Hey there all you renters, landlords, property owners and managers. This week on the Hometown Rant, we’re talking about the foundations that this great nation was built on. No, it’s not freedom and justice for all. It’s basements. Basements come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes they’re fortified to withstand a nuclear blast and sometimes don’t even exist at all, but whatever type of basement your house, duplex, cabin, condo or apartment has (or doesn’t have) we’ve got you covered.
Seeing as how they often add a whole extra floor’s worth of space to a rental property, basements are often a great selling point for landlords and property owners looking to advertize. Finished basements are even better, since they potentially allow renters to fit another person in the house, but if you’re advertising it as such, make sure you’re not overcrowding the house, and that the living space is up to local fire safety codes. Otherwise you could be legally and morally responsible for people getting injured and/or killed. Nobody wants that.
Unfinished basements are also a good selling point, either for storage space or as a potential area for tenants to work out or make space for a hobby studio or workshop of some sort. Tenants who want to do something along these lines with a basement space should absolutely consider it, though as always you should get the landlord or property manager’s consent to make permanent modifications to the space.
Unfortunately, sometimes basements can be a liability. Especially in wetter areas of the country, basements are prone to flooding. This is always a problem, but severity can range from inconvenient to potentially life threatening. Tenants should let landlords know if a flood has occurred, and landlords or property managers should have some sort of plan in place for if and when it happens. Usually it’ll involve some fans and de-humidifiers, but bad floods can ruin carpet, and really bad floods left unchecked can rot out beams that hold your rental property up. Don’t let that happen. Get it dried up ASAP.
Then there are the properties without basements–the single stories, ranch-style houses, the condos and apartments for rent. As always, it’s important to tailor your living situation to the type of lifestyle that you lead. Properties without basements are probably good for those individuals that enjoy a certain degree of minimalism–the people who don’t have boxes upon boxes of sentimental objects and outdoor equipment to store somewhere. If you’re the type who could live out of a single bag if you had to, consider looking for a rental property without a basement–it’ll probably be cheaper, and you won’t miss the space. On the other hand, If you’re the type who owns a massive collection of model trains or comic book and pulp fiction or sports memorabilia, steer clear of rental properties that don’t have the underground vault you need to store your tacky pile of treasures.
Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? We’ll be in the basement: Hometownrant@hometownrent.com