Inspect that House Before You Rent it

When my boyfriend and I met we were both living with our parents. The recession was in full swing and neither of us were in a position to rent our own place. Our relationship quickly progressed, I became pregnant, and soon we were looking for a place together. Two months before I was due we found a house. We took it without spending much time inspecting it and didn’t discover the problems it had until we had already moved in.

Pay attention to your surroundings. A few things that appear minor will often signal greater problems.

A few dead bugs in an unoccupied house are to be expected. A few more dead bugs? Yeah, sure. A bunch of roaches casually walking around the kitchen after you’ve moved in means somewhere in the walls is a colony of German roaches. And they’re never leaving. You will be sharing the house with them.

That duct tape on the wall in the family room? It’s covering a hole that goes to the outside. The washroom door that leaks light also leaks heat. During the summer it will let all the heat into the house, and during the winter it will let it all escape. And the brown spots on the ceiling are from the water leaking into the house when it rains.

We bought weather stripping for the outside doors, spackled the holes in the wall (we found another one in the bathroom), called a roofer and had an exterminator come by once a month. We also removed almost 100 nails we found haphazardly hammered into the walls.

Take the time to fully inspect the house before signing anything. While some problems are fixable with a hammer and a little paint, others require calling in specialists and can cost you lots of money if left unfixed. With a close look you might find something that will change your mind about renting that house.