Total Tenant Guide

One result of the housing market crash is that more people than ever are renting. For some, being tied to a mortgage may no longer be an attractive option, even if it means losing that investment towards property. For others, it affords them the flexibility and freedom to move around. And there's still be the opportunity to eventually own a rented property in certain rent-to-own markets.

Whatever the circumstance, there are questions all renters will have to answer as they shop around for an apartment, condominium, or house — How long should I sign a lease for? Can I haggle with the landlord over rent? What responsibilities does my landlord have? And what are my duties as a good tenant?

Knowing the answers to these questions will help you make smart, well-informed decisions as you shop around so that you're happy in your new home. After all, you don't want to end up looking to move all over again in a year's time.