What You Need to Know About Tenant Rights
Rental properties are a great choice for anyone who wants to live in a home on a budget. The property owner takes responsibility for much of the costs, including taxes and major repairs. What seems like a dream deal can turn sour, however, if you don’t understand your rights and responsibilities as a tenant.
Middel Realty is here to give you a great rental experience. We have more than 40 years of experience in the real estate market, and we have houses for rent in some of the best locations in Fort Collins. We also offer fast, reliable maintenance services and staff ready to handle emergencies 24/7. If you are ready to find your perfect rental home with a family-owned company dedicated to making you happy, call Middel Realty today!
Know What Can’t Be On A Lease
In most cases, a lease is a binding contract. Depending on your local legislation, there are some rights your landlord can’t override even if they write them out of your lease. Here are two examples of inalienable rights you would have as a renter in Colorado:
• Your right to at least three days’ notice before a landlord begins an eviction proceeding
• The return of your security deposit – minus allowable deductions – within 60 days of the end of your lease
Even if you and your landlord both agree to nullify these rights in your lease, it would not be considered legal. For more information on what else you should look for, read our two-part series on signs of a good lease.
Know When Exceptions Can Be Made
As a tenant, you are responsible for following the conditions of your lease. If you break any of those conditions, your landlord has the right to start eviction proceedings. However, there are also some exceptional cases where you can break your lease without penalty. To know if you qualify, you will have to do research on your personal situation in your specific region. Two pieces of legislation that might relate to Colorado renters include the Colorado Protection for Victims of Domestic Violence Act (CRS 38-12-402 (2)(a)(b)) and the Federal Service Members Civil Relief Act (50 USC App. SS 501 et seq.). If you find yourself in any situation where extreme circumstances might cause you to break your lease, make sure to get professional legal advice.
Renting a home can be a wonderful opportunity, but before you sign that lease you should understand all of your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. Research local legislation to know if your lease is legal and understand the possible consequences if you break it. It is important to note that his article is not meant to be legal advice. If you have any questions about the legality of your lease, you should contact a lawyer.
If you’re ready to find a rental home with a reputable, respectful business, call Middel Realty today! We want to help you find the perfect property for you and we are committed to keeping you happy. If you ever need assistance – no matter the time of day – there will be a Middel Realty employee ready to help. Browse our rental listings now!
Signs of a Good Lease: Part 2
Middel Realty wants you to help you find your perfect home, and a lot of the information you need to know about your new rental will be in your lease. In part one of this series, we covered how a good lease will include the names of everyone involved, the terms of the lease, details about the rent and other fees, and much more. Knowing what you’re responsible for and who to contact when things go wrong is just the beginning.
A Good Lease Should Also Include…
You’ll also want to get information on who to contact about any problems, and now is a good time to do it. Make sure to ask how they want to be contacted, so you can follow their protocols and make nice.
Tenant’s Right to Privacy and Landlord’s Right to Inspect
You don’t want your landlord showing up unexpectedly in the name of repairs. Decide now what a reasonable timeframe is for them to notify you that they are stopping by the property. They need to make sure that your space continues to meet safety and local regulations, so they will need to stop by every once in a while.
Ability to Sublease (or Not)
If you move out early or take a long vacation, can you sublease your space to someone else?
Change of Ownership
What happens if the landlord sells the property during the lease?
Consequences for Illegal Activity
Your landlord, understandably, will expect you and any other tenants to refrain from any illegal activities. What kind of repercussions do they outline in the lease?
Middel Realty has a no-pets policy to keep our properties well-suited for renters who might have allergies or asthma, but the rules depend on the property. If they do allow pets, they might have restrictions about certain breeds, so it’s important to read the contract thoroughly.
Check for policies on smoking or other house rules the landlord might have added for clarity. In Colorado, you might find a policy on marijuana. While it is legal in Colorado, it is also legal for an owner to ban it from their property.
Is there a place on the property for you to park? If not, where are you allowed to park nearby?
Responsibility for Attorney Fees
If there are any legal issues between you and the landlord, a clause in your lease might decide who pays for the attorney’s fees. It’s not unusual for the losing party to be responsible for any legal fees the other side needed to pay.
Insurance on the property doesn’t mean you or any of your belongings are insured. Clarify what is covered. It is a good idea to consider renter’s insurance in any case.
Make sure the lease looks legitimate. Do you understand what it says or is it full of legal jargon? Does the document look official or is it a bad photocopy? Do you have time to look over the lease properly, or do you feel pressured to sign right away? Be aware of these warning signs and give yourself time to think long and hard about this decision.
There is a lot to look for when you sign a lease, but it is full of important information that can affect you for years to come. Do yourself and your landlord a favor by reading it thoroughly. You should understand your responsibilities, what you can expect from your landlord, and any potential consequences for disregarding what is outlined in the lease. If you have any questions, bring them up before you sign! Middel Realty is here to help you find your perfect Fort Collins home and we are more than happy to talk to about what you’re looking for in your next rental. Browse our listings today or give us a call!
Signs of a Good Lease: Part 1
A good lease is the final key step to finding your perfect new home. You should understand exactly what you’re getting when you sign that contract, and having everything in writing protects both you and your new landlord in case anything goes wrong. Middel Realty wants to make your move effortless, and below we’ve listed what to look for in your next lease.
A Good Lease Should Include…
Names of Everyone Involved
The landlord, the tenant, and anyone else on the hook for rent or damages. The lease might also mention maximum occupancy, but it’s always a good idea to double check local rules. In Fort Collins, for example, the U+2 rule means no more than three unrelated people can live in one unit.
It seems simple, but make sure you’re signing for the right property!
Terms of the Lease
It should be clearly stated how long your lease lasts, as well as your options for renewing it (or not). You should also look for any guidance on what will happen if you want to end the lease early; you might be committed to the full length of the lease regardless of what happens. Educate yourself on what penalties or fees might come with ending the lease early.
Rent & Utilities Information
- How much is rent?
- Who are you paying — the property owner or a go-between?
- When is the due date?
- How do they want you to pay — check, cash, or electronically?
- Who pays for which utilities?
- Do you pay for utilities with rent?
If you’re late on your rent or utilities payments, what are the consequences? Once your term is up, will you be charged for any cleaning services? It’s important to clarify these things now so you don’t get an unpleasant surprise down the road.
Security Deposit Information
There should be clear terms on when you will get your security deposit back after the lease ends. There will likely also be a list of allowable deductions. Check to see if there are any deductions you might not expect, like a cleaning fee even if there are no damages.
Tenant & Landlord Responsibilities
Who pays for and performs repairs? Your landlord is responsible for anything that might make the property uninhabitable, like electrical or plumbing issues, but there is a gray area when it comes to smaller repairs. Read the contract thoroughly to understand what you will be expected to pay for or fix yourself. You might also be responsible for things like yard maintenance and snow shoveling in order to follow city rules. It’s a good idea to clear up any questions here, in writing, rather than arguing about it later.
A good lease is going to be several pages long, which means we can’t cover everything in one post! Keep an eye out for part two of this series to learn what else is included in a good lease. Middel Realty is here to serve you, so if you have any questions, call us today! You can also explore our rental listings online.
What to Expect from Your Landlord
Maybe it’s your first time renting, or you’re already in a lease and you want to know more about your rights and responsibilities. Either way, it’s important to know what kind of relationship you can expect with your landlord. Middel Realty wants you to have the best possible renting experience, which is why we offer 24/7 help and support. We go above and beyond, and below, we have listed a few things that you should expect from any landlord:
Providing Livable Space
Your landlord is responsible for providing a safe, livable space. That means you should expect working plumbing, gas, and electricity. Your landlord should have inspected the property before you moved in for any necessary repairs, and they are required to fix anything unsafe. It’s a good idea to do your own inspection of the property before you move in, and hold the owner accountable for any hazards. Your landlord might expect you to do some smaller repairs on your own, but anything major – like water leaks or a broken furnace – is their responsibility. Check out our post on when to call your landlord for more guidance!
The lease should spell out everything you need to know about your rental: who owns the property, the amount of your security deposit, policies on fees and pets, your right to privacy, and a whole lot more. If you have any questions, make sure you get your answers in writing!
Properly Managing Your Security Deposit
Your security deposit does not go into your landlord’s bank account to be hopefully retrieved at the end of your lease. There are specific state and local laws about how your deposit is handled, including how it is stored. There are also clear rules about when your landlord can withhold the deposit after your term ends. The lease should clearly state the timeframe for when your deposit will be returned, as well as any fees they might withdraw even if you don’t damage the property, like carpet cleaning fees. If all or part of your security deposit is not returned, you are entitled to an itemized list of damages and the cost of any repairs. The landlord cannot keep your deposit except to cover unpaid bills, any breaches in the lease that cost the landlord money, or any damages beyond normal wear and tear.
Sticking to the Lease
The lease is a binding contract for both you and your landlord. You can hold them to the terms written in that agreement in the same way he or she hold you accountable. The terms of the lease cannot be changed without notification.
Following Local Laws and Regulations
It’s worth your time to explore what local or state laws apply to rental properties. Fort Collins, for example, has restrictions on the number of residents allowed in each unit. You and your landlord are both responsible for making sure your rental agreements follow all the rules. Luckily, Fort Collins has a handy Renting 101 Handbook you can access online.
Finding a landlord you can work with is just as important as finding a home you love. These guidelines are just the bare minimum of what a good landlord should do. In the end, you should follow your gut and find someone you can trust. Middel Realty is dedicated to giving you the best rental experience, which is why there is an employee available 24 hours a day, seven days a week if you need anything. Explore our properties online or call today!
New Year, New Rental Home?
With the 2017 holidays in the rearview mirror, a new year has arrived. Several opportunities for change come with this new beginning, and many Fort Collins renters may find themselves looking for a new rental home. There are many reasons why the new year might be the best time to find a new property to rent, and in today’s post, we’ll review a few benefits to finding a new rental in the new year.
Are you looking for high-quality rental properties in Fort Collins? If so, Middel Realty is here to help. With more than 40 years of experience, our team is one of the leading property management companies in the area, and we would love to help you find your next rental home. Call our team at 970-221-2300 or browse our rental properties online!
A Fresh Start
A new year brings endless opportunities for change, and if you have been thinking about moving out of your existing residence, now may be the time to put a plan into action. Perhaps 2017 brought some major life changes, or maybe your current home requires more maintenance than you’re able to perform. Regardless of why you feel like a different home would be a better fit, the team at Middel Realty can help you find the right property to rent that will suit your needs and budget.
The Choice City has experienced rapid growth in the last decade. In fact, our city’s population growth increases about two percent every year, making Fort Collins one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the U.S. If you don’t currently live in the area, 2018 might be a great time to relocate to check out the career and cultural opportunities our city presents. If you are a native and find that the increased population and traffic has added to your commute time, now may be the perfect time to check out property rentals that are closer to the office.
Professional Property Management
Is your current landlord unresponsive to your maintenance requests? Do you feel like he or she doesn’t have the desire to make your rental home as comfortable as possible? There is nothing worse than renting a home from a sub-par property management group, especially when you don’t see much bang for your buck in terms of your monthly rent. if you are dissatisfied with the current level of service you’re receiving, the new year may provide the opportunity you need to rent elsewhere.
Looking for New Property to Rent?
If you have decided that 2018 is a great time to locate your next Fort Collins rental property, our friendly team is here for you. At Middel Realty, we offer premier rental listings, online payments, and more to ensure that our tenants are happy. Renter satisfaction is our top priority, and we would love to show you what sets us apart from other property management companies. Call 970-221-2300 today to get started. Happy New Year to you and yours from the Middel family!
Winter Tips for Property Rentals
Although the temperatures in Northern Colorado have been fairly mild so far this winter, it is only a matter of time before we find ourselves enduring below-freezing temperatures. Whether you’re a seasoned local or you are new to the Front Range, you may find yourself wondering how you can protect your rental when the cold temperatures arrive. There are many things that you can do, and in today’s post, we’ll review three tips for you to keep your home safe and cozy.
Middel Realty offers some of the best property rentals in Fort Collins, and our team is here to help you get through the chilly winter months ahead. If you have questions about your home’s heating system or if you’re concerned it’s not operating as efficiently as possible, call us at 970-221-2300.
Tip #1: Keep the Flue Damper Closed When Possible
On cold winter days and nights, those who live in Colorado often prefer to use their chimney to warm up their home. While this can be a convenient and cozy way of heating your house, the warm air that escapes from your chimney could be drawing more cold air into your home. Your furnace may kick on more often to compensate, which could cost you more than you realize in terms of your utilities. If you do choose to operate your fireplace, the flue damper should be open to allow smoke and gas to exit. However, keeping the flue closed when your fireplace is not in use will prevent the loss of warm air inside of your home.
Tip #2: Check Your Heat Registers
In addition to keeping your flue damper closed when possible, another way you can keep your rental warm and cozy is to ensure that you don’t have anything blocking your heat registers. Because most heat registers are located near the floor, they are easily blocked by large pieces of furniture. Bedrooms often have only one heat vent in them, and if the lone register is covered up by a bed or dresser, the room may feel cold. Likewise, in living rooms, dens, and dining rooms, it is important to ensure that your sofas, desks, and china cabinets are not blocking the heat registers. Unobstructed heat registers are not only beneficial for your indoor comfort, they will help make sure your furnace runs as efficiently as possible.
Tip #3: Protect Your Pipes
Frozen pipes are one of the biggest wintertime hazards for Northern Colorado property rentals, and as a renter, there are a couple of simple steps you can take to prevent freeze damage to your home’s plumbing. If you have a basement or crawlspace, wrapping any exposed plumbing with insulation sleeves can help protect them from the cold. On especially cold winter days and nights, it is also helpful to keep the cabinet doors ajar in kitchens and bathrooms. In doing so, warm air is allowed into the cabinets to circulate around the plumbing. If you have plumbing that runs through unheated spaces (such as exterior wall cavities or through an unfinished basement), a slow trickle of water can keep them from freezing.
Quality Fort Collins Property Rentals
If you’re one of our valued tenants who needs help ensuring that your property rental is ready for with winter months ahead, the Middel Realty team is here for you. Contact our office today at 970-221-2300 email us at email@example.com to learn how we can assist you.
Benefits of Renting a Home
When you’re searching online for places to live, you have a lot to consider, especially if you are trying to decide whether to purchase a home or consider rental houses. There are a few reasons why it may be more advantageous to consider rental houses over buying a home, including flexibility, stability, minimal risk, and maintenance expenses. At Middel Realty, we pride ourselves in offering high-quality Fort Collins rental homes, and we’d love to show you why our rental homes are superior to some of the houses that are for sale in the area. View our rental homes online and call our office at 970-221-2300 to get started!
Financial Flexibility and Stability
Rental properties can be incredibly beneficial for those who are seeking to be financially flexible and stable. This is because when you rent a home, your monthly expenses will be fairly predictable, and there is little to no risk of unexpected expenses related to where you live. When you own a home, you may be faced with troublesome events like roof leaks, broken plumbing, pest invasions, and situations that can present a financial burden if you don’t have adequate money in savings. Additionally, if you hit hard times financially, as a renter, you can always look to quickly reduce your living expenses to accommodate your needs.
No Market Risk
While owning a home comes with many financial benefits, it also comes with a moderate amount of risk in terms of the housing market. Seemingly overnight, the value of your home can either increase or decrease exponentially, placing your down payment and equity at risk. Additionally, if your town decides to change zoning restrictions, your quiet neighborhood that was once on the edge of town could soon be crowded by big box stores and restaurants. When you rent a home, you get the benefit of living in the neighborhood and home that you want with none of the market risk.
Career and Lifestyle Flexibility
We all know that life can throw some curveballs every now and then. Some of these unplanned events come in the form of changing relationships and job opportunities. Imagine that you suddenly find yourself either in a new relationship or ending a current one, or, that you are unexpectedly offered the job to your dreams halfway across the country. If you own a home that suddenly doesn’t work with career or lifestyle, it can be difficult to sell your home on the fly. However, if you rent a home, it can be much easier to move in order to accommodate your changing career and lifestyle.
No Maintenance Expenses
Home ownership comes with a lot of responsibility, and many of those responsibilities equate to maintenance expenses. When you own a home, especially if it is managed under a Homeowners Association (HOA), you are directly responsible for making sure your yard is maintained well, your snow is removed in a timely manner, and that the exterior of your home is in good condition. Beyond that, everything on the interior of the home, from the floors to ceilings, must also be maintained on your own dime. With rental houses, the property management company takes care of many of these maintenance expenses.
Fort Collins Rental Houses
Ready to locate your dream rental property in Fort Collins? Contact check out the online inventory of rental houses available through Middel Realty and call 970-221-2300 today!
Should You Rent or Buy?
When it comes to deciding whether you should buy a home or continue renting, there are a lot of factors to consider. Considering the many factors can leave you feeling overwhelmed and even more unsure which option is financially best for you and your family. At Middel Realty, we understand this can be a difficult decision, and today, we’ll review a few questions you can ask yourself as you begin to think about your options.
If you’re a Fort Collins resident or you’ll soon be moving to the area, Middel Realty has your rental needs covered. We offer a wide variety of high-quality rental properties for our customers to choose from, and if you decide to rent, we have real estate professionals on staff. View our rentals online and contact our team today to learn more!
Questions to Help You Decide
If you’re on the fence as to whether it is more wise for you to buy a home or rent a home, there are a few questions you can ask yourself to help make the decision easier, and we’ve reviewed them below.
What Type of Monthly Payments Do You Want?
Historically speaking, monthly rental payments are typically lower than mortgage payments. I*We’ve f you’re unsure whether or not you want to take the plunge into homeownership, it might help to consider how much you’re willing to spend monthly on housing.
How Long You Plan to Stay?
If you have no immediate plans to relocate and you have a steady and reliable source of income, buying a home may be more advantageous than renting one if you can financially swing it. When you purchase a home, the up-front fees are spread out over several years.
How is the Current Market?
You may have heard the terms “buyer’s market” and “seller’s market” before. These terms describe whether the current real estate market is more advantageous for buyers or sellers, and if the inventory of homes for sale is greater than the demand from buyers, you may find an unbeatable deal on a home to purchase.
What Kind of Property Taxes are Involved?
Property taxes and closing costs can be one of the most intimidating factors when you’re considering buying a home, partly because they can be unknown for the most part. While there are significant taxes involved in buying a home, remember they are tax deductible.
Can You Afford the Maintenance and Fees of Owning?
There are many recurring expenses involved in home ownership that you may not experience with rental properties. Beyond the mortgage, you have homeowners insurance, Homeowners Association (HOA) fees and dues, yard maintenance fees and more. These are all important to consider in the potential expense of owning a home.
Rental Properties in Fort Collins
If you have decided that renting a home is your best option for the time being, Middel Realty would love to help you find the next place you call home. We specialize in providing clean, high-quality Fort Collins rental properties to those who choose to reside in the Choice City, all with the convenience of online payments and easy-to-understand leases. Call our team at 970-221-2300 today to get started!
Keep Your Pipes from Freezing this Winter
As the temperatures begin to drop to near or below freezing at night, there is little doubt that winter is on its way to Fort Collins. While there’s nothing more beautiful than the winter months in Colorado, frozen pipes are a common problem for many residents during this time of year. Whether you’re a renter or a homeowner, there are many things you can do to protect your plumbing from freezing during the upcoming months, and in today’s blog, we’ll review a few of them.
If you’re looking for a company who provides quality rental homes in Fort Collins, look no further than the helpful team at Middel Realty. We have more than 40 years in the Fort Collins real estate market, and we are industry experts who deliver quality services to our tenants. Call us at 970-221-2300 today to learn more!
Tips to Prevent Freezing Pipes
When the temperatures drop below freezing, the plumbing in your rental home could be at risk of freezing. Below are a few easy things you can do to prevent this from happening.
Keep the Tap Running
The water in your pipes are more likely to freeze if the water is standing still in the plumbing lines. To prevent water from standing still, you can very easily leave a trickle of warm water running overnight or any other time when the temperatures drop. Of course, if you leave the faucet trickling, be sure the drain is open and free of debris that might prevent the water from flowing through it as it should.
Monitor Your Thermostat
Many people adjust their thermostat at night or during the day to keep the house cooler while they sleep or while they are at work. While doing so may help with your home heating expenses, it can be a recipe for disaster if the temperatures drop unexpectedly. It is recommended that you keep the thermostat set at the same temperature (at least 55℉) during the day and the night to keep your pipes from freezing.
Open Cabinet Doors
Plumbing in exterior walls is usually insulated, however, other pipes near exterior walls may not be. Even if they are not in exterior walls, pipes inside of your home can and will freeze if they are near an exterior wall and the ambient temperature drops too low. To combat this, you can open cabinet doors so that heat can get to uninsulated pipes. This will allow warm air to surround them to prevent freezing.
What to Do if You Suspect Frozen Pipes
Sometimes, you can do everything right and your pipes may still freeze. If you turn on the faucet and no water comes out after a particularly cold day or night, the water in the line may be frozen. Should this happen, leave the faucet turned on and contact a member of the Middel Realty team at 970-221-2300. It is very important that you do this as soon as possible so that we can call a professional to come and remedy the problem.
Premium Fort Collins Rental Homes
At Middel Realty, we take great pride in offering the best rental homes to residents of Fort Collins, and we believe in empowering our tenants by providing home maintenance tips that will ensure the best rental experience possible. Check out our emergency repairs tips page for more information! In the meantime, if you have a question about your lease or you are interested in checking out a new property, contact us! We look forward to speaking with you!
What You’ll Need to Complete a Rental Application
Whether you’re new to renting or you’re a seasoned tenant, filling out a rental application can be a cumbersome process. There is often a lot of information that potential landlords request from applicants, and knowing ahead of time what you may be asked to provide may help the application process go more smoothly. In today’s blog, we’ll review a few of the more common components of a rental application so you can be better prepared the next time you find yourself applying for a rental home.
If you’re a resident of Fort Collins or you’ll soon be moving to the area, Middel Realty has your rental needs covered. We provide a clear, easy-to-understand rental application and rental agreement form to ensure the best rental experience possible. Contact us today to learn more!
All rental applications, including Middel Realty’s, will ask for personal identification information. You will need to provide details for the following:
- Name, date of birth, and social security number
- Prior rental locations and current address
- Current landlord’s contact information
- Employment information and income
- Criminal history, if any
Much of this information will be transferred to the rental agreement form, or lease. Because the lease is a legal document, you’ll want to provide accurate information in your application.
Much like job applications, most property managers will request that you provide personal references. Your potential landlord will want to speak with someone who can give insight into your integrity and character as well as provide information related to how you care for your home. Often times, two to three references will suffice, but every application and landlord is different.
Rental and Credit History Info
In this section, the landlord will attempt to gather information that will provide him or her with a snapshot of your rental history and credit worthiness. You may be asked about past evictions, money owed to prior landlords, bankruptcies, legal judgements and/or actions against you, and whether or not you have any current collections. Remember that a thorough background check can reveal this information, and it is best to be honest in this part of the application.
In addition to providing your income details under the personal information section, you may be asked to provide authorization for an employment verification. During this process, the potential landlord may have several inquiries for your current employer, such as:
- Length of employment, including start date
- Average hours worked per week and average income
- Whether your position is permanent or temporary
- Likelihood of continued employment
If the application includes an employment verification, you’ll be asked to read a brief disclosure and then sign and date the section to provide authorization for the verification to commence.
Much like the employment verification, your rental application may include a section that requests your authorization to obtain a rental verification from prior landlords. This section of the application allows your potential future landlord to gather details related to your payment history, timeliness of past rental payments, lease violations, property maintenance, and details about how you left the premises after vacating. For potential landlords, this information is a good indicator of how your future rental experiences may go.
Fort Collins Rental Homes
Middel Realty would love to be your partner as you search for the perfect rental home in Fort Collins. Browse our selection of rental homes online and then download an application today! Once your application is approved, we’ll prepare a rental agreement form and schedule an appointment to review the lease with you. Questions? Call us at 970-221-2300 today!