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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

5 Problems to Expect When Renting an Older Home

Written by Posted On Friday, 01 December 2017 22:05

An old house lies hidden behind some trees, housing a mysterious family.

Renting out an older home can be a nostalgic experience for many people. It’s also very likely that a potential older home can be rented out for a cheaper rate than a newly established home. However, there are some essential problems that you should expect to deal with when you decide on renting out an older home.

Old Wiring

Older homes were built with electrical wires simply running through the walls without any sort of sheathing to protect them. This has led to brittle and exposed wires. This is a major fire hazard as exposed wiring could lead to a house fire. It’s best to ask the landlord whether or not they have upgraded the electrical wiring to have sheathing on it to protect against a hazardous event. In addition, you should be checking the cables in each room for any signs of breaking or wire exposure. Both of these wiring problems should be addressed before you sign the lease agreement.

Lead Paint

Any homes that were built before 1978 could potentially have lead paint on the walls. Lead paint is no longer available as it has been shown to have negative neurological effects on children’s brain. Any pealing of this type of paint, which can be seen on both the walls and small places like window frames, can potentially lead to being ingested by a child. If the home was built before or during 1978, you need to ask the property owner if the walls have been previously painted with a non-lead paint.

Mold Due to Leaky Ceilings

Older homes may have had a past history of roof leaks. Replacing the roof and damaged ceiling can eliminate the leak problem, but many property owners forget to check between the walls for excess moisture. When this moisture is left in between the walls, it will turn into harmful mold. When you are exposed to mold, you can experience an array of respiratory and physical problems. It’s important to question the owner of any past leaks and take note of any discolored areas on the wall where mold may be developing on the other side.

Termite Damage

The main building material for homes is wood, which can be easily destroyed by termites. When walking through a potential rental home you should be looking for key indications of termite damage. These signs include sagging floors, hollow-sounding wood supports, bubbling paint, and pinpoint holes in the drywall. All of these indications can suggest that pest control from a company like EMCO Pest Control is necessary before you agree to rent the home. If termites are left go, they can drastically decrease the structural integrity of a home. This could lead to potential harm to you and your valuables as support boards break and walls deteriorate.

Inefficient Windows

Older homes tend to be built with single-pane glass windows that don’t hold in heat or cold air as well as double-pane glass. You may also notice that there are leaks where the window doesn’t shut flush with the sill or the sills are starting to rot. These are indications that your heating and air conditioning bills are going to be more expensive than when renting a home with newer windows and frames.

When you decide to rent a home, an older style may catch your fancy. However, it’s important to access the problems that you may need to face with an older home as compared to renting a newer home. By knowing ahead of time what these problems are, you can better assess a potential rental home to ensure you won’t be dealing with these issues later down the road.

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