Searching for the perfect apartment to rent but unsure how to do it?
There are plenty of things that you need to keep in mind and consider, and no matter how many times you’ve been told renting an apartment is straightforward, one challenge that remains so is the rental search, the lease, and agreement. Stop stressing over rental applications and leases!
PropertyTalk’s 8 Tips For Tenants
Looking for a new apartment to rent can be an overwhelming process. Whether you’re a first-time renter or experienced in the apartment search, check out our PropertyTalk expert guide packed with practical tips and tricks that will help make your search easier and faster.
1. Can You Afford That Apartment?
Have you considered what utilities you’ll be responsible for, additional fees or charges, and extra costs you might need to consider before renting an apartment?
Let’s face it, the price listed on an advertisement or website isn’t the only number you need to consider. You might have to consider plenty of extra fees, and let’s not forget that you also need to worry about a deposit. Unless you can afford to rent a new apartment, don’t take the plunge too soon—there’s probably no rush.
Work out your budget for the deposit, the rent, and other ongoing expenses before you begin your search for a rental apartment.
2. Research Your Market and Make a List of Must-Haves
Before you start searching for your dream apartment, it’s important to have an in-depth understanding of the market in order to identify the best properties for your needs.
Start by researching average rental costs and potential neighborhoods within your budget. Then, create a list of must-haves that are non-negotiable before beginning your search. This will help narrow down the properties you want to check out and give you confidence when signing a lease.
3. Does It Offer What You’re Looking For?
There are a lot of choices when you’re looking for a new place to rent. Whether it’s luxury apartment homes you’re after or a quiet and peaceful studio apartment in a superb location close to transport, try to list things you want from your next rental. Don’t settle for less because you’ll likely be locked into a contract that lasts several months. The last thing you want is to be forced to live somewhere you don’t like or lack the amenities you want.
4. Avoid Potential Problems With Effective Screening
When you find your ideal apartment, take the time to screen potential tenants and roommates who will be living with you. Do a background check on potential tenants/roommates to ensure they have not caused problems in past homes or rental spaces. Once you have found your dream apartment, review the lease agreement carefully – ensuring both parties understand their responsibilities before signing.
5. Decide What Kind Of Lease Is Right For You
Before signing a lease agreement, you must decide which type of lease best suits your needs – short-term or long-term. Short-term leases are usually 6-12 months, while longer leases can extend for up to three years.
Shorter leases are ideal for those looking for more flexibility and less commitment, while longer leases provide more stability and economic advantages. Consider the length of time you plan on staying in the apartment before making an informed decision about which type of lease is right for you.
6. Negotiate Lease Terms To Get The Best Deal Possible
Although tenants must abide by a few legal requirements, such as providing a safe living environment, landlords and tenants can negotiate the terms of a lease agreement. You could save money by negotiating lower monthly rent, free or discounted parking, or fewer pet fees.
Even if you don’t plan to renew your lease, understanding the terms could still advantage you financially in other ways.
If the rental market is slowing down, landlords may be more willing to make concessions to keep occupants in the apartment. Keep an open line of communication with your landlord throughout the process, and ensure both parties have agreed upon all terms before signing any document.
7. How Eager Is Your Landlord?
Another thing to pay attention to is your landlord. Suppose they’re incredibly eager to try and get you to rent an apartment. In that case, there’s a good chance there’s something wrong with the property, and you might want to double-check everything they say by visiting the apartment and examining it. Once you’ve signed a contract, there aren’t many ways to get out of it, so stay alert and make sure you’re not getting pulled into a bad arrangement. This doesn’t apply to all landlords, but it’s still a good idea to double-check if they’re telling the truth when they try to convince you to become a tenant.
8. What Are The Neighbors Like?
Unless you love dealing with bad neighbors , make sure you get to know them before you move in. This will help you decide if the local community is fit for you or not. It might not sound like a huge deal because you don’t have to interact with them, but having good neighbors can make life in your new apartment far more enjoyable. You’ll be sharing walls and hallways with them, and you might even see them visiting the same stores, so try your best to gauge what your neighbors are like before you sign the contract.
Furthermore, before signing your lease agreement, talk to the neighbors about where you plan to rent. Ask about whether it is a safe area, any noise generated by neighboring tenants, or even get an idea of what you may need to pay in terms of utilities. You can also inquire if there have been any maintenance issues in the past that you should be aware of before committing to a long-term lease. Know as much as possible before signing anything to ensure your new apartment is the best fit for you and your lifestyle.