It is important for first-time renters to have guidance in the renting process. You will need to identify and avoid the costly pitfalls of the rental process. Factors like the terms of the lease, the deposit, the condition of the unit, and even potential roommates come with their own hazards.

South Carolina renters insurance is smart for renters to obtain so you are properly protected if an unfortunate circumstance arises.


Take into account all of your expenses such as food, transportation, insurance, healthcare, entertainment, and more.

Typical recurring costs include:

  • Rent
  • Utilities (some may be included in rent)
  • Miscellaneous services (Internet, phone, cable, etc.)
  • Car payment/Car Insurance

Given that rent is usually the most significant expense the average renter pays, establishing a monthly budget with a comfortable rent is very important. Once you’ve established your monthly rental budget, make sure to think about any upfront costs:

  • First and last month’s rent
  • Security deposit
  • Pet deposits
  • Holding fees

Choosing the Right Roommate-

There are many things to consider before choosing a roommate:

  • Reliable income
  • Pets
  • Trusting to be around your personal belongings
  • Willing to sign a lease and abide by the terms of the contract
  • Similar lifestyle choices
  • The splitting of home responsibilities
  • Who will they invite over as guests?

It is important to have a strong sense of how comfortable, respectful, and cooperative potential roommates will be. If you feel like you might clash with someone in a lot of ways, don’t hesitate to find a more compatible roommate.

Rental Time Frames-

Rental periods can usually be broken down into four categories:

  • One-year lease
  • Six-month lease
  • Three-month lease
  • Month-to-month lease

Typically, the longer you agree to rent a place, the cheaper your rent will be. Ending your agreement early or abandoning a lease can result in serious financial and legal consequences for you and roommates.

Questions to Ask-

Before signing the lease, confirm that your future landlord will hold up their end of the bargain.

Questions to ask when considering a rental:

  • Are any utilities covered by the rent? If not, what is an estimate for those costs?
  • What are the parking options?
  • Is there on-site maintenance or security?
  • What is the refund policy for security deposits?
  • What types of customizations can you make to a property?
  • Will facilities staff conduct inspections, and how much notice do they need to give?
  • Are there guest restrictions?
  • Are there any fees associated with the rental that we haven’t discussed?

During the Walkthrough-

Make sure the amenities match what is advertised. Ask questions regarding missing or damaged items. Test light switches, locks, doors, and windows to identify current or potential problems. If something is damaged make sure to take a photo and notify your landlord immediately.

Check out our article on 5 Cheap Ways To Fix Up Your Rental!