Renter’s Cheat Sheets: After You’ve Signed the Lease
• Educate yourself about your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. For more info, contact the Bureau of Consumer Protection at (800) 422-7128 or visit them on the web: http://datcp.state.wi.us/
• Your landlord should always provide an emergency number. Get it.
• Create a check-in sheet on the apartment and list all items that may be charged to your security deposit (such as stains on the carpet, scratches on counter tops, etc.) Keep a copy for yourself and send one to our landlord.
• Grab your digicam and take pics when you move in and after you clean up upon moving out.
• Buy a carbon monoxide detector if you have gas heat and/or stove. They are mandatory as of April of 2010.
• Consider renter’s insurance. It’s usually inexpensive and covers things like robbery, fires, and liabilities. The amount of a policy depends on how much of your stuff you want to protect. Things like floods are usually not covered.
• Learn odd/even parking. If you don’t have a designated parking stall, you’ll likely have to find on-street parking. Between Nov. 1 and May 1 the City of Eau Claire dictates which side you can park on. So make sure your car is parked on the “even” side (with even-numbered addresses) between midnight and 7am of even-numbered days. And vice-versa.
• Big security deposit suckers: defrosting the fridge and cleaning the oven.
• When moving out, remember: Xcel Energy makes you cancel your own utilities. (And don’t forget TV, internet, and other such bills.)
• Head to the post office for a helpful checklist of change-of-address reminders.
• If you’re moving over the course of a few days, leave stuff like beds and entertainment items for last.
• Save boxes early and often. Ask grocery stores if you’re desperate. Frequent recycling dumpsters at commercial spots if you’re extra desperate and bold.