The American housing market is filled with misconceptions and urban legends that tend to spread like wildfire in the drought season. These myths are not confined to real estate sales. They also extend to the rental market and tend to be more pervasive because many prospective renters deal directly with landlords instead of going through agents. First-time homebuyers have the advantage of real estate agents and mortgage loan officers who can dispel myths. This convenience is not always available to renters.
With the above in mind, here are some of the most common falsehoods known to circulate in the rental market.
Renters Insurance Is a Scam
This dangerous myth was debunked in the wake of Hurricane Harvey and its destructive path across Texas. An ABC News broadcast of an interview with a woman who was a Hurricane Katrina survivor and managed to lose everything a second time after Harvey, broke the hearts of many Americans. During the interview, the woman mentioned she had renters insurance, which prompted insurance agents watching the broadcast to locate her at a shelter so she could immediately file a claim and get emergency cash, a feature of her policy. Renters insurance is essentially personal property insurance. It is by no means a scam. If anything, Hurricane Harvey is prompting insurers to review their renters insurance policies to account for flood risks, and the same goes for providers of homeowners insurance in Vista.
Lease Contract Terms Are Written in Stone
Wily and unethical landlords often try to lock tenants into “hard lease contracts” that are ostensibly unbreakable, meaning a tenant who signs a six-month apartment contract will have to pay for those six months in full even if he or she moves out after occupying for only two months. Renters can request a contractual clause to break the lease by agreeing to not pursue the deposit or agreeing to leave at any time by paying for an extra month. In some states, tenants can break their lease without consequence.
Landlords Are Untouchable Neighbors
In some cases, the next-door neighbors happen to be the landlords, but when it comes to civil relations they are first and foremost neighbors, which means they should behave as such. Tenants have every right to complain about noisy neighbors even if they are also the property owners. In fact, it could be easier to break a lease in this case if the landlord refuses to be a good neighbor.
Security Deposits Are Fully Refundable
Tenancy laws typically mention normal wear-and-tear as a factor landlords can use to deduct from the security deposit at the end of the contract. In Southern California, a coat of white paint and a professional carpet cleaning may go a long way to ensure renters get back as much of the deposit as possible.
From renters insurance to home insurance, American Tri-Star has you covered. We also offer affordable auto, health, commercial, and motorhome insurance in Vista. Call 760-758-1600 today to speak with one of our friendly agents.