Everyone talks about the risks and rewards of homeownership, or investing in rental properties, focusing on these two higher risk, higher reward, and higher cost approaches to finding shelter. For many renters, this means believing that you are safe from financial risk, and there is nothing to worry about. And while the risks of renting may be lesser than the risks of homeownership, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to stay vigilant and prepared. Here are a few tips and tricks that can help you stay financially protected as a renter and stay safe while leasing a property.
This first tip is great whether you are a renter, homeowner, college student, or anyone at all, you absolutely must keep an emergency fund. An emergency fund is a savings account that holds between six and twelve or more months of expenses for you and your family so that if your income changes, you have some flexibility to maintain your standard of living without having to sell assets or investments. You don’t have to have a full emergency fund right away, but if you don’t have one, you should start putting aside every month to build one.
Another absolute must to keep yourself protected financially as a renter is to get renters insurance. Many renters overlook the need for insurance since they themselves are not the owner of the property. But if you were to be robbed, or should a fire take place in your home destroying much of your belongings, your landlord’s homeowners’ insurance may not cover you. Renter’s insurance will cover your valuables in case they are stolen or damaged. The best part is that you get the same coverage a homeowner would get for their personal belongings at a hugely discounted rate compared to homeowners’ insurance.
The final thing that you should be doing to protect yourself financially is taking pictures and documenting the unit to move in and move out. Landlords are not always the greatest, most understanding people. At the end of the day, landlords are trying to make money. And sometimes that means trying to keep as much of your security deposit as possible. By documenting the state of the unit at move in and move out you will have proof that you left the unit in the same or better condition after moving out and keep your deposit.
Your finances as a renter are just as important as homeowners and deserves the same kind of advice attention. Keeping your finances safe as a renter requires some work too. Follow these three tips to ensure that your finances are protected as a renter.
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