Apartments for Cheap

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Duplexes For Rent

April 12, 2012

Mary asks…

How early to start looking to rent?

My Fiance and I will be moving out of our apartment in November. I am hopeful we can afford to pay double rent for a month and move out Nov 1st as apposed to the 30th when our lease expires. We will be moving into a double, or duplex home. I am curious as to when we should start looking? Aug? Is that too early? Will landlords hold places for us if we find something early on?

Administrator answers:

It’s not too early to put your finger on the pulse of the rental market, but most landlords won’t commit to you — with an empty unit — because they will hope maybe they can still get a Sept or Oct tenant.

Most landlords begin their new tenant search 30-60 days before their apartments become empty. However, some tenants don’t cooperate, so some can’t start looking for a new tenant until the place is empty, which puts the pressure on regarding holding the apartment.

60 days before your expected occupancy you should begin to look, and will have a very good chance of getting a landlord to commit to you with a lease and taken deposit, in time for you to give your 30 days notice.

Rentals are funny, and how to look for them varies by region. Craigslist is huge in the rental market. Local brokers are good resources, but with rentals, not all are entered into multiple listing so you can’t assume that because you called one real estate agent, you know about all rentals. Call all brokers in the area you are looking in, and see if they have any non-MLS rentals they are handling. Check the local papers, pennysaver magazines, message boards, and their websites too, of course.

Mark asks…

As a renter am I entitled to charge landlord labor for repair work done?

I rent a duplex which had the water heater go out and water leaked soaking the carpet in 1/2 my living room. Landlord replaced the water heater but not concerned with getting carpet cleaned/dried. Rented a carpet cleaner and spent 4 hours cleaning the carpet and sucking up the water. Landlord said he’d reimburse me for the rental but not for the labor/time spent doing a job he wasn’t going to do. His advise was to “put a fan on it” which wouldn’t do anything with water standing on carpet. Can I charge for the 4 hours labor or for the 4 hours I took off work to avoid damage to HIS property?

Administrator answers:

You can but if he refuses to pay your only recourse would be through the courts and that would be way expensive for the amount re-imbursed suggest you just accept your loss but remember for the future and get a firm in then doctor their invoice so he gets stiffed next time

Paul asks…

How much do I have to charge as a deposit of rent ?

We own a duplex in Washburn Missouri, vlose to Cassville , like 30 mints from Joplin, Its open land, normal size, 1 bedroom, living room, heather, we are just replace the carpet and paint the place, we dont know how much to charge for rent and deposit, we are thinking around 400dlss in rent, but, my main question is , how much should we charge as a deposit? no contract, its month to month.

Administrator answers:

First and last month’s rent plus one month security deposit all in advance is the usual. For month to month, i would go for one month advance rent plus security deposit( same amount as rent).

Maria asks…

I am wanting to purchase another home, am I pushing the limit, I can not get a straight answer from the broker

I have home now. The mortage payment, including esgrows is $1500. It is a duplex, with a rent potential of $3000 per month. I have one unit renting for $1350 right now. The town for that home is an upper-class “hotey-toytey” neighbourhood, people are willing to pay to have this zip code. The other home is going to be a $1100 mortgage and my families primary home. We plan on living in it until we reach 10 kids.
My yearly income with rental income is $55,000 for myself, and my fiance makes $20000. Are we pushing the limit on purchasing the new home.
Thank you for your time.

Administrator answers:

If you are currently living in one of the units of the duplex, and could easily rent the part in which you live to another party for $1650 a month, it seems rather obvious that you will be cash flow positive at:

$3000 dollars a month in gross rent
MINUS $1500 + $1100 = $2600 in gross mortgage & escrows
EQUALS $400 positive cash flow.

Your renters are paying you $400 a month to live in your new home.

But be conservative. Take $3000 a month and reduce it by 25% to account for maintenance and periods of vacancy. That’s $2250.
$2600 – $2250 = $450

Now it costs you a total of $450 a month to pay for your family’s housing.

Removing rental income from your income, you and your fiancee still earn a combined $59,000, or nearly $5000 a month. Your debt to income ratio is absolutely negligible, but hey kids are more expensive than houses these days!

This deal sounds like a home run. Consult with your legal and tax professionals to ensure that the real estate and tax sides of your equations all balance, but otherwise this looks like a winner from what you’ve told me.

Good Luck!

Betty asks…

When can I expect to get my last month’s rent back if I vacate my apartment before my last month’s rent is due?

I am on a month-to-month lease. My landlord is moving into my duplex in order to save money. I am all paid up for this month, but gave him my last month’s rent prior to occupancy. I also paid a seperate security deposit which he’s promised to get back to me within 30 days of vacating the property.

Administrator answers:

Ask your landlord. Since you are doing him the favor vacating early he should pay you immediately.

Lisa asks…

First time tenant needs help with rental agreement?

I submitted a rental application for a duplex. The landlord is represented by a realtor. When I submitted the rental application, the realtor gave me a stack of papers to sign, claiming that if I were to fill them in at that point in time, it will reduce the necessary paperwork subsequently if the landlord were to accept my application. (The papers included a residential agreement and various disclosures). The realtor claimed that all who submitted rental applications sign the same paperwork and that the following day he will present the various tenants to the landlord for his decision. The next day, he called me to say that the landlord has decided to accept my application. I told him “thanks, that’s good news”

I’m wondering if the realtor has a right to make me sign the rental agreement in the first place and whether it’s legally binding? Is it still possible to not rent the duplex? What are my options? (Note: Up till now, I have not met the landlord face to face

Administrator answers:

First of all – get a copy of everything you signed. This is just good business sense.

Second… Yes-everyone fills out and signs a ‘rental application’ prior to being accepted…they need your permission to run a credit check and background check on you.

Thirdly, No you should not have signed the Rental Agreement and other docs until you were accepted.

Fourth—you are now a tenant and in order to back out…you now have to give a 30 day notice….so yes the Rental Agreement is binding. Hopefully it is month-to-month and not a lease for a year or so.

You most probably will not meet the ‘true owner’…he has hired an agent or property manager to represent him, so that he does not have to deal with the day to day renter issues.

And lastly—congratulations on your new place…please make sure to do a complete comprehensive walk-thru immediately. Note all things that are wrong with the apartment (holes in walls, carpet stains, chipped bath tub, moldy tile, holes in ceiling where people hung plants, etc etc)
the reason to do this is so you won’t get stuck paying for damages you did not create when you move out. Sign and date it-give it to the agent…keep a copy for yourself…also take pics when you move out – so you can substantiate the condition you left the apt in.

One last note (sorry)…if you trully want to back out of this deal…call the agent and tell him…it is possible he will be understanding…it is possible he won’t…. Good Luck

Ruth asks…

How to find a house to rent?

We have been renting our current home for 2 years. We have a 2 bed duplex. When we moved in we had one child, my husband & myself. Now we have 2 children, 2 dogs, my husband & myself. So we have defiantly out grown this place. We have been looking for place on the outskirts of the Des Moines IA area. We have only been able to look at 1 house that we drove by & seen a for rent sign. Is there a good website or company that we can contact that will give us a full listing of houses?

Administrator answers:

Go to any realtor, Century 21, ReMax, ect…

Or try

Richard asks…

Homes for rent in EL PASO TX that accept PITBULLS?

We have 2 children and a pitbull, who is the freindliest creature youi’ll ever meet. But i just cant find anywhere where we can keep him. Does any one know any apts, houses, duplexes, anything in any area of el paso and las cruces where i can take my doggie with me?

Administrator answers:

You have to go on looking. Pit bulls are scary animals

Steven asks…

What are my rights as a renter in Utah?

I signed a lease to rent out this duplex yesterday in Utah county. As we signed it we noticed some cockroaches & the landlord said that they were going to fog the house before we moved in. I have been tossing & turning all night & decided I do NOT want to live in this house regardless if they fog it & kill them or not. Is there anything I can do to get out of the contract? She also had us sign it & we asked for a copy & she said she would give it to us later. So I don’t know the specifics on early termination fees, etc. I know I sound stupid for signing something before reading it in FULL, but does anyone know a website I can get information about rental laws in the state of Utah, breaking leases, etc?

Administrator answers:

You do have remedies, especially since the landlord has not given you a copy of the lease and contract, that is itself a violation. Go here, go now, and don’t waste any time.


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