Surround yourself with a good real estate professional
If you wish to rent an apartment or a house in Miami or Florida, it is strongly recommended to be accompanied by a real estate professionalr, like when you buy (see our buyer's guide). This real estate consultant is paid by the owner, his fees are therefore included in the rental price. Insofar as he has access to all the goods officially on the market, he can send you selections in different districts and at different prices. Barnes manages a large number of investor-owned properties and also has a portfolio of non-market properties. Your agent must be Licensed from the State of Florida (Realtor ®), which is the case for all Consultants at Barnes. You can verify that your agent is still "active" by going to the site www.myfloridalicence.com. Why not deal directly from tenant to owner? Simply because you are depriving yourself of precious help, unique advice and yet free for you. Your agent guides you through the rental, installation, acceptance of the file with the association and supports you in the event of a problem during the lease or at the end of the lease.
Step 1: the offer and the rental contract
When you have a crush on a property, do not hesitate too long! If it is at the right price, there is a good chance that it will be rented quickly in a period when the supply of goods for rent is quite limited. Your Barnes Consultant will tell you if there is room for negotiation or if it is risky. Indeed, it has the price history of the last rentals, and the inventory of competing goods. As when buying, the Consultant prepares an offer which summarizes the rental conditions. To put the odds on its side, it is necessary to accompany the offer with a check representing the first month of rent. This check will be cashed into Barnes' escrow account as soon as the offer is accepted, as proof of your motivation and your seriousness. This amount is reimbursed in full if the rental contract is not "executed", that is to say signed and validated by all the parties, or if you have not been accepted by the association of co-owners (HOA) . This amount is not reimbursed if everything is signed, if you have been approved, but you change your mind before entering the premises.
It is also recommended to attach official documents to the offer: identity document, payslips, letters of reference from previous owners, bank statements, etc. If you have prepared this dossier in advance, you are immediately credible and your "candidacy" will have weight.
The offer is submitted to the owner by your Barnes consultant, but through his agent who represents him. It is the principle of cooperation. If the offer is accepted, it comes back signed by the owner, and you then wait for the final contract this time prepared by the owner's agent. This contract is mostly standard, already approved by the Association of Realtors and the Bar of Florida, it is very complete. Certain clauses are negotiable. If the contract is not the one officially approved by the Association and the bar, we advise you to have it reviewed by a lawyer.
Step 2: the application application
If you rent an apartment " condo », The rental contract must be completed with the approval of the building association. You must, at your expense (on average $100 to $150), apply in due form, sometimes online. The questionnaire is very complete and must be returned quickly with a check. The association generally invites you for an on-site interview, or for a telephone meeting, which will finalize your approval and give you the operating rules for the building and / or the community. The process can be rapid or, on the contrary, last for 2 to 3 weeks depending on the effectiveness of the combination. It is therefore necessary to inquire about this period beforehand so as not to be taken from class in your calendar. In a building, the elevator must be reserved for the day of the move, it is important to think about it in advance.
In the case of renting a house, this application will be made by an independent online organization.
Step 3: inventory
The inventory is an essential step because it protects you against the misuse of your deposit. Deductions from sureties are very framed in Florida, provided you have a detailed inventory that lists the flaws and problems of the apartment. At Barnes, we support you at the entry as at the exit, and take photos and videos to have all the evidence in case of dispute.
In case of problem
You are finally installed, and enjoy your new home in the sun! Always document in writing if there is a problem. In the United States, the written records are essential, in case an amicable settlement is not found. A letter from a lawyer, for a reasonable fee, is also a good way to avoid prolonging a simple dispute.
To remember :
The most frequent clauses
- Contract for a maximum of one year, renewable if necessary.
- Payment of a month's deposit, the first month and the last month: 3 months in advance before entering the premises.
- Cash payment in advance when you have no history or previous employment in the United States. Rare for small budgets but can happen on prestige goods.
- Size of pets very regulated
- Deposit for the common parts of the building (in this case it is paid by the owner).
Who is responsible for what?
The tenant :
- keys (in case of loss, you have to pay for lock changes);
- replacement of air conditioning filters (monthly);
- small repairs of an amount less than $300 (must be specified and can be negotiated);
- electricity, gas, internet in apartments, water in homes;
- individual insurance.
- the charges ;
- local taxes;
- water in buildings;
- the insurance ;
- maintenance of the pool and garden in the houses.
Traps to avoid ?
- rent for a period of less than 6 months in a building that does not authorize it;
- sublet on specialized sites or to friends when prohibited.
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