7 Common Mistakes for Renters to Avoid

There is a great deal of potential for missteps when it comes to renting a property. It is vital, as a renter, that you understand your rights and avoid making mistakes that could be ruinous for you and your family.

In this blog, we have detailed seven (7) common mistakes for renters to avoid. Please keep in mind that this blog is not intended as legal advice for your specific situation. If you are having landlord-tenant issues, please contact the Laurent Law Office and let us review your case today.

1) Renting without visiting the property in person

If you can avoid it, you should never sign a lease without actually seeing the rental property in person first. Sometimes this can be difficult, but once you sign the lease you are legally locked in. A lot can be hidden in photos, and you probably may not be able to get a good read on the neighborhood without visiting in person. Renting a sight unseen often leads to unexpected defects or issues which may be difficult to remedy.

2) Failing to document condition

Whenever you move into a new rental, you should ALWAYS go through the home with a fine-toothed comb and document any damage or defects that predate your arrival. This includes documenting  the damage in writing and taking photographs as well. This is to prevent your landlord from charging you for the damage caused by previous tenants or even the landlord.

3) Not reading the lease

Yes, leases can be long and full of “legalese” that may not be clear to you if you are not a lawyer, but you need to read every word carefully. A lease is a contract and you should know exactly what you are agreeing to. If you don’t understand something, have a landlord-tenant attorney review the document, and be sure to ask questions.

4) Not adhering to the terms of your lease

This one should be obvious, but unfortunately, far too many renters think they can get away with breaking the terms of their lease. Once again, a lease is a legal contract, and you could face penalties including eviction for something that does not seem like a big deal to you.

5) Failing to obtain renter’s insurance

Many rentals require tenants to obtain renter’s insurance in order to rent the property, so there may be times where this is a moot point. However, even if renter’s insurance is not required by the landlord, you should ALWAYS maintain a policy. Renter’s insurance is very easy to obtain and extremely cheap, and it covers all of your property if anything happens to the rental such as a fire, theft, flood, or some other damaging scenario.

6) Not taking action against landlord’s illicit activity

Many people believe that there is nothing they can do if their landlord takes advantage of them. After all, people fear losing the roof over their heads and those of their families, and landlords may leverage that fear to commit illicit acts like discriminating against the tenants, breaking the lease, failing to make repairs, and more. But renters have rights, and you should not let a malicious landlord get away with breaking the law. If your landlord does something that you think is illegal, you should always reach out to an attorney. However, you should NOT take illegal action in retaliation, such as breaking your lease when you may not have the right to use that as a remedy.

7) Not knowing your rights

As a renter, ignorance of your rights is extremely risky. You should do all you can to stay informed of your rights so that you can leverage them as needed. Do not allow yourself to be a victim of illegal rental practices simply because you don’t understand how the system works.

If you are a renter and you need legal advice or assistance, please contact the Laurent Law Office today and let us fight to protect your renters’ rights.

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Written by LaurentLawOffice


Laurent Law Offices, P.L. is committed to helping renters and landlords alike to achieve a fair and reasonable resolution to any dispute. Attorney Hegel Laurent has been a tenant for the vast majority of his life and he understands the intricacies of Landlord-Tenant law codified in Chapter 83 of the Florida Statutes. He received his J.D. from the prestigious University of Pennsylvania Law School and he is passionate about representing both those who rent property or those who own rental property.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail.Click here for full disclaimer