Finding a Single-Family House for Rent: Tenant Tips

Statistics show that ‘millennials’ is the only generation that postpones the marriage this far. According to the latest studies, once they realize that they are ready to start a family, they’re likely to choose the single-family home living lifestyle.

There are plenty of reasons to rent a single-family house over regular apartments or condos. The Urban Land Institute conducted a research and highlighted the main reasons millennials choose to rent a detached house:

  1. More privacy
  2. Need a backyard
  3. Want to get more interior space for the fair amount of money
  4. Extra storage space
  5. Prefer to have a garage

Let’s admit that most of these key points are fair and this type of rental may bring you more space to live cheerfully and raise your family. But how do you find a single-family house for rent?

Here at Rentberry we decided to highlight the steps to renting a house and bring you useful tips for renting a house for the first time.

Location And Infrastructure

First of all, when you rent a house, you’re at risk of getting too far from the city center. You need to make sure that the location you’re planning to rent your house is close enough to your work. Calculate your commute time and consider all the transportation methods. For example, check if there are any bus stops close enough to your house or maybe a commuter rail available for the public use.

However, since most of the single-family house owners and tenants have a car, it’s easy to take a look at the maps and let your smartphone calculate the driving commute time.

There are also services like WalkScore that allow you to understand how easy it will be for you to get around with and without the car. Even if you have a car, the best fit for you will be having a few stores with all the home goods and groceries just in a few minutes of steady walk.

Research The Crime Statistics

Location is not just about the commute time, you should remember about your safety and the safety of your family. The crime statistics usually impact directly on the rent price, but putting yourself in danger is not a good idea just to fit the rent into your budget.

To make your research more relaxed, we decided to highlight the best resources to review the crime reports and evaluate the safety of the particular neighborhood.

Review the crime reports


This is a free tool to evaluate any neighborhood in the United States cities and suburbs. It works like a simple database with scores and reports regarding the crime rates in the particular areas. You can also use AreaVibes before you choose the location where you want to rent. This tool offers a custom choice that includes livability factors filters.


It has a very similar set of tools, but also offers you to compare neighborhoods via the custom search. Basically, you can choose the area that you feel good about and ask NeighborhoodScout to find a similar one with similar crime rates and statistics. However, not all the information on the website is free, and some detailed reports will require a small fee. It can also calculate the odds of becoming a crime victim in the selected neighborhood.


Lets you review the crime reports and recent police activities right on the website. It’s completely free and allows you to sign up for crime alerts and tips.

Review The House Security

Now it’s time to take a closer look at the house you’re about to rent and evaluate all the ins and outs that you may stumble upon while living in it. Now you know how safe your neighborhood, but what do you know about the security system of your new house?

First and foremost, you should check with your future landlord whether your next house has the security/alarm system. In case it doesn’t, you may consider offering him/her to install it and deduct the cost of the security system from the monthly rent. Do your best to explain that the safety of the whole house is at stakes and it’s not only about your safety but about the protection of his property.

Then you can review the following checklist of security measures and mark the ones the house has:

  • Your windows should have locks to make it impossible to break in while you or your family is out
  • Your yard and adjacent territory should be well-lit. This not only scares away the potential burglars, but also gives you a very substantial feel of security at night. Nowadays there are great deals on the market for green energy that offer you to install the sun-powered lights in your yard to cut your electricity costs.
  • Discuss the installation of new locks with your landlord. This will eliminate the possibility of the previous tenant to break-in, you never know who lived there before you and how many people had these keys.
  • Fix broken fences and door locks if the house has those

Perform A House Inspection

There are two ways to perform the house inspection. You can either hire a professional who can help you find all the problems or trust yourself with this. We’re huge fans of DIY approach, but we should highlight that professional inspectors are very good at locating all the issues that the house may have.

Inspect The Roof And Attic

Your roof should be water-proof. Otherwise, you’ll have to hustle around the house with the buckets trying to ‘catch the wave’. Also, an old roof can make your ceiling collapse and hurt you or any family member.

The next thing that you should inspect under the roof of your future home is the attic. This is the place where termites and different kind of bugs may live. Wear your gloves and start inspecting all the hidden places in the attic trying to locate any insects that may affect the construction of your house.

Perform an inspection

Electricity system

The electricity system should be upgraded once in a while. It means that any house with old wires and a faulty controller may become a nightmare to live in.

Electricity is a very dangerous thing that may not only disappear causing you inconvenience, but may also result in a fire.

Water Drainage And Disbursement

Watering your lawn and having clean water running out of your faucets is crucial for a comfortable living in your new home.

We have already discussed that your roof should not leak any water while it’s raining outside, but how does the water get out of your yard anyway? You should review the drainage system and see whether the water may have any problems leaving your house.

Quality of The Flooring

Your floors may make good old-fashioned noises, but some house owners may hide the real flooring problems from you. Since wooden floors should be maintained and cleaned carefully, sometimes you may stumble upon the floors that are just about to collapse when you make a few steps. This means that the floors can be rotten.

Pay attention to how the floor ‘reacts’ to your firm steps and evaluate whether they’re still good for the day-to-day walks.

Hazardous Materials

Asbestos and lead paints are your worst enemies. Laws may vary, but most of the states obligate the landlords to inform you about the hazardous risks in the house.

Since people tend to forget about it when they see the potential deal on the table, it’s up to you to control this and ask your landlord about it.

Inspect The Garage

Yeah, we know, what can go wrong with the garage? First of all, it may simply have a very bad condition or dirty, but that’s not even the biggest problem that you may run into.

Inspect the garage

We had this amazing story in the comments under one of our posts regarding the single-family property leasing, where a guy rented a place with a garage and noted that his car doesn’t fit the garage. Unfortunately, the lease agreement has been signed and it became a very painful experience. That’s one of the reasons why we decided to compile this list of the most useful tips on how ro rent your house without an agent and move out from your tiny apartment.

The bottom line is – check the garage and make sure you feel good about your car staying there at night.

Evaluate The Adjacent Territory

We all prefer a different amount of space in the yard of our house, so it’s all about your own needs. You should review the adjacent territory of your future home, imagine yourself living in this house and see if this place has enough space to help you live in the most comfortable way.

Discuss What Bills Are Included

Renting an apartment with all utilities included saves money and effort. When you don’t have to worry about extra money to cover electricity or Internet bills, managing your monthly budget becomes a lot easier. Ask your prospective landlord whether or not utilities are calculated as a part of your monthly rent and if they are not, don’t shy away from asking how much money you should be ready to pay for them.

Maintenance Responsibility

Before you go ahead and eSign the lease with your landlord, you should clear out the situation with the maintenance responsibilities.

Make your landlord address this in the lease agreement. In case he decides to maintain everything on his own, you will be able to send maintenance requests to your landlord, set the priority of the issue and he/she will take care of it for you.

Now you’re ready to rent a single-family house, what are you waiting for? Just go for it and let us know your thoughts on this in the comments section!

1 Comment

  1. Airbnb Management Sydney says:

    Great post. Tips here are so good to be true. Thanks!

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