If you’re venturing out on your own and apartment hunting for the very first time, you will soon be privy to the chaos that comes along with this newly acquired freedom. There should be a class requirement on renting basics and the apartment searching process, because many people unfortunately end up learning the hard way on what things to look out for. Having your own place is a great feeling, but there are a few tips to remember before you move in.
Here are three things you don’t want to forget before renting an apartment:
1. Read the Lease
It may seem obvious, but many prospective renters sign a lease without actually reading it. It’s easy to understand why, since most lease agreements are drafted in legal jargon which can be confusing to the everyday person. Even if you have a great talk with the landlord or property manager about the apartment and the community, you need to understand what you have committed yourself to for the duration of the lease and get it in writing. Don’t rush through signing a lease, and keep note of important policies, additional fees, and community rules.
2. Talk to the Neighbors
If you have your list boiled down to a few communities, talking to potential neighbors can be extremely insightful when making a decision. They’re the best source of honest and direct reviews, because they can tell you exactly what you can expect if you sign a lease. The feedback could be positive or negative, but either way, the information you collect will be beneficial when it’s time to weigh your options. Review sites are also helpful for renters that can’t go see an apartment in person. If this is you, a review site can give you inside knowledge about the apartments from current or past residents.
3. Investigate the Cabinets & Under the Sinks
This is the simplest way to discover whether the prospective apartment has an insect or rodent infestation, or plumbing issues. Before you determine whether or not there’s space for your dishes and glassware, keep your eyes peeled for bug or mice droppings in the cabinets and drawers when doing a tour. Cabinet corners are a favorable environment for insects, and don’t forget to check under the bathroom sink as well as the kitchen sink for water damage. If you do find any of the problems listed above, immediately inform the property manager or landlord so they can resolve the issue quickly.
Where you decide to call home for the next year or two is a big deal, especially if this is your first apartment. Looking for an apartment can seem like a difficult process, but if you follow these three tips before you sign on the dotted line, your new apartment will certainly come with fewer complications than if you do not.