I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago about how you shouldn’t live in one place for too long. It made me think about all the things I wish I knew when moving to a new place. With each place I move to I learn a new lesson and put it on my mental checklist for the next time I move Here are 8 very useful tips for renters living in Tampa.
**This could apply to anyone living anywhere, but I live in Tampa so all links provided will be about Tampa.**
These are also in no specific order, just writing them out as I go through my mental checklist… LOL
Tips for renters
Move closer to work
If you live in Tampa you know the struggle of driving downtown, down any of the major roads like Hillsborough Ave, Sligh Ave, Waters, Dale Mabry, or the round-a-bouts all the way down 40th ave. Those are the worse! It is a pain in the butt man. Before we moved to Tampa,
We lived in Pasco which is about 45 minutes to an hour away. Mike was putting 100 miles on the car a day to and from. We were getting gas 2-3 times a week. Now, where we live is a 15-minute drive down one street. Going to the gas station is now a once-a-week occurrence.
If you can find a place to live close… I mean CLOSE to your work. Your future self will thank you later.
Also, another little nifty website is actually the Florida Department of Transportation Website for the Tampa Bay Area website. It will update you on roads closed and a better alternative route to take. FDOT does the road constructions and lane detours so they would know the best route to take.
Check out the crime area
I find this nifty little website that shows you what the crime rate is in each subdivision in whatever area it is that you decide to move to. Check out Neighborhood Scout.
More Tips for renters
Be careful looking online
Mike and I almost got scammed when we found a place to rent on Craiglist. Mike and I had done research on the house and found the name of the owner. We asked the person to verify they are who they say they are. This person had a picture of the owner of the house’s passport ID. It really seemed legit until they said they could only talk to us via Email because they were in New Jersey for business. If we sent them the first, last, and security we could move in right away.
Mike and I drove to the house to check it out and found that people were living there. The house was NOT for rent. Everything about this house seemed too good to be true. We all know that saying… So just be careful when looking online. Facebook Marketplace is crawling with places saying they are for rent, but when you look them up they are not for rent, but for sale. Sometimes not even for sale. They are trying to get your money when people already live there.
Make sure you do your research if you see a 2 bedroom listed for 1000 a month that might be a little bit too good to be true. The average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment increased by 7% to $1,930. Not saying you couldn’t find someone renting a property for that much. Mike and I found a couple of places, just do your due diligence.
Check for outlets
This may not seem like a big one, but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE if you are doing a walkthrough of a place… take a look around each room and see how many outlets are. The house we currently are living in had the garage converted into a living room and they only put 2 outlets in the whole room. So I have 4 plugs total.
Our living room is stuck the way it is because there is NO OTHER WAY for us to set it up One of the plugs isn’t even near a wall where you could put something. We bought a surge protector extension cord to run along the wall so we could plug in our TV safely.
Check for outlets… you never know how important they are until you don’t have them! LOL
Take before and after pictures
When you finally choose a place to live before you move in ANY boxes or furniture take pictures. Be very thorough with your picture. Take the ones where you don’t think you need them. If there are any problems text your landlord IMMEDIATELY. Do not hesitate to contact them. You are paying money to live there.
Those pictures will come in handy if and when you decide to move. We want to get our deposit back right? YES, WE DO!
Florida Rental Law
BEFORE YOU SIGN ANYTHING MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THESE!
This last one is VERY VERY VERY important. Each state has its own unique set of rental laws. I saved you the hassle of having to go look for them. We trust Nolo around here. If you have any questions about anything legal they have articles LITERALLY about everything. These are not ALL of them but these are some of the most important ones. It is important to have a copy of this somewhere on you. Print them out, save them to a PDF format on your computer. Just have them somewhere for easy access if you need them.
- Florida Required Landlord Disclosures
- Florida Security Deposit Limits and Deadlines
- Filing a Security Deposit Lawsuit in Florida Small Claims Court
- Florida Tenant Rights to Withhold Rent
- State Landlord-Tenant Laws
Simple Tips for renters
Did you find these tips helpful? Let me know in the comments your thoughts. I have learned my fair share of tips from moving all my life, but I hope these tips for renters living in Tampa really help you out. If you are reading this let me know your favorite renter tip!
Until next time, have a great day!