AJB Blog

Staying In Touch With You

Category Archives: Renters Insurance

The Most Important Questions to Ask a Landlord Before Signing a Lease

Renting can provide you with the chance to learn money management and how to honor a lease contract without the permanence of a house purchase. If you lack the finances to purchase a house or don’t plan to permanently, renting can be a great option for you. When looking for a home or apartment to rent, it’s crucial that you get clarification on any concerns, and ask questions to get the landlord to give information they may not otherwise share. Rental associations only share a select amount of information online or in listings, and oftentimes the most important details aren’t made publicly available. Asking certain questions will help you to learn the necessary information to enter the lease agreement from a safe position and reveals nitty-gritty pieces about the contract, the property, or the landlord. For your safety, make sure that you’re protected with Renters Insurance and have the answers to these questions before entering into a contract. What Are the Application and Qualification Requirements? Normally, properties require renters to earn three times the monthly rent each month, though some may allow a co-sign if you make less. Most landlords also do background and credit checks. Make sure you know what information you’ll have to provide and if you think you’ll qualify. Being aware of this up front is helpful to prevent you and your roommates from wasting time on units that aren’t a fit. It is important to fully understand all screenings, application fees, and if there are non-refundable deposits. Familiarize yourself with landlord-tenant regulations and laws. Are There Utilities or Extra Costs? Clarify what utilities are included in the rent. Note that there are many factors in calculating utilities costs including square footage, location, and time of year. Have a rough estimate of utility costs and find out utility costs for the particular property you’re interested in to ensure that you can afford the property. Utilities commonly included are water, electricity, and garbage. In addition to utilities, the unit may also have some extra costs associated with it. Is parking included, or will you have to pay a monthly fee for a parking spot at your residence? If you have a pet, will there be a required pet deposit? How Does Payment Work? If the landlord only takes cash, you might want to reconsider. This isn’t a typical…
Read more…

Also posted in Blog | Tagged , , | Comments Off on The Most Important Questions to Ask a Landlord Before Signing a Lease

Attention, Renters: Look Out For These Red Flags

When leasing a residence, you may think that you can put up with certain problems because it’s a temporary arrangement, or you might not be aware of the myriad risks that come with being a renter. Many ignored factors or mild issues during an initial tour could become a huge problem later on when you’re locked into a lease, so be certain what you’re getting into and keep your eyes open for these red flags during the renting process. Property Condition Never sign a lease until you’re satisfied with the property’s condition. Make sure everything in the home works and take note of any pre-existing damage, so you won’t be charged for them later. If you can, take photographs and date them. Landlords should provide a list of components in each room, such as carpeting, electrical outlets, light fixtures, doors, windows, locks, painting, and kitchen and bathroom appliances. Components not in good working condition must be reported to the landlord, and be attended to before moving in. Knowledge of Roommates It’s common to live with roommates when renting, but not all landlords allow it. Even if you’re signing the lease with a roommate, you never know if that person will move out and you’ll want another roommate to move in. Alternatively, you might travel for an extended period of time and want to get a subletter to save yourself the unnecessary expenses. Some landlords will want to approve any new roommates or may not allow them at all. Find out expectations upfront and make sure they are specified in the lease. The Neighborhood To indicate the area’s safety, check out the complex after dark when most everyone is home to see the real personality of the building and neighborhood. Notice how many people enter and leave the building, unusual noises, areas of congregation, and the types of vehicles are on the property. Take note of any police activity in the area. Landlord Inspection Clauses Check for lease provisions that entitle the landlord to make unannounced inspections and statements permitting unlimited visits. Inspections should be performed on a limited basis, and with proper notice. Be aware of any provisions that will unfairly restrict your rights. Areas of Responsibility Normally landlords will provide specific services listed in the lease. You can negotiate for any others you feel should be included before signing, although don’t be surprised…
Read more…

Also posted in Blog | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Attention, Renters: Look Out For These Red Flags

How to Settle Landlord Disputes Without Filing a Claim

No one wants to have conflict with their landlords. Sometimes disputes are avoidable, but other times they are inevitable. If there is a dispute already in the works, know that filing a claim isn’t always necessary. Renters Insurance is there as an additional line of defense to protect you and your property, but keep your mind at ease by familiarizing yourself on how to settle a dispute without court intervention. Know the Law First and foremost, by knowing your state’s renting laws you may be able to completely avoid a dispute before it even begins. This is a necessary subject to be educated in as a tenant, as it allows you to try to take matters into your own hands and find a solution yourself before taking it to a higher level. It is common for issues to arise due to one side honestly not knowing that they have broken an agreement or being unsure of certain rights. This simple tactic will help you dodge problems that didn’t have to be there in the first place. Be fair to yourself and your landlord by learning renting laws and adequately staying up on law changes; it will help you both out. Remain Calm and Collected If issues do arise, be sure to keep your cool. Remain calm and collected so things don’t get out of hand, and you’ll be able to handle the situation in a logical manner. If your landlord is not cooperating and is being too difficult, you may end up needing to seek legal assistance. However, always try to handle situations in a civilized fashion between you and your landlord first. Determine the scope of the problem to have a clear understanding on the severity of the issue at hand. You never want to make a problem bigger than it has to be. It’s always a good idea to try to keep a positive tenant-landlord relationship if possible. Meet with Them Arrange a meeting in a neutral territory to speak with your landlord in person. That face-to-face interaction could reinforce a positive relationship and provide a clearer understanding of the issues at hand from both perspectives. Remain open-minded and listen to their views while also explaining your points. When both sides feel heard, it is more likely to lead to a solution. In an undemanding manner, make sure your…
Read more…

Also posted in Blog | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on How to Settle Landlord Disputes Without Filing a Claim

5 Important Questions to Ask Before Moving Into a Rental Home

Renting an apartment is a necessity for most, especially when you’re just starting out in your career. Fast forward a few years, and you might have some kids and a spouse but aren’t ready to buy just yet. Renting a home provides more space and privacy than a multiunit dwelling, but requires a bit more forethought and research before moving in. In this article, we’ll cover the important questions everyone should ask before moving into a rental home. Most importantly, protect your new dwelling and your assets with a New York Renters Insurance policy. Do your research. Scout out the local area, and this means more than just seeing how far away it is from work and what the home looks like. Is it next to a major street? Is it a heavily populated area? Is it next to loud bars and restaurants? Is there an airport nearby where you’ll hear planes all day? Remember your furry friends. Most landlords have pretty reasonable pet policies. However, be prepared to negotiate the terms of your furry friends living in the rental unit before setting your heart on the place. Make sure the landlord doesn’t have weight, breed or number of dog restrictions. Ask about certain clauses in your rental agreement. A break clause means that a “fixed-term tenancy can be ended at 6 months”, according to James Plunkett, head of consumer research at Citizens Advice. However, it’s important to check out the specific wording of the clause to see the conditions: “For example, that there are no existing rent arrears when the tenant wants to activate the clause.” A release clause runs along similar lines, but might involve the tenant “paying a fee to release themselves from the agreement at any time”, Plunkett says. It also usually means that the tenant has to find someone to replace them, as well as paying the fee. Include stipulations in the rental agreement. If you want walls painted, carpets steam cleaned, or a deep cleaning of the house before your move in date, set up these stipulations in the tenancy agreement. Have these terms written out and signed before transferring any money to the landlord. Take inventory. The last thing you need is to be charged for damages that were there prior to you moving in. A good way to mitigate this is to…
Read more…

Also posted in Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 5 Important Questions to Ask Before Moving Into a Rental Home

Attention Renters: When to File a Claim

Carrying the right NY Renters Insurance is for good reason – to protect you from the financial obligations in the event of loss or damage. However, when is the right time to file a claim? In some circumstances, it might be more cost-effective to resolve the issue on your own. In this post, we’ll explore when is the absolute best time to file an insurance claim and reap the benefits of your policy. When the repair or replacement amount exceeds your deductible. Every insurance policy has some sort of deductible. Depending on how much it is, you might be better off replacing the damaged or stolen goods without filing a claim. For example, say your laptop was stolen from your apartment, but it was worth approximately $350. If your deductible is set at $500, you’ll pay more than it’s worth for them to replace it. If you haven’t filed excessive claims. Filing claims for petty damage or immense repairs frequently can result in your insurance company viewing you as a liability. For this reason, you should evaluate whether or not to file a claim if something comes up. If it’s major, file it. If it’s not, hold off. If it’s a covered event. According to Money Under 30, it’s important to realize that homeowners and renters policies don’t cover every threat. Unless an event is specifically listed as a covered threat within your policy, the insurance company can refuse to pay it. Before filing any claim, especially one that is no more than a few thousand dollars, carefully examine your insurance policy to make sure that it’s covered. If you have sufficient evidence. Some claims might be hard to prove it was not your fault, such as a robbery. However, if you have sufficient evidence that proves you had the items in question in your possession before they were lost or stolen, it’s easier to get the insurance claim approved and paid out. About AJ Benet At AJ Benet, we make sure that your renters insurance includes more than the basics. Our policies are custom-tailored to fit your unique needs at a price you can afford. For more information, call us today at (914) 381-2040.

Also posted in Blog | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Attention Renters: When to File a Claim

Want to Buy a Home? Money-Saving Tips for Renters

It should come as no surprise that rent is the biggest expense each month for the majority of the workforce. While many want to buy a house, it might not seem feasible for a few years. However, while keeping a roof over your head is a must, breaking your budget and wasting money you could be saving instead isn’t. In this article, we’ll cover some of the ways that you can pocket a bit more cash each month in an effort to save for your future home. Wherever you choose to reside, ensure your dwelling and your personal belongings are protected by a NY Renters Insurance policy. Tip #1: Negotiate your rent. Most people don’t know that you can negotiate your rent. Depending on the time of year, availability, demand, and condition of the unit, you might be able to score a lower monthly payment than you anticipated. Tip #2: Prepay. Renting isn’t always cheap, and it’s the biggest expense. However, if you’re able to pay even a little bit more up front, you can reap the rewards. In case you can pay your rent earlier, use this as a bargaining tool. For example, if you’re able, pay 3-4 months of rent in advance when you sign. Ask your landlord to give you a discount of 5%-10%. The feeling of certainty is very important for landlords, states Forbes. Tip #3: Improve your credit score. When you apply for a mortgage loan, your credit score is going to play a huge role in determining your interest rate. So, why not start focusing on that number now? The higher your credit score, the more at ease your landlord will be and the more likely you are to negotiate favorable leasing terms. Tip #4: Find a roommate. Having someone else to split the bills in half is a fool-proof way to put more money in your pocket. If you know someone who’s in need of a place to stay, interview them and ask about their lifestyle, hobbies, interests and more. Or, utilize technology to search for eligible roommates. About AJ Benet At AJ Benet, we make sure that your renters insurance includes more than the basics. Our policies are custom-tailored to fit your unique needs at a price you can afford. For more information, call us today at (888) 639-4560.

Also posted in Blog | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Want to Buy a Home? Money-Saving Tips for Renters

Mamaroneck Renters Insurance: Apartment Walk-through Checklist

Mamaroneck Renters Insurance: Apartment Walk-through Checklist You’ve signed the lease, packed up the bags. But before you move into that brand new apartment, make sure to schedule an apartment walk-through with the landlord. Similar to a home safety checklist, our apartment walk-through checklist can help ensure that you avoid any fees for damages inflicted by the previous tenant when you move out. Here’s our Apartment Walk-through Checklist Apartment Walk-through Checklist Tip #1 – Come prepared. Bring a camera to document any problem areas or damages you find. During the walk-through, take notes. And, it helps to bring a tape measure to make sure your furniture will fit through them- it will ease any moving difficulties ahead of time. Apartment Walk-through Checklist Tip #2 – The basics. Keep an eye out for insect or rodent infestation, such as droppings or chew marks. Plug your cell phone charger into the outlets. And make sure home phone and cable jacks are available, functioning, and accessible. Apartment Walk-through Checklist Tip #3 – Safety checks. Proper fire safety equipment should be installed throughout the apartment. This includes smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, as well as fire extinguishers. Make sure all safety equipment is working, and located in the proper areas. If you’re living in a large apartment complex, find the fire escape plan and make sure you know where to go in the event of a fire or other emergency. Apartment Walk-through Checklist Tip #4 – Doors & windows. Check that all windows and doors open and close properly, and make sure the screens on all the windows are intact. Test all the locks; if there is more than one type of lock, make sure you the necessary keys. Apartment Walk-through Checklist Tip #5 –Bathroom & Kitchen. Run all the faucets, and check for leaks underneath the sinks. Make sure all the appliances and plumbing are working as well. Check the shower head, and make sure the water heats up, and the water pressure is good. Apartment Walk-through Checklist Tip #6 – Bedroom & Living Room. Check all light switches, and test the air conditioner. Look for cracks in the wall, and check aesthetic details such as carpet stains, chipped paint, or nail holes in the wall. When the walkthrough is complete, schedule any repairs, and make sure to sign a document detailing the agreed-upon condition of the property.  Make sure to be detailed and thorough, and take…
Read more…

Also posted in Mamaroneck, New York | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Mamaroneck Renters Insurance: Apartment Walk-through Checklist

New York Renters Insurance: How to Rent New York City

New York Renters Insurance: How to Rent New York City   For years New York City has been considered the city where dreams come true. Despite the city’s expensive cost of living, individuals all around the United States migrated to its concrete jungles in hopes of pursuing aspirations they didn’t believe were attainable.  New York City was and is still one of the most expensive cities to live in. While the country is still in an economic depression, New York City has jumped back up a few years ago. In fact, NYC was only significantly affected in 2009 when the rent decreased 10%-12%. Due to the job market’s growth, rent is even more expensive than before the recession. The city’s developers and architects simply cannot meet the demand. Unlike the rest of the United States, the vacancy rate is at a low 1% and rent prices have increased significantly due to this demand. Although landlords may be happy to see such a high demand for housing, current and prospective renters are worried that their money is not enough to afford any housing in New York City. While many have found more cost efficient alternatives such as moving to nearby New Jersey cities where a short train ride can get them to their job in the city, many renters still desire that ideal New York City lifestyle. But how much can your money get you in a city that never stops growing? This post is provided by AJ Benet New York Renters Insurance. Call us today for a free quote – (888) 639-4560 Citi-habits.com has computed an analytic market report of how much your money can get you in 2012. If you are not able to afford anything above $2000, your options include a studio in the locations of Harlem, Lower East Side, Morningside Heights, Upper East Side, and Washington Heights. If you would like to spend $2000-2600, you are able to afford a studio in Chelsea, East Village, the Gramercy/Flatiron, Midtown East, Midtown West, Murray Hill, Soho/Tribeca, Upper West Side, Wall Street/Battery Park, and the West Village. However you are also able to afford one bedroom in the Lower East Side, Morningside Heights, and the Upper East Side, as well as a two bedroom in Harlem and Washington Heights. The majority of the one bedrooms range from $2700-$3600, the two bedrooms range from $3500-$6500, and the three…
Read more…

Also posted in Mamaroneck, New York | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New York Renters Insurance: How to Rent New York City