This new law adds, among other things, a definition of “application fee.” Application fees are now capped at the fee at $50, and provides that such fee is nonrefundable. The bill also defines “written notice” as notice, including any representation of words, letters, symbols, numbers, or figures, whether (i) printed in or inscribed on a tangible medium or (ii) stored in an electronic form or other medium, retrievable in a perceivable form, and regardless of whether an electronic signature is affixed. In other words, landlords and tenants can now give legal notice via email, Facebook or other electronic media, even without an electronic signature.
In cases where a tenant pays rent with a bad check, the bill also allows a landlord to seek an award of costs or attorney fees or the lesser of $250 or three times the amount of the bad check, draft or order as part of the damages requested on an unlawful detainer action, provided the landlord has given notice. The bill allows such notice to be included in the five-day termination notice at the option of the landlord. The bill contains specific provisions if the dwelling unit is a public housing unit or other housing unit subject to regulation by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Renting is a good way to get some firsthand experience with a neighborhood. Renting can let you sign a 1 year lease, say in a Shirlington 2 bedroom condo for example, with the option to continue, if you like the neighborhood. An advantage of this is you can test the waters, to see if you really love the features of this neighborhood or not. If you don’t like where you’re at, say for example, if the 4 bedroom, 2 story home in Lorton is not your style, you can always relocate to another place.
Pay as You Go
Many Americans live pay check to pay check. Upfront, you will have a security deposit, with a rate that depends on your credit score. If you have a good credit score, your property manager might only charge 1 months’ rent, for a security deposit. On the other hand, if you have a poor credit score, your property manager might charge 2 months’ rent, for a security deposit. After this initial fee (which can be refunded if you meet the requirements like passing the move out inspection), it’s nice to know that after a chunk of your paycheck is put into your monthly rent, there’s a good portion left for bills, necessities, and fun expenditures, like neighborhood nightlife or personal hobbies.
Short Term Commitment & Little Investment
Not sure if you want to stay in Northern Virginia, as a Washington DC commuting, GS-5? Do you have plans of living in California and seeing Napa Valley, Los Angeles, and San Francisco firsthand? Are you Active duty military, with upcoming orders for a new assignment, with no interest in the responsibility of becoming a homeowner? If so, these questions might make you lean towards renting, as opposed to buying. It’s nice to know that as a renter, you won’t have to worry about footing the bill for a repair on a roof that is falling apart, paying a monthly a condo fee (that could range anywhere from $150-$700), or paying the bill for a lawn service to pick up the leaves from your $1,000,000 Mount Vernon home, in fall. Overall, renting can be cheaper up front, but it isn’t for everyone. Also, who says you can’t just buy later?
Build Your Credit While You Sock Away Savings for a Down Payment
Paying your bills on time is an excellent way to build your credit score, and to show lenders that you know how to manage your money. If you are frugal, you can take a chip off each pay check, to build up a savings for buying a home in the future. The return on applying your savings to the purchase of the home of your dreams can be exponential. For those with an eye on the future, being a responsible tenant can prepare you financially and teach you the accountability necessary for home ownership.
Spending time with friends can make for priceless memories. Living together can be fun and slightly cheaper than going solo. The process of getting a group of friends together to rent out a property can be a very rewarding and challenging process. A Nesbitt Realty Realtor, like Stuart Nesbitt, can help make the later stages of finding and renting a property simple. There are many different neighborhoods in Northern Virginia to choose from, that can fit your specific needs (such as being metro accessible, having a main street, Being near a good school, being luxurious, being a certain type of building style [e.g. high-rise or garden style, for example] ,being affordable, or even being off the beaten path).