Resources for Salisbury Tenants
Tips for Renters
Look For the SAPOA Label
Look for the SAPOA Label when you are looking for a place to live. SAPOA Members are all accredited property managers who pledge to keep your property in tip top condition and respond to your concerns in a timely manner.
Narrow Your Property Search
When you are looking for a place to live, keep in mind the following things:
1) Know your price range. You should not be spending more than 30% of your combined take home income on rent. So, if you earn $3000 per month, your rent limit is $900.
2) Know what type of property interests you. Do you want to live in a single family home, duplex, apartment or condominium? What type of property will work best for your family situation?
3) Know your school districts. If you are relocating to the Salisbury Area or moving to a new in-town location, school district is key to keeping your kids happy.
4) Know what size property you need. Whether it is an efficiency apartment or a five bedroom colonial, identify your personal and practical needs before you look.
Learn your Responsibilities
Only the tenant can make their house a home. Moving into your own place is a new adventure and a big responsibility. The property you rent is considered your home. You need to take care of the day to day items that are a natural part of living. These responsibilities include taking out your trash, keeping the interior and exterior of your property in a sanitary condition, and promptly notifying the landlord of any maintenance issues that arise. Whether you accidently break a window or your dryer stops working, it is the tenant's job to notify the landlord.
It is also the tenant's responsibility to keep the exterior of the property neat, clean and appealing. Most landlords would be thrilled if you plant flowers and decorate for the holidays as long as you remove said decorations within an appropriate time frame.
In most leases, tenants are responsible for small items such as replacing light bulbs, smoke detector batteries and air filters. Make sure you know who is responsible for grass cutting and snow shoveling. Be sure to understand and be in compliance with your City Ordinances.
Read Your Lease
A lease is a civil contract between landlord and tenant. The lease is there so there can be no dispute about what each party's responsibilities are. Make sure you are clear about:
1) how and when to pay your rent
2) the length of your lease
3) amount of security deposit
4) what type of utilities are provided
5) what type of appliances are provided
6) your maintenance responsibilities
7) what to do in case of emergency
8) limits on occupancy
9) consequences for violating the law or breaking city ordinances
Be a Good Neighbor
Reach out to the people in your neighborhood. Not only will you gain friends, you will also establish a good working relationship with the people on your street. If you look out for others, they will look out for you. Show respect to your neighbors by keeping noise to a minimum and taking pride in your residence. All of us can keep our property in a clean and orderly state as well as behave cordially to the other folks who live in the vicinity.
We strongly recommend you purchase Renters Insurance. Why? Doesn't my Landlord have to have property insurance on my house?
Yes. However, the landlord's property insurance only covers the landlord's property which includes the structure and the land. The landlord's insurance does not cover your belongings. So, if for example, there was a fire or you are robbed, and you did not have Renter's Insurance, your belongings would not be covered by the Landlord's insurance policy.
Renters insurance is inexpensive. The price is well worth the piece of mind.
Remember to keep a record of your stuff and what it's worth. The police department recommends you take pictures of the serial numbers of your expensive items such as large screen televisions so you have the data if you need to submit a claim to the insurance company.
Salisbury City Ordinances
Salisbury City Ordinances are rules established by the City Council to govern exterior aesthetic property maintenance on properties that lie within the city limits.
You may not know some of the rules, so we have listed them for your convenience. Also, tenants are required to adhere to City Ordinances per most lease agreements.
1) No indoor furniture is allowed outside specifically in yards or on front porches.
2) No cars can be parked on front lawns.
3) No untagged vehicles are permitted to be parked on the property.
4) No weeds are allowed in City sidewalk adjacent to your property.
5) Grass may not be in excess of 8 inches.
6) Snow must be shoveled from City Sidewalks within a 24 hour period of snowfall ceasing.
7) No trash or rubbish is allowed to accumulate on the property for any reason.
8) No large items such as couches or appliances are allowed to be set out on the street for hauling unless you have made special arrangements with the City Service Center.
9)Trash cans must be stored where they can not be seen from the street. Trash cans must be put out the night before trash pick up and removed from the street by the following morning.