) to ensure a professional vibe, engage on their social media networking sites, and read any articles published about the company before finalizing anything.
- NEVER WIRE MONEY!!!! Alarm bells should be ringing in your head if a company or private person is asking you to wire funds. This is a tell-tale sign that the rental being offered is fraudulent. Legitimate rental owners will either ask for a credit card or check/money order/cashier’s check to reserve the unit.
- Use Your Gut. If the rental rate seems too good to be true, it most likely is. Research extended stay hotels or other corporate housing companies’ daily rates in the city or area you are looking to rent before you get talked into signing a long- or short-term lease. Also, ask to walk the unit before committing. If you will be renting a unit without being able to view the property first, then be sure to ask for current pictures of the unit with a date and time stamp.
If everything checks out, be sure to have the leasing agent or property owner go over the lease documents in detail with you before signing them. When in doubt, always ask questions first before making a commitment that you may not be able to break.
I came across this product recently and even though you may not want to talk about it, or think about it, you should learn how to protect yourself. Did you know the next time you fly your suitcase could become infested with bedbugs and if you bring that suitcase into your home the bugs could infest your home? Bummer. Did you know getting rid of bedbugs could cost you thousands of dollars and the bites don’t feel good either?
Take a look: http://www.bedbugboxes.com/
Thought sharing this might make you sleep better zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
AvenueWest is the World Leader in Managed Corporate Housing – so what’s in a name? We are a real estate brokerage, licensed and regulated, that specializes in fully furnished property management – we offer both AvenueWest Signature properties, these include everything in the rent from high speed internet to expanded cable to the kitchen sink – we also offer AvenueWest Basic Properties if you don’t need everything included in the rent.
Our GOAL with this blog is to give you something helpful the next time you travel or a better way to manage your corporate housing rental – please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about renting a corporate housing property. Yes believe it or not, anyone can rent a corporate housing rental even an individual and if you read nothing else on this blog PLEASE NEVER EVER wire $10,000 to someone who claims to have the perfect rental for you, they are a fraud! use PayPal or any real corporate housing company will be happy to take your credit card – you can also check at http://www.CHPAonline.org to see if the company is a member of The Corporate Housing Providers Association.