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NAA’s Bob Pinnegar: Avoid Making These 5 First-Time Renter Mistakes

NAA President and CEO Bob Pinnegar explains first-time renter mistakes in his most recent column for The Washington Post.

The summer months are here, and the country continues to reopen after more than a year of closures and stay-at-home orders. With that comes a flurry of new and first-time renters. In his most recent Washington Post article, “Five common mistakes first-time renters make — and how to avoid them,” NAA President and CEO Bob Pinnegar breaks down some of the most important aspects renters need to be aware of as they make the transition.

“No matter who you rent from — a small mom-and-pop owner or a major residential management company — open, consistent communication is the key to success,” says Pinnegar. While this isn’t one of the five mistakes, proper communication lays the groundwork for becoming a successful renter and resident of a first apartment home.

Fully understanding the lease is critical for renters, especially those who have never signed a lease before. All important information will be in that agreement, including signing up for a renters insurance policy. Pinnegar cites the Insurance Information Institute, saying only 41% of renters have renters insurance, but 95% of homeowners have a homeowners policy.

If something isn’t in the lease, or a question arises, Pinnegar advises to ask the question and not to rush through the process. Not reading the lease completely can lead to other issues such as not knowing there is a pet or parking fee, or there can be other costs not covered in the rent like cable and internet or water and gas.

Communities will also not want history to repeat itself, especially if it is not in the community’s best interest. Managers will review past residences and call to see if you are responsible. Pinnegar called it a resident résumé. “You want to position yourself as a reliable candidate who pays rent on time, gets along with your neighbors and the leasing staff, and respects community policies,” he writes.

Read The Washington Post article in its entirety here.