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Identify your needs in a rental home. Prepare deposit -- can be as much as first and last months rent and a security deposit, plus pet fees. Gather income supporting documents and rental history. Be upfront with any credit or background hiccups. Contact a real estate agent and/or property manager to search the local MLS. Prequalify/prescreen to the extent possible (before application fees). Check pet restrictions, fees and deposits. Some Property Managers & homeowners don't allow specific breeds. Search other sources (but validate, especially if it seems to good to be true!). Apply! ALWAYS do the pre-walkthrough checklist! ALWAYS document pre-existing conditions to the home prior to accepting the same to avoid being charged for items you did not damage. Read carefully and review the lease (consider having legal counsel read, too). If military, does it have a military clause? Military or not, does it specify the penalty for breaking the same? Consider getting renter's insurance (double check with your insurer as to extent of coverage!). If you've read, reviewed and/or had counsel review, sign the lease! Get your keys!
Legal Disclaimer: this is a subjective list of checklist items, born of experience in the process of buying and selling homes in the State of Colorado. Always consult a professional in your area to ensure your rights are protected!
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