No Comments

Renters Insurance 101: What It Covers and Why You Need It

Renters Insurance 101: What It Covers and Why You Need It

Are you renting an apartment and wondering whether renters insurance is worth the cost? It’s time to dive into the benefits of renters insurance, typical coverage, and why it’s a must-have for apartment living.

Is renters insurance really worth it?

The short answer: Yes. Renters insurance protects your personal property and provides peace of mind. 

Imagine this scenario. A kitchen fire starts in your neighbor’s apartment, and the damage extends to your unit. Without insurance, you’d have to cover the cost of replacing your belongings, repairing any damage, and finding temporary housing yourself. Renters insurance provides a safety net, offering financial protection if the unexpected happens.

One common misconception is that renters insurance is expensive. Typically, the cost of renters insurance is quite reasonable, especially when you compare it to the potential financial burden of replacing your belongings, dealing with property damage, or being displaced from your home. In Texas, renters pay an average of $173 per year. That’s less than $15 per month. 

What is typically covered by renters insurance?

The standard renters insurance policy covers various scenarios, including:

  • Personal property. Your belongings, such as furniture, electronics, clothing, and jewelry, are covered against dangers like fire, theft, and vandalism.
  • Liability protection. If someone gets injured in your rented space, insurance can help cover medical expenses and legal fees if you’re found responsible.
  • Additional living expenses. If your apartment becomes uninhabitable due to a covered event, your insurance can help with temporary housing, meals, and other unexpected expenses.
  • Loss of use. If you need to move out temporarily, your policy may cover the costs associated with living elsewhere.

Check your policy for specific coverage. Some properties have definitive coverage you are required to carry. Make sure to check your lease and discuss options with your property manager. The property managers at Class A Management partner with local insurance agents at each of our managed properties to help renters find the right coverage.

Do you need renters insurance?

Yes, you do. While landlords may have insurance to cover the building, their policy typically doesn’t extend to your personal belongings. Without insurance, you will be footing the bill for replacing your items or dealing with the aftermath of unforeseen events.

Requirements and benefits for apartment living

Many landlords now require tenants to have renters insurance as part of the lease agreement. It’s a sensible requirement that benefits both parties. For landlords, it ensures that their tenants are financially protected, reducing the likelihood of disputes and legal issues.

As a tenant, the benefits extend beyond just protecting your belongings. Insurance provides a sense of security, knowing that you have a financial safety net and won’t be left out in the cold due to natural disasters and other damaging events. It’s easy to request renters insurance quotes and find a policy that fits your budget.

We always hear you can afford something if you skip a cup of fancy coffee. If you find a policy that fits your needs and budget, you can still enjoy your coffee even more knowing you are protected. Don’t wait until it’s too late – get coverage today and safeguard your home and belongings.

No Comments

A Guide for a Successful First Time Rental Experience

First time renter tips

Embarking on the journey of first time renter can be both exciting and overwhelming. It’s important to have a solid understanding of the rental process to ensure a smooth and successful experience. This article provides valuable insights and tips for first time renters, offering guidance on navigating the rental landscape with confidence and making informed decisions.

Determine Your Budget
Before beginning your rental search, assess your finances and establish a realistic budget. Consider your monthly income, expenses, and savings to determine the amount you can comfortably allocate to rent. Remember to account for additional costs like utilities, insurance, and maintenance.

Research the Rental Market
Conduct thorough research on the rental market in your desired location. Explore various neighborhoods, amenities, and property types that align with your preferences and budget. Understand the average rental prices and availability in the area to make informed decisions during your search.

Identify Your Rental Needs
Every first time renter should make a list of must-have features and preferences beforehand. Consider factors such as the number of bedrooms, proximity, amenities, parking availability, pet policies, and lease terms. This list will help you narrow your options and find a rental property that best suits your needs (and desires). Many online rental search platforms offer filters where you can input these needs and immediately narrow your search.

Read and Understand the Lease Agreement
Once you have decided on a rental property and your application has been approved, carefully review the lease agreement before signing. Understand the terms and conditions, including rent amount, due dates, security deposit requirements, maintenance responsibilities, and any additional clauses. Seek clarification from the landlord or property manager if any terms are unclear. Make sure to download a copy of the lease agreement to save for future reference.

Inspect the Rental Property
Thoroughly inspect the rental property before moving in. Take note of any existing damages, maintenance issues, or areas that require attention. Communicate these findings to the landlord or property manager and request necessary repairs or documentation to help ensure a smooth move-in experience.

Document the Property’s Condition
Document the condition of the rental property through photographs and/or a written checklist. This documentation serves as evidence of the property’s condition at the beginning of your tenancy and can help protect your security deposit when you move out.

Understand Tenant Rights and Responsibilities
Familiarize yourself with your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. Research local tenant laws to understand protections and regulations specific to your area. Be aware of your obligations regarding rent payment, maintenance requests, and adherence to the terms outlined in the lease agreement.

Purchase Renter’s Insurance
Consider purchasing renter’s insurance to protect your personal belongings in case of theft, damage, or natural disasters. Renter’s insurance provides peace of mind and financial protection in unforeseen situations.

Communicate with Your Landlord
Maintain open and clear communication with your landlord or property manager throughout your tenancy. Report maintenance issues promptly and follow any communication protocols outlined in the lease agreement. While communication is a two-way street, making the effort to communicate well with the landlord goes a long way in making the rental experience an enjoyable one.

Be a Responsible Renter
Respect the rental property and its surroundings. Adhere to community rules, keep your area clean, and be considerate of others. Treating the property with care and respect strengthens your reputation as a responsible tenant while making the experience better all around.

Are you a first time renter looking for a home? Being well-informed and prepared is essential for a successful rental experience. Embrace this new chapter with excitement and knowledge, setting the stage for a positive and fulfilling first time renting experience.

Need help planning your big move? Use this moving checklist to make sure you don’t miss a step!

Class A Management has a lengthy list of properties we manage, and we would love you to consider making one of them your next home. Search our property directory by property name, location, and even by amenities. Call us with any questions or drop us an email. We look forward to talking with you!

No Comments

7 Moving Tips for First-time Renters

Image of a green pencil checking off checklist boxes in the blog 7 Moving Tips for First-time Renters.

If you’re moving into your first rental property soon, here are some moving tips you may find helpful.

1. Moving day

It may seem like a silly point to make, but you do need to call the property manager ahead of time to verify the move-in date. There may be issues with former tenant evacuations, repairs, or other unforeseen events.  Always call a week prior and then at least one day before your plan to move in to make sure everything is still on schedule for your arrival.

2. Utilities

Some apartments and even single-family rentals may include certain utility payments. It’s your responsibility to know what those may be. Contact the property manager about utilities if written instructions are not provided in the lease or on the property’s website. There are almost always guidelines for the take-over process on new accounts.

3. Renters Insurance

Regardless of your numerous other to-do items, securing renters insurance should be a top priority before you ever move a thing into the property. It’s possible to find very reasonable rates and coverage. Hesitant? You better check with your soon-to-be landlord. Insurance may be a requirement, and proof of coverage may be required to move in.

4. Furniture

How many rooms do you need to furnish, and what would you like to put in them? A bed, table, a couple of chairs, and a TV are the basics, and you can easily find these items on buy-sell-trade sites, Goodwill, or garage sales if money is a concern. You can also go the rental route but understand that this often costs much more in the long run.

5. Moving timeline

The day before move-in (or sooner), call your soon-to-be landlord and double-check everything once more to ensure you’ve got your checklist down where the property is concerned. Ask about move-in times. Many properties may limit the hours of day move-ins are allowed. Limited hours are for convenience, security, and consideration of other tenants.

6. Coordinate mail delivery

You no longer have to make an in-person trip to the post office to update your address.  You can simply go online and fill out the change of address form. These can take several days, so handle this up-front and note your exact move-out/move-in dates.

7. Schedule movers

Whether you’re taking the DIY route or hiring professional movers, this is a task you should coordinate with plenty of lead time. Professional movers tend to book early, and your friends will likely be more willing to help if you give them some notice (and the promise of a bribe).

More moving tips and available properties

For more moving tips or to find the rental property that is perfect for you, get in touch with Class A Management. We have numerous properties throughout Texas that meet many tastes and needs. 

No Comments

A Walkthrough Checklist for Renters

Image of a checklist on a desk, in the blog A Walkthrough Checklist for Renters.

One thing there is plenty of? Checklists. Unfortunately, many lists have the property owner or manager in mind. Renters need a walkthrough checklist, too, along with an understanding of what normal wear and tear looks like, and what needs to be repaired (and cleaned!) before you move in.

Your walkthrough checklist

Before you sign on the line committing to a rental property, employ the following checklist to ensure everything is in working order. As you work through the list, identify and document all concerns. 

  • Faucets. Turn on every water source. Water should be clear with good pressure. There should be no banging pipes or leaks. 
  • Floors, walls, and ceilings. Look for evidence of damage, including water damage, mold, stains, or cracking. 
  • Windows. All windows should open and close. Proper opening and closing windows prevent damage and ensure your safety. Windows should also have undamaged screens.
  • Closets, doors, and cabinets. Check that all open and close properly and double-check for signs of pests. 
  • Outlets. Bring a small electric device, such as a phone charger, to test if all outlets are in working order. 
  • Appliances. All appliances should work correctly and be clean to your standards. 
  • External doors. All doors leading to outdoor spaces should close, lock and seal correctly. 
  • Locks and security gates. Your property manager should ensure all work and that you understand access procedures. 
  • Other security features. Ensure features such as lighting in outdoor spaces and communal hallways meet your comfort level. 
  • Access. Understand how to access any amenities, for example, parking, laundry facilities, or fitness areas. 

This list is a starting point for your walkthrough.  Be as thorough as possible. When your walkthrough checklist is complete, address any issues with your property manager.

Keep a personal copy of your observations. Provide another copy of your document to be kept in your records and with the property management office. If your concerns aren’t resolved, walk away and find an apartment that fits your needs and standards. If everything is to your standards, it’s time to sign a lease, get those keys, and move into your new home!

Need more help creating inspection lists? 

If you are a property manager looking for more rental assistance, let our property management professionals help. Contact Class A Management at info@classamanagement.com or call 817-295-5959. 

No Comments

Renters Beware: Due diligence is necessary

Due diligence is important for tenants, too. This image depicts a desk full of papers indicating research is underway.

Renters expect that their future landlords will perform due diligence by checking their references before renting them a home. But it shouldn’t be a one-way street. When they’re entering into a legal contract with a landlord, tenants also have a responsibility to check out the property owner or manager.

Here’s a due diligence checklist of things you might want to research before you sign a lease:

  • Interview current renters and neighbors of the rental property. Ask them: How do they like living there? Is the property well-kept? Are repairs made quickly? Are there any other issues?
  • Check with local law enforcement to see if the address and neighborhood have had recent law enforcement involvement.
  • Check local courthouse records for a notice of default on the landlord or the property address. You won’t want to sign a lease that carries the potential of bank foreclosure.
  • Call your local Better Business Bureau and Chamber of Commerce, and ask about your landlord by name and company name.
  • See how apartments stack up against the competition by researching and reading reviews.
  • Google the property owner, property manager, property name and company name. You might be surprised just how easy it is to find poor reviews, legal proceedings, news stories, and other information you’ll need to make an informed decision before signing a new lease.

Interviewing a landlord when you first tour a property only provides you with part of the big picture. Take these few extra steps to conduct a thorough vetting of any potential landlord or property management company. Once your bases are covered, you’ll enjoy your renting experience more knowing exactly who is on the other end of your lease agreement.

Ready for a property management company that truly puts its tenants first? Class A Management has thousands of units under management and we welcome the opportunity to show you around. Contact us today to schedule a tour.