Family-Friendly Guide to Renting

For a young and growing family, the option of renting a property as opposed to buying may be the better choice. Renting allows families the flexibility to move to a new location as they grow or go through others transitions, like schooling or job changes. Renting saves the stress of handling a mortgage or taking care of repairs or having to deal with selling a home when it’s time to move on.

But while renting may seem like the best choice right now, it’s still important to take educated steps before jumping at the first rental property. There are a number of things to consider before renting, especially with a family in tow.

Here are some things to consider when looking to rent a family-friendly apartment or house.

Location

Parks, playgrounds, sports programs, and nearby attractions all play a role in a family’s interest in a neighborhood or apartment location. A rental’s location dictates a family’s quality of life and can determine everything from the daily commute to proximity to entertainment.

A rental’s location within an apartment complex can be just as important. Are you near an entrance and exit? Are you positioned facing the sun in the mornings? Is a unit near a playground where things may get loud? These should all be considered when looking for a rental unit.

Safety

There are a number of safety issues that come into play when families are looking for a rental home or apartment, especially in units built more than a few decades ago that may contain lead paint. Renters should ask about the presence of lead and request to see the lead-free certification if possible.

Another safety element to consider is a rental’s proximity to things like barbecue stations, alleys, and dumpsters. While these areas may seem like benefits, as in not having to walk too far to throw away your garbage or having a better chance at using a grill, they could present a number of dangerous scenarios.

Space

For expanding families, having enough space for privacy and for play is important. Families should consider if a one-bedroom apartment will truly serve them in the long-term. If families do plan on being somewhere short-term, they should still make sure they can feel comfortable in smaller quarters.

The same goes for when families are looking at homes with too much space. Does a family with one child need four or five bedrooms? Space should be taken into consideration for larger units and homes due to having to spend more money on utilities and furniture. Having the right amount of space is key for future living plans.

Amenities

If a unit doesn’t have enough space, but comes with enough amenities to keep a family happy for the time being, there may be a compromise. From state-of-the-art appliances to in-building services, like trash valets and elevators, families may be able to settle into a unit for a period of time with the right perks.

Knowing Your Rights and Coverage

It also helps to get an idea of what your rights are as renters and how you can stay protected if any controversies come up.

For instance, families may want to ask, can a landlord enter without permission in CT? In fact, states like Connecticuthave rules in place for when and why landlords can enter a tenant’s apartment. Tenants have the right to receive notice in most situations. There are certain times, such as in an emergency or during an extended period of absence, that a landlord can enter without notice. If a landlord enters a tenant’s unit illegally, the tenant would then have the right to make a claim for monetary damages.

A landlord or property management company has its own rights when it comes to who it can allow to rent to. But a landlord is not allowed to discriminate against a tenant in any way. Discrimination refers to refusing to rent to a tenant or attempting to send out an eviction notice because they are a member of a certain class of people.

The Federal Fair Housing Act was created to protect certain classes of people from being discriminated against in housing. The protected classes include color, disability, familial status, race, religion, sex, and national origin.

Tenant rights in Connecticut are protected under the Federal Fair Housing Act, as well as by the state’s own Fair Housing Law, which also protects people from being discriminated against due to their gender identity, creed, age, marital status, income, and sexual orientation. If a tenant feels they have been discriminated against when looking for places For rent in CT, they can take legal action.

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