10 Things You Must Know Before Renting an Apartment
Renting is an affordable alternative to buying an apartment, but finding one that meets your standards and fits your budget can be a challenge. Before you sign a lease, there are many things you’ll need to consider. Here are 10 things you need to know before you rent an apartment:
- Know What You Want
Before you even begin your search, sit down and create a list of your requirements. Are you looking for a building that’s close to work or school? Maybe you prefer to live in a quiet area, or hope to find an apartment that will allow you to have a pet.It’s important to know what you want before you begin searching, so you can instantly weed out properties that won’t be a good fit for you.
In addition, you will also want to visit the neighborhood that you’re considering at various times throughout the day to see if it meets your expectations.
- Know Your Budget
Knowing your budget is just as important as knowing what you want. Consider how much you can honestly afford to pay, ensuring that the rent does not exceed 30% of your income. Focus on searching for properties that fit within your budget, and consider spending less than the maximum amount you can afford.
- Know Where to Look
A broker can help you find an apartment that meets your needs, but if you prefer to avoid this extra cost, consider looking in paper classifieds, online, or local college campus, or apartment hunter publications.
- Know How to Create a Renter’s Resume
A renter’s resume, much like a CV, will include information that will help you stand out from the crowd of other applicants and demonstrate that you’re a trustworthy tenant. Be sure to include your previous addresses, personal references, your monthly income or a copy of your credit report in your resume.
- Know What You’re Signing
Before you sign a lease, make sure that you read it and go through every section of the agreement. Check to ensure that the following are included:
- The rental price
- Information regarding your security deposit
- The start and expiration date of the lease
- Possible reasons for your landlord terminating the lease
- Information on subletting
- Penalties for moving out before the lease expires
- Your responsibilities for repairs, if any
- Policies about guest visitors, if applicable
- Whether renter’s insurance is required
Make sure that you have a thorough understanding of the lease before you sign on the dotted line.
- Know How to Avoid Contract Issues
Never sign a lease without first seeing the apartment. It’s important to understand what you’re renting before you commit to a lease. Additionally, you want to avoid signing a lease that has an automatic renewal clause. It’s impossible to predict what will happen next year, so avoid committing to future renewals.Also, ensure that you avoid signing a lease that gives the landlord unlimited access the apartment without notifying you.
- Know What’s Included in Your Rent
Does the rental price include water, heating, electricity or any other utilities? If not, it’s important to determine the average cost of these bills, so you can budget accordingly.
- Know Your Landlord
Find as much as you can about your landlord. If you’re renting with a management company that runs thousands of apartments, don’t expect to be able to negotiate lower rent prices. However, if the building is managed by a family or small company, you may be able to secure a discount on the rent.
- Know What to Look for When Inspecting the Apartment
An apartment may look great, but there may be underlying issues that you won’t realize are there until after you move in. Before you sign a lease, check the following:
- Appliances and electricity. Make sure that lights and appliances are working properly.
- Pipes: Check for leaks.
- Windows and walls: Check to ensure that all windows open properly and listen to see how much noise comes through from neighboring apartments.
- Know How to Negotiate a Deal
Read over your lease carefully. If there are amenities that you do not need or if you’re willing to take on some maintenance tasks yourself, you may be able to negotiate a lower rent price. You may also be able to land a better deal if you offer to sign a longer lease or provide a higher security deposit.
Anisha Ambrose writes about property and real estate in India. She works in NeedaProperty.in company for 1 year as a marketing manager. She likes to share her experience with those who are interested in property market!