Andrew W. Conner, CMPS ®, CRMS ® 

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Renting In Today's Housing Market, How To Protect Yourself   


Do you rent?  Do you know someone who rents?  Just because you rent your home or apartment, are you protected from this foreclosure crisis?  Well, think about this; most homes, duplexes, and even apartment buildings have a mortgage or are financed in some way.  How stable is the property owner?  How do you know? How can you protect yourself?  Here are a few tips that you can do to protect yourself.  


Insist on a lease agreement.  Some renters want to shy away from a lease agreement because they will be liable for the entire lease in the event they move out before the lease expires.  However, in today’s economic environment you need to consider the other side of the situation.  If the property owner is unable to continue to make the mortgage payments and the home goes into foreclosure this lease agreement will protect you as the tenant.  Most lenders will honor the terms of the lease agreement. However, you must be able to provide a copy of a valid lease and proof of on time monthly rent payments as specified in the lease agreement.    


Make sure your monthly rent payments are paid on time.  Your rent payments also need to be paid by either a check or money order.  In order for the lender to honor the terms of your lease agreement you must have verifiable proof that you have been making your payments on time and have a paper trail of those payments.  If your bank does not give you copies of the cancelled checks with your bank statements, request them.  It is easier and less expensive to ask for them on a monthly basis than try to get copies of them all when you need them.  If you are paying by money order, keep the money order receipt.  You may need these receipts to verify your payments.   


Long term or short term renters you may be at risk if the property owner is not making their mortgage payments.  Protect yourself with the lease agreement and by making your payments on time.  When the lender gets the property back due to a foreclosure, they are more likely to honor the lease and have a monthly income from the home than leave it vacant.  Some lenders will even consider renewing the lease.  However, even if the lender does not renew the lease you will have some time to find another place to live.  When working with the lender early in the process ask them about the possibility of the lease renewal that way you will know up front what to expect.   


As a renter, you may also consider the possibility of owning your own home.  The good news is that financing is still available and many homes on the market today are more affordable than ever before.  Your monthly rent payments can also be used to qualify you for your mortgage, so keep accurate records of your rental payment history.  If you are interested in finding out more about purchasing a home and qualifying for a mortgage, call me today!   


If you have questions or comments please email them to    

Call Andrew today at 573-302-0600   



   Andrew W. Conner NMLS # 245474

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