Finding a Townhome for Rent: Tips for Potential Tenants

Living in a townhouse can provide a better experience than living in a condo or apartment. The house is bigger, offers more privacy, and, if you love pets, there may be limited restrictions. Even though you share a wall with neighbors, you have your yard and terrace. If you’re looking for townhomes for rent, there are several ways to navigate the process.

What Is a Townhome?

A townhome or townhouse is a unit built side-by-side with other houses. It usually has its own yard and terrace. The house has at least two stories and shares a wall or two walls with neighboring units. It’s a cross between a condo and a single-family home. Unlike a condo that has other units above or below it, a townhouse is a single unit.

Living in a townhome gives you a sense of community with neighbors, but you enjoy more privacy than in a condo. Since you have your yard, you might be allowed to have pets. You’ll also likely pay HOA fees alongside your monthly rent for landscaping, garbage removal, exterior maintenance, etc.  

Tips for Finding Townhomes for Rent

If you’re interested in townhomes for rent and are unsure how to go about it, here are tips to get you started:

Establish Your Budget

The first step is to determine your budget based on your priorities. Do you want a house within a particular school district (if you have school-going kids), close to a shopping center, or near your workplace? Rental prices vary depending on the neighborhood. Evaluating your priorities lets you narrow your house search, depending on your budget. 

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Know the Basics 

Once you identify a home you like, be sure to ask the right questions before signing the lease. Some of the things you should clarify include the following:

  • Amenities and appliances: Ask whether the home has amenities and appliances as they affect the rent and HOA fees.
  • Terms of the lease: Inquire about the length of the contract, amount of rent, notice period, etc.
  • Maintenance policy: Find out who is responsible for maintenance and repairs. 
  • Community life: Inquire about the lifestyle the community offers, as well as what amenities are available in the neighborhood (e.g., schools, clinics, shopping centers, and recreational facilities).
  • Utilities: Ask what utilities (electricity, water, sewer, etc.) are included in the rent and which ones the tenant covers.
  • Security deposit: Find how much security deposit is required and whether it’s refundable at the end of the lease.
  • Pets: Townhomes usually allow pets, but there might be restrictions on which types of pets and how many you can keep. 
  • Renovation restrictions: HOA and landlords have restrictions on the extent of renovations allowed. Find out what’s allowed and what’s not.  

Evaluate the Utility Costs

Living in a townhome, in most cases, requires paying your utility bills. Given the size of the house, the bills can be substantial. Even if the rental price seems affordable, the monthly expense can add up if the utility costs are too high. To determine whether you can afford the house, check the previous utility bill and sum it up with the rent. 

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Learn About the HOA Fees and Rules

The HOA fees and rules vary from one community to the other. Ask more about the specific HOA fees and their restrictions to see whether you’ll be comfortable living in the community.  

Purchase Renter’s Insurance

The insurance costs added to the rent or HOA fees only cater to the property damage. Purchasing a renter’s insurance can cover any losses to your personal belongings through storm damage or theft. It can also compensate someone injured while in your home if the accident was due to your negligence.      

Get Started With Your Search

If you’re interested in renting a townhouse and are unsure where to begin, the above tips will get you started. Once you establish your budget and priorities, it becomes easier to narrow down your search on the townhomes for rent listings in your preferred neighborhoods.