Utah Renter’s Guide: Tips for a First-Time Renter

Utah Renter’s Guide: Tips for a First-Time Renter

Wolfnest's Renter's Guide

Starting the process of renting can be intimidating and overwhelming for anyone. Especially if you are a first-time renter, you probably are feeling nervous and are not sure what to expect. As experienced Utah property managers, our job is to understand renting and everything that comes with it. That’s why we put together this renter’s guide. When renting a property from any Utah homeowner, there are several important things to remember. This simple rental checklist will help you find your ideal rental and ensure things run smoothly during the duration of your lease.

 Rental Checklist Step 1: Determining Your Wants and Needs

After you have decided on renting, the next step is to browse different available properties to find the best fit for you. As a first time renter though, there are probably some questions you need to ask yourself before beginning this search.

1. What Type of Property Do I Want to Rent?

There are many different types of rentals available and it’s important to know what you are looking for. Do you want to rent a home or an apartment? How many bedrooms are you looking for? All of these things will affect what types of rentals you begin your search with.

 2. What is Your Budget?

Budgeting is part of a renter's checklist

Another essential step in our renter’s guide is determining a budget. Determine what you are willing to pay for rent and then remember you will have to pay a security deposit, utilities, and possibly renter’s insurance, too. There are many different “formulas” to determine what you can afford for rent, but sometimes these don’t take into consideration your individual circumstances. So, it’s a good idea to look at your income and expenses specifically to determine your budget.

3. Are There Specific Areas You Want to Live In?

You may not be sure of any specific locations you want to live in, especially if you are moving to a new city. In this case, you can look at rentals in many different areas and decide which ones you like. But you also may have specific areas in which you are looking. Determine what these areas are and what you like about them.

 It’s still important to be open to other locations. You may end up loving a location that you never would have considered! By having a list of areas written down, you can make sure you look at various apartments in these locations to see if one of them is the right fit for you.

Rental Checklist Step 2: Touring Rentals

Once you have answered the questions above, the next step in our renter’s guide is touring various rental properties. While touring, make notes about what you like and what you don’t to help you make any difficult decisions. Try to keep an open mind since you never know if you will end up loving a property or location that you didn’t expect. 

Rental Checklist Step 3: Signing the Lease

Once you have found your rental, there are a few more steps in our renter’s guide you should follow to ensure a smooth rental process.

1. Read and understand all of the terms of your lease agreement before signing 

The lease is the most important document between you and the Utah homeowner. It outlines the terms of your tenancy and the responsibilities of both parties. One of the most important steps in this renter’s guide is that you read and understand all of the terms of this agreement because it will be the document used by the courts in any dispute. If you have any questions or don’t understand anything, you should consult a Utah attorney.

Lease agreement as a first time renter

2. Promptly switch the utilities into your name

Your Utah rental agreement will outline which utilities you are responsible for. After signing the lease, you should call the various utility companies and have these switched into your name immediately. 

3. Always document the condition of your property

Taking pictures is a great way to record the condition of your property before you move in and an essential step in the renter’s guide. Typically, your Utah property manager will do this for you, but it is essential that the pictures are date stamped and show any unclean or damaged areas in the home. If this is not done for you, take date stamped photos yourself and keep them in your records.

4. Determine how to pay your rent

If the owner is working with a Utah property management company, they should have the option to pay rent online using ACH transfers. This is very convenient for you as the rent is simply withdrawn from your checking account, saving you the trouble of needing to send a check. If ACH is not an option, you should determine the most efficient way to deliver your check each month to avoid late fees.

5. Learn how to properly submit maintenance requests

If your home is being managed by a Utah Property Management company, they will outline how maintenance requests are to be submitted. Usually, for non-emergency items, a simple maintenance request can be completed online.

6. Never stop paying rent

Even if you feel like your landlord is not fulfilling his/her end of the agreement, you must continue to pay rent and address your concerns through the proper channels. Your Utah property manager can even help you with the proper paperwork. Remember though, that by failing to pay the rent, you open yourself up to possible eviction.

Find Your Dream Rental with this Renter’s Guide

So, now you have all of the information you need to know to find the perfect rental. If you are currently in your search, check out our available rentals here. You can find a variety of properties to fit your specific needs. With our experienced Utah property managers, you get amazing benefits such as automatic bill payment, a 24/7 maintenance hotline, professional service, and more. Contact Wolfnest today and find your dream home!