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There are several things you must consider before renting a house. First and foremost, you have to check if your budget can accommodate the rental cost. This is affected by several factors, such as the location, size of the property, and available amenities, all of which you should also take into account. You should also check if the house comes with security features and take note of the neighborhood’s overall safety.

These above-mentioned factors are just the basics, so to speak. Indeed, there are a lot more things that you have to check when you’re looking at houses for rent in CNMI before you decide. Here’s a quick list to help you with inspections and determine if you’ve found a good property to rent.

Floors and Walls

If the house you’re planning to rent had a previous tenant, check the floors and walls. Usually, there will be superficial damage left behind. For example, there may be some scuffs or dents on the floors due to the placement of heavy furniture. Some discoloration may also occur on wooden floors, especially on parts that are heavily exposed to sunlight. The walls, on the other hand, may have holes from picture frames or other wall-mounted features.

These are normal, and some landlords may even fix these small issues themselves. However, whatyou have to especially look out for are larger problems such as huge cracks on the walls, mold infestations, or water damage. Make sure to account for these right from the get go so that the landlord knows that these aren’t your fault and you shouldn’t be held responsible for repairs.


CNMI’s hot and humid climate can get uncomfortable at times, so you need to make sure that the house for rent has ample ventilation. If the house comes with air conditioning units, check if they’re working properly. If the air conditioner is centralized, make sure that it’s working properly throughout the property. Big windows are a plus if you want to let the air circulate inside from time to time, but they can be a downside when it comes to noise. Weigh your preferences before you make a decision.

Water Supply and Pressure

Make sure to check the plumbing when you go for a house inspection. Turn on the faucets, flush the toilet, and let the shower run for a few seconds to test the water pressure. This is especially important for houses with multiple floors. While you’re at it, you should also take note of problems such as a cracked bathroom sink or missing fixtures such as faucet handles.

Appliances and Electricity

Just like you did with the plumbing, check if the house’s electrical systems are in order. Flick the switches and see if the corresponding fixtures turn on without a hitch. Take note of busted lights and ask the landlord who’s in charge of replacements. Inspect the electrical outlets as well; if the rental comes with appliances, plug them in and check if they are working properly. If not, bring something simple like your phone charger or a hairdryer to test the sockets.

Who Handles Repairs

Aside from asking who should take care of simple replacements such as busted light bulbs, you should also check who is responsible for bigger repair jobs. These include plumbing and electrical problems, broken cabinet doors, and the like. Will you or the landlord handle these issues? If you’re responsible for them, ask if the landlord has preferred contractors or if you’re free to call your own contacts.

Decorating and Renovation Options

Obviously, you’d want to decorate the house once you move in. Before you do, however, check with the landlord about any conditions regarding decorating and renovations. Are you allowed to paint the walls? What if you want to re-tile the floor or install a kitchen backsplash? Is it acceptable to drill holes to install shelving or wall-mount your television? Don’t be shy to ask about the smallest details. Some landlords are quite strict about modifications to their property, so it’s best to know what you can and can’t do to be safe.

Rules About Pets

Do you have a pet or are planning to get one soon? Make sure to discuss the matter with your landlord. There are some who allow only certain kinds of pets, with additional fees for animals not included in the list. On the other hand, there are also properties that completely prohibit pets. Check the rental agreement for such rules. If there aren’t any, bring up the topic and have a thorough discussion. Don’t make any assumptions or you might get in trouble in the long run.

Pest Control

A stray cockroach might startle you, but it’s not really a cause for alarm. However, a swarm of the critters hiding inside a kitchen cabinet or behind the toilet is definitely a big concern. Check if there are any signs of infestations before signing anything. In addition, much like with repairs and replacements, verify if you’re responsible for calling pest control services should the need arise.

Finding a house for rent takes a bit of work. You have to be extra thorough to make sure that everything is in order before you move in. By performing these inspections, you’ll have more peace of mind, and you can avoid trouble during your stay.

Good luck and happy house hunting!


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