Condition of the Rental on Move-in Day
You should inspect your rental property when you move in. If possible, before you move in, see if your landlord can inspect the property with you. After the inspection, ask the landlord to sign an inspection form indicating that the form, as completed, accurately reflects the condition of the rental at that time. You may even want to consider using photographs or video to document pre-existing defects or repair problems.
Many tenants assume that their lease protects them from each other. This generally is not the case. Your lease sets out what your landlord and your group of tenants as a whole promises to do for each other. In essence, each person who signs the lease is responsible for all the rent unless the lease or rental agreement says otherwise. If one roommate does not pay his or her part of the rent, the landlord can hold the other roommate(s) responsible for all the rent. For this reason, it is a good idea for all tenants to sign a co-tenant agreement.
A co-tenant agreement establishes, in writing, the way you and your roommates would like to operate the household. Expectations around how rent will be paid (for example: everyone pays one tenant who then pays the landlord), how paying for utilities will be handled, and expectations for common space, are just a few of the things a co-tenant agreement might cover. Having these established in writing ensures everyone is on the same page and gives documentation to refer back to if there are challenges. A sample can be found on our sample documents page.
Setting up Utilities
Depending on what type of rental property you choose, you may have to set up certain utilities, while your landlord may take care of others. Below is a list of common utilities and how to establish service.
This area is served by Xcel Energy. To initiate or disconnect service or for billing inquiries call 1 (800) 895-4999. A one-time hook-up fee will be applied to your first month's bill. www.xcelenergy.com
If you live in St. Paul or any of its suburbs, Xcel Energy is your local provider (www.xcelenergy.com). New service can be established by calling 1 (800) 895-4999. If you live in Minneapolis or any of its suburbs, CenterPoint Energy/Minnegasco is your local provider (http://www.centerpointenergy.com). New service can be established by calling (612) 372-4727.
If you live in St. Paul or any of its suburbs Comcast or Century Link are your cable providers. Various hook-up fees apply depending on which package you choose. Many phone companies also offer digital and broadband cable.
There are many trash removal companies serving St. Paul. You may choose from any of the haullers licenced by the city:
If you live in St. Paul or any of its suburbs, call (651) 266-6350 or visit
http://www.stpaul.gov/water/. If you live in Minneapolis or any of its suburbs, call (612) 673-1114 or visit http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/utility-billing/.
A St. Paul ordinance requires you to recycle newspaper, aluminum, glass and plastic. To obtain a recycling bin, contact either your local city council or St. Thomas Neighborhood Liaison at (651) 962-6123. For information regarding recycling in St. Paul call (651) 222-SORT (7678) or visit www.eurekarecycling.org
Contact a local insurance agent to learn more about renter’s insurance, and talk with your family to determine whether they already have insurance that would cover your belongings.