Protect your security deposit and watch out for hidden fees when renting. Here are 6 costly mistakes to avoid when renting.

1. Failing to Carefully Read the Lease Agreement

Don’t let the excitement of getting the rental property you’ve dreamed of, distract you from reading your lease agreement. Take time to review and fully understand your lease agreement before signing it.

Lease Agreement Photo Credit: eccolo74 (iStock).

Photo Credit: eccolo74 (iStock).

2.  Overlooking Move-In and Move-Out Inspection

Take pictures with your smartphone and keep track of the condition of your rental property before moving in and after moving out. Proper documentation will go a long way in protecting your security deposit. From carpet stains to scuff marks on the walls, don’t overlook any existing damages.

3. Sneaking a Pet Into Your Rental Without Permission

If you try to hide things from your landlord, chances are he or she will find out. Sneaking a pet into your rental property without your landlord’s permission could put you at risk for eviction. Avoid this costly mistake by finding a pet-friendly rental property in advance.

Dog Photo Credit: SeventyFour (iStock).

Photo Credit: SeventyFour (iStock).

4. Ignoring Repair Work In Your Rental Home

As a tenant, it’s your responsibility to keep your rental home in good shape. Whether a faucet is leaking or the dryer has stopped working, always notify your landlord. Failing to give proper notice of maintenance issues could lead to your expense.

5. Making Upgrades Without Consent

Wallpapering, painting, or making other cosmetic changes to your rental property without permission is a costly mistake. Not only will this upset your landlord, but you will be responsible for reversing the changes prior to moving out. For a list of budget-friendly and reversible upgrades for your rental property, click here.

Painting Photo Credit: jesadaphorn (iStock).

6. Refusing to Buy Renters Insurance

Don’t make the mistake of not having renters insurance. Renters insurance covers your belonging in case of a fire, flood, theft, or any other natural disaster or unexpected event. Protect your valuables and get insured!

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Avoid these costly mistakes when renting and you’ll be sure to save money in the long run.