Average House Rent/Month in 2012
Average Duplexes Rent/Month in 2012
Average Apartments Rent/Month in 2012
2013 Missoula Housing Report
Western Montana Chapter of the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM)
Tips for First Time Renters in Missoula
Welcome to Missoula! Whether you will be a student at the University of Montana or joining our vibrant workforce, our community welcomes you. It is every young person’s dream to have a home to call their own during their college or post high school years and strike out on their own. We have a great variety of neighborhoods, each with their own distinct culture and history. I’m sure you are excited to move in tomorrow, but take a breath and read on. These tips have the potential to help you protect your time, reputation, and most importantly… Save you a lot of money!
Renting a home or apartment can have far reaching implications. Debt collections, poor rental references, and ruined friendships are very real problems for renters. Placing a tenant in the home is like giving someone the keys to a Lamborghini while holding their Buick Skylark in trade. Much is entrusted to a tenant to maintain the condition, appearance, market value and neighborhood appeal of a home with a small deposit.
1) Plan ahead – What is your realistic budget? The rent on paper is not the only consideration. Have you factored in such things like transportation, application fees,security deposits, pet fees, utilities and renter’s insurance? Costs can add up quickly. There is nothing worse than realizing three months into an annual lease that you can’t afford your home. Place the properties that you are considering side by side to compare costs. Your local utility companies can give you an average cost of service. Each home is different so be sure to do your research. How much more in rent would you pay to have a short walk to school or work instead of purchasing fuel and a parking pass? Always be sure to see the property in person before signing a lease. Online photos and descriptions can’t always relay all the information you may need. Getting a friend or relative to visit a property for you can give an honest opinion if you are out of town. Beware of misleading online ads that ask you to send money without seeing an apartment. Online deceptions can be extremely well presented and researched. Some crooks have gone so far as to look up the owner of the home and create a fake email address to lure unsuspecting renters. Remember, if a deal is too good to be true – it probably is.
2. So you’ve found a place and you’re ready to apply - With such a strong rental market in Missoula County, the search for rentals can get competitive. Start your research early. Housing generally is advertised anywhere from 10 and 30 days from the time it is actually available. Always allow at least 48 hours for your application to be processed. When applying for a rental, be aware that if your application is approved you may be obligated to sign a lease immediately. Property management firms may not hold a property indefinitely while you are awaiting the start of school.
Rules of Qualification – Always be Honest !
- Adequate income – Provide all paystubs, bank statements, student loan dispositions and any other form of income that applies. If you are a student, a co-signer may be necessary. Typically, a property manager will look for an applicant to have three times the rent amount in income.
- Criminal Background – All companies have different policies, being honest is best.
- Protect your good Credit – Everything from bankruptcies, bounced checks, collections, judgments, and high levels of debt can hinder your approval for all sorts of things in the future, including renting.
- Previous rental history – Remember that landlords will most likely ask for your previous rental history to confirm that you were a good tenant.
- Complete Application – Be sure to fill out the rental application completely and honestly. Incomplete applications that are missing information take much more time to process.
3. Your Lease – Take the time to fully read and be educated about the terms of your lease. A lease is a legally binding agreement that is designed to spell out the responsibilities of both the tenant and the landlord. Read it carefully and make sure that you can follow through on your duties as a tenant. Be sure to keep a copy for your files.
- Walk through the unit and complete the property condition report provided by your landlord.
- A tenant has a designated amount of time to set up required renter’s insurance, utilities, and complete a current condition report of the property.
- When does the lease expire? What happens if I terminate my lease early? Make sure you know the date that your lease ends and how to give proper notice if you choose to leave.
- When is rent due? Every landlord has a different late fee structure, but they all cost you money. There is one easy way to avoid penalties. Pay your rent on time.
- Common obligations may include lawn maintenance, snow removal, and parking restrictions. Make sure that you are prepared to consistently carry out your duties throughout the duration of your lease.
- Plum Property Management has a duty to carry out maintenance and repair of our properties. It is the tenants’ responsibility to notify their manager of any emergency issues immediately so that they can be addressed. Heat, water, and any sort of leak would constitute an emergency. If you’re not sure, ask.
- Be sure to give adequate notice when moving out. Provide your landlord at least 30 days prior to your move in writing. At Plum Property Management we try to maintain a great tenant landlord relationship. Safe and affordable housing should be something that everyone is entitled to. Nothing makes us happier to see someone turn an empty building into a home.
At Plum Property Management we try to maintain a great tenant landlord relationship. Safe and affordable housing should be something that everyone is entitled to. Nothing makes us happier to see someone turn an empty building into a home. Best of luck!
Plum Property Management, LLC
806 W. Spruce St. Ste 110
Missoula, MT 59802