Comparing renting to buying a home is among the most common debates in the personal finance world. While there are proponents on each side, the reality is that it’s a very personal decision that will depend on a wide variety of circumstances.
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There are certain expenses that homeowners have to stress about. There are also fees that renters have to worry about that homeowners don’t. This article will examine the bills homeowners don’t have to worry about. Let’s examine five bills you never have to pay when you own your own home.
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“Renter’s insurance can cover many different scenarios and types of property,” shared Cherie Lindsey, an insurance agent from COUNTRY Financial. “However, a basic policy will provide coverage for possessions, liability, and living expenses. Most policies include additional options to adjust deductibles, replacement costs, and insure valuable items.”
If your unit becomes uninhabitable due to a covered loss, your renters insurance will help out with additional expenses. The liability coverage would help protect you if a guest were injured while visiting your place. It’s crucial that you read over your policy to be aware of what’s covered and what isn’t.
“Renters make the mistake of thinking the landlord’s insurance will replace their personal possessions,” said Lindsey. “A landlord’s policy will only cover structural damage to the building from perils such as fire or wind. The personal belongings of a tenant are not covered under a landlord’s policy.”
The amount you’ll pay for renters insurance will depend on the coverage, your claims history, and the unit’s location. Depending on where you live, you can pay anywhere from $12 to $31 monthly for renters insurance.
A homeowner, on the other hand, will never have to get renters insurance. They will have to get a homeowners insurance policy to cover the structure and personal property, but they don’t have to take out a separate policy to protect their personal belongings.
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Pet Fees or Pet Security Deposit
Landlords may charge you a fee if you have a pet to minimize the risks since they could damage the unit. Many landlords are hesitant about leasing to tenants with pets due to concerns about possible damages. As a renter, you’ll likely have to pay a pet security deposit before you get the keys to your place.
While you’ll likely get the pet deposit back if your pet doesn’t cause any damage, there are no guarantees that this will happen. The landlord will inspect the unit when you move out to see if your pet caused any damage. Issues like a torn carpet, pet stains, damaged doors and so on could allow the landlord to use a portion or the entire pet deposit toward repairs.
Every state has different laws about how much a landlord can charge for this. The good news for renters is that you can’t be charged for a service animal under the Federal Fair Housing Act. The better news for homeowners is that you don’t have to worry about this if you have pets — they can join your home for free.
Regular Security Deposit
When you rent a place, you’ll typically be asked to pay a security deposit to your landlord. This security deposit is traditionally equivalent to one or two month’s rent as a form of insurance to enforce that you return the unit in the decent condition as outlined in the lease agreement. When you leave, the landlord will inspect the unit to determine if any damages that require repairs were made. The landlord could then use a portion of the security deposit to cover the damages. You could lose your entire security deposit if the damages were severe enough.
As a homeowner, you don’t have to worry about paying any security deposits since you own the unit. As a renter, this is another bill that you have to stress about. With a current median national rent of $1,967, this isn’t a small sum that you have to hand over either before you get the keys.
You almost always have a parking spot included when you own your own house or condo. As a renter, however, you may have to spend money on a parking spot since the landlord may not include this in the rental agreement.
Parking fees will depend on the unit’s location, and major cities are known to have hefty costs. As a homeowner, you’ll likely have a spot assigned to you as part of owning the property or it will come with a driveway or garage you can use for parking.
Cleaning Fees When Moving Out
When you move out of your rental, you may have to pay out of pocket for cleaning fees to ensure that the unit is returned to its original condition. The amount you have to pay will depend on the unit size and what the lease agreement states about cleanliness conditions.
If it’s determined that the unit requires cleaning, then the amount that you pay will depend on state laws and requirements. However, you could lose a major portion of your security deposit if the entire place needs to be restored. When you are a homeowner, this is not something you normally have to think about.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 5 Bills You Never Have To Pay When You Own Your Home
Alice J. Roden started working for Trending Insurance News at the end of 2021. Alice grew up in Salt Lake City, UT. A writer with a vast insurance industry background Alice has help with several of the biggest insurance companies. Before joining Trending Insurance News, Alice briefly worked as a freelance journalist for several radio stations. She covers home, renters and other property insurance stories.