Searching for apartment rentals can be daunting. Between thinking about the location, hiring a real estate agent, and getting your budget together, it's no wonder this is usually a dreaded task. And with the amount of information given in today's world, it's difficult to know which pieces of knowledge to keep and which to throw away. Fortunately, you can narrow down the most important information about finding a rental into five easy-to-remember tips. Read on to find out what they are and why they should always be followed.
1. Do your own research on the location.
- This might seem obvious at first, but sometimes people rely on their leasing agent to tell them about the area. While your agent can give you an overview of what the area is like, they can't directly tell you whether the area is safe or not, which is an important factor when choosing a location. Doing your own research will ensure you have all the knowledge about the location that you want and need.
2. Don't forget about utilities.
- When you're drafting your budget, don't forget to include what the utilities might cost. Some apartment complexes might include utilities, but not parking and cable. Other complexes may not even include electricity or water. Asking your agent exactly what is included in the price will help you stay within your budget.
3. Read everything carefully.
- A rental agreement is a legally binding contract between you and the landlord. Because of the binding nature of the contract, it's important to ask all questions and make sure you understand everything before you sign. You will be responsible for all costs noted in the contract, regardless of if you want to move early or not.
4. Ask about a security deposit.
- Some landlords might require that you pay a security deposit, which is insurance for them in case you damage the apartment. In the event that you don't damage it at all, the security deposit is returned. In some areas, it's illegal for the landlord to ask for a security deposit, so be sure you know the laws that pertain to the area you will be living in.
5. Do a walk through after you move in.
- It's a good idea to do a walk through in your apartment after you sign the lease agreement. Take notes and photos of any existing damage you might see and report it to the property manager so they know you weren't responsible for it. If you end up moving later on, you don't want to be blamed for damage you didn't cause.
Finding a rental can be overwhelming, but remembering these five tips will help you navigate the process with ease.