Renting an apartment for the first time

Image: Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock.com

If you are planning to move out of your parents’ house and move into your first apartment, you are probably excited. Rent an apartment for the first time can be an exciting experience. Suddenly you have the freedom to do whatever you want and create a living space that suits your needs.

But, of course, there are some drawbacks to renting, such as having to pay your own bills. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what every newbie should know before renting an apartment – to avoid running into problems in the future.

Establish your budget

One of the most important aspects to understand before renting an apartment is whether you can afford it. So create and stick to a budget. By doing this, you can increase your savings while also covering your rent, utilities, and other living expenses. Then ask yourself the following questions:

  • How is my credit?
  • Am I an attractive candidate for the owner?
  • Do I have to pay my bills on time?

If you can’t answer “yes” to all of these questions, your ability to get the rental you want may not be possible. This is because the majority of landlords want to know that their tenants will pay their rent on time every month. In this case, you may need to look for a apartment without credit check until you can improve your credit.

Know your needs

Then think about what you need in an apartment. This list should not include the amenities you would like to have, but rather the aspects you need to make living in your apartment as comfortable as possible. For example, knowing if you need access to public transportation or the ability to bring your pet to the apartment will help you narrow your search. Along the way, you might end up finding an apartment that meets some of your needs, but that’s just a bonus.

It is also essential to focus on the living space you need. For example, can you live in a studio or do you need something bigger? Evaluating your size requirements should be a top priority.

Visit of the apartment

Even if you have visited the apartment via a virtual tour, you should still visit it in person before committing. Virtual tours are great, but they don’t give you a clear idea of ​​what it would be like to live in the apartment. Moreover, when you are move from afar, the last thing you want is to be completely disappointed and have to back down. Likewise, touring the neighborhood around the apartment will give you an idea of ​​what the community is like, as well as the quality of amenities available to tenants.

Then, when you visit the apartment, ask the manager questions. For example, find out if some or all of your utilities are included in the rent payment. If not, as a first-time tenant you will need to create a new account with the local utility company, which may involve paying a fee up front to access their property. service.

Understanding parking availability

In the meantime, if you are looking to rent an apartment in an urban area, parking will likely be a problem. So find out if the apartment complex has parking for residents and, if so, if spaces are allocated or on a first come, first served basis.

Keep in mind that if you visit the apartment during the day, the land may be empty. However, this may not be the case in the evening, which could indicate a lack of places. Knowing the rules before you move in can prevent you from getting off on the wrong foot with your new neighbors.

Consult the rental contract

While you are eager to sign on the dotted line in the rental agreement, take your time to understand the contract. Specifically, the agreement should include everything you need to know about paying your rent and penalties for not paying on time, among other important details.

When you’ve never rented before, you may not fully understand some of the details of the contract, so it may be a good idea to have a lawyer review it for you. Either way, it’s better to be safe than sorry and get stuck with something you’re not comfortable with.

Evaluate tenant insurance

Your apartment management company may ask you to take out tenant insurance, but even if you don’t, it’s still a good idea. This will protect you in the event of theft or damage to your belongings, and will also pay for temporary accommodation if the apartment becomes uninhabitable for any reason.

Plus, when you can’t control what’s going on around you, things can happen that you are not responsible for. For example, if a pipe bursts in the apartment above you, the ensuing water flowing through the ceiling will damage your unit. Unfortunately, things like this do happen – it’s called Murphy’s Law!

The final walkthrough

When you finally have the keys to the apartment, you will make a final visit with the property manager. Take this opportunity to research the issues that need to be addressed so that you don’t get blamed for them later (if you miss any damage that has already been done to the apartment, you may need to pay it out of your security deposit. . at the end of the lease). While you’re at it, pay close attention to the kitchen and bathrooms, as these are more expensive areas to repair.

Relations with neighbors

Your relationship with your neighbors can have a big influence on your living experience in the apartment, whether good or bad. And, when you first rent an apartment, it can be easy to accidentally annoy your neighbors. For example, although you might want to throw an apartment warming party, too many guests and loud music might disturb your neighbors. But, if you let your neighbors know in advance, it’s less likely to be a problem. So take the time to introduce yourself – a friendly handshake and a little chat can go a long way in building trust.

Your first rental experience can be both an anxious and an exciting time. But, even if you will be the king of the castle, keep in mind that the tax liability will be much greater on your part. To this end, make sure you pay your monthly rent on time, and always strive to be the best neighbor possible.

About Madeline Dennis

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