At some point of your life, there is a guarantee that you will be renting an apartment whether it be short-term or long-term. Nonetheless, you’ll experience how it feels and lives to be a tenant. The experience can be exciting… and stressful.
Perhaps someone already told you that looking for your ideal apartment is difficult, you wouldn’t understand how challenging it is until you’re actually on the lookout yourself. You will be asked to remember a lot of things (especially by your parents) but with so little time, you won’t get to pick all of them altogether. Plus, the open house and lookout experience is so overwhelming that sometimes, you just forget to even ask the important questions.
And as more and more options you have on your plate, the more pressure you feel weighs on you and it even intensifies whenever you’re reminded of your notice period. Don’t forget the most important things you need to know and ask when looking for a rental. Here are a few points you should remember for these are the ones people on the hunt for vacancies usually forgets.
Apartment layout and storage. How convenient and practical do you think is the apartment laid out? What comes with the apartment? Will your queen size bed fit in the bedroom? Do make sure that you ask the landlord the size of the space and what’s the most ideal layout especially for those which only has a one big open space, bathroom and kitchen. You might want to contemplate on how you’re going to set privacy for your ‘bedroom’ or how you will separate your living room from your bed space.
More importantly, is there a designated storage you can use? Do you think all your furnitures along with your appliances will fit perfectly in the apartment? What about storage for your groceries and other necessities? Will it have enough room for it or will it appear to be too cluttered and unorganized? Consider these things when stepping in a vacancy.
Location and neighborhood. One of the factors that you should look into and know if the place is the right spot for you is the area and neighborhood. Is the area close to your work and accessible? Does it get flooded during storms? Is the community it’s in peaceful and quiet? You need to know these for it may only cost your more than a headache in the future when you’re already there.
Moreover, talk to the neighbors — the other tenants and a few from the community around the apartment building. You can’t choose your neighbors so get to know them and observe. Is it loud and noisy at night? Ask your neighbors if there has been some weird shenanigans that happened in the apartment. They will probably answer your questions honestly without bias.
Pets. If you are a pet owner and have more than one, this is an essential thing and you should never forget and look into. Some apartments have policies and rules for pet owners, it could be extra deposits, pet rent, if the apartment is carpeted, you should replace it if your pet discharged on it, and other strict conditions.
Cellphone signal. Now, this one important criteria is the most overlooked often times. You need to know how strong the cellular signal is for you will be living there for months. What if you receive delayed messages? You don’t want to hang your head outside the window when having a conversation with someone over the phone, do you? Or stay in a specific corner so little in space just to keep the call going and retain the level of signal. What if that little spot was in the bathroom? Yikes.
Repainting and home decoration. Not just repainting but basically all decor and design related concerns. Some apartments might let you repaint the walls but of course, still meeting certain rules and conditions. While others won’t even let you cover them with wallpapers. Find out what you can change up around the house the sooner chance you get so when you’re already there, you’ll know what and what not to do and most especially, you won’t wallow in disappointment once you already paid the deposit.
Ask regarding the previous issues. It’s your right as a potential tenant to ask what happened with the previous tenant/s; did someone die there? Was there a history of electrical issues and whatnot? How about a previous issue of lead poisoning? It’s better to be sure and safe that not caring at all. Throwing these questions to the landlord can be unsettling but you can do it subtly and ensure you phrase your words appropriately so no offensement will be taken upon.
Ensure everything works. Landlords can be pretty convincing. They’ll tell you the place is perfect for you and seems like made for you even. And they’ll tell you everything works fine — the electricity, heating and cooling system, sink, toilet, etc. But you won’t really get the grip of it once you’re already living in the flat. Ensure that these essentials are functional and if ever you encounter a problem, contact your landlord immediately and ask them to let their service repair it for you and make sure that it remains fixed if not for the whole duration you’re there, at least for as long as possible. Ideally, the landlord has the responsibility to fix the issue and you don’t have to pay for the service, they should cover for it.
Read the lease. When will you people learn? Always. I repeat, always read the fine print before you agree and sign the document and in this particular circumstance, the lease. There are different laws in every state which only goes to show how important it is that you read what is written in papers. In addition, if you come across something and want to change it in a way that is favorable to you as well as the landlord, you can come to terms with them. They may let you alter and change a bit as long as it’s still acceptable in their eyes. You might find your request approved by them as long as it’s reasonable. You see how important reading leases is? Who knows maybe your landlord might allow you to throw a dog party every Sundays.
About Chie Suarez
Chie Suarez is a resident writer for RealPro, a licensed Real Estate and Business Agency. Chie usually finds herself accidentally stepping inside a home department store and open-house models.