Securing an ideal housing scenario for yourself in Dallas has become increasingly complicated. With a boom in population growth in recent years, Dallas is a highly sought after rental destination competitive for both renters and landlords alike. In the course of this competition, it's important for both renters and landlords to understand their rights in order to sign an optimal rental agreement. Renters should be particularly aware of the top five things to consider in regards to renting a house or apartment in Dallas. This includes researching the market, criminal background checks, formulating details of your tenancy, signing a rental lease and ensuring prompt payment of rent.

1. Researching the Market and Comparing Prices

The Dallas rental market has seen dramatic increases in demand in recent years. This has caused some landlords to raise their rental prices. As a potential renter, it's important to thoroughly research the market and compare prices. Online rental listing sites such as Zillow and Padmapper can give you a good gauge of the types of rental prices being charged. Doing your homework first can save you money in the long run.

As you research the potential rental prices, it's also important to know the different types of rental prices. One-time rental fees, which cover the cost of the rental property for a set period of time, are common in Dallas. You can also expect to pay a security deposit and rental contract fees, which cover administrative costs associated with the leasing process.

2. Criminal Background Checks: Impacting Your Chances of Being Approved

Before submitting your rental application, it's important to be aware of the impact that your past criminal history could have on your chances at being approved for the rental. Landlords in Dallas typically use rental applicants' criminal records to assert whether or not they should approve their rental application.

Most rental applications require applicants to provide information related to their criminal history and ask them to sign a waiver that allows the landlord to access their criminal record. This includes standard background checks. If you feel like you've been wrongfully denied or discriminated against due to your criminal record, it’s important to consult with an experienced attorney who understands local regulations.

3. Formulating the Details of Your Tenancy

When submitting your rental application, it's important to be aware of the potential details of your tenancy. If you're dealing with a landlord directly there are some important things to consider, such as how much rent you will pay, what type of insurance coverage the landlord requires of you, and what type of maintenance and upkeep is expected of you. You'll also need to ascertain whether the unit has a pet policy or not. It's also important to determine how and when the rent will be paid, and whether there are any late fees associated with not paying rent on time.

4. Signing A Rental Lease Agreement

Once you’ve been approved for the rental, it's important to sign a formal rental lease agreement. This is a legally binding document between you (the tenant) and the landlord (the landlord) that covers the specifics of the tenancy. The document should include all the details of the tenancy, such as the amount of rent, how and when it should be paid, the length of the lease, the pet policy, any restrictions related to use of the premises, and a variety of other details.

It's also important to note that a written rental lease should never contain a period shorter than one year. If the lease does contain clauses of shorter than one year, then the tenant has the right to terminate the rental agreement without penalty within a 60 day period after the start of the lease.

5. Ensuring Prompt Payment of Rent

Renters in Dallas should be aware of the importance of prompt payment of rent. Renters who do not pay their rent on time are in violation of their rental agreement and can have their rental agreement revoked. This means that the renter will be obliged to leave the premises within the time suggested by the landlord.

It's important to make sure that all payments are made on time and that all associated fees and charges are outlined in the rental agreement. The receipt of rent should also be documented, as it provides a record of when the payment was received by the landlord.

As a renter in Dallas, it's important to be aware of your rights before signing a rental lease agreement and to consider the top five things outlined above. By doing your research ahead of time and having a thorough understanding of the local rental regulations, you can ensure that you secure an accommodation that is right for you.




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