Renting an apartment is a long and tedious process.
The apartment owner wants to rent the apartment as soon as possible, sure. But as a prospective tenant you need to be wary of a handful of things related to apartment renting. It's common for apartment owners to slip a lie every now and then just to get you to sign the paper and move in. As a tenant, you need to learn the ropes quickly before you end up paying down payment for an apartment that isn't right for you.
Here are some tips that make life much easier when renting an apartment:
1. Location and safety of the neighborhood
The neighborhood is an important factor to consider when choosing an apartment. Sometimes, believe it or not, it's even more important than the apartment itself!
The location of the neighborhood is critical. Where is the apartment located exactly? If you're employed, is it close to and from work. As a student is it accessible to school or university? Is it walking distance from public transportation, or is your own private car a must?
Safety is another concern. Before moving you, you need to look for signs of security issues around the block. Are there metal bars in the windows of most nearby houses? Is graffiti a common sight? Put these into consideration when choosing an apartment.
2. Financial history
Even after the inspection and saying you like the apartment, most apartment owners feel safe by running a background check on you to make sure you aren't up to something funny. He or she might ask for you information such as rental history, previous addresses, income and bank accounts, professional and personal references.
The apartment owner might ask for your Social Security Number to check your financial background. So unless you've decided to rent the apartment, don't readily give out your SSN as prevention against identity theft.
3. Payment method
Method of payment is another thing you might want to discuss with the apartment owner before you agree to sign anything.
Some apartment owners prefer lease agreements, while others would rather have you paying rent on a monthly basis. Most leases run up to six months with renewable options. This means you pay in bulk for up to that length of time.
If you can't afford a lease, or at least you don't see yourself living in the apartment for very long, you might want to opt for a monthly payment option. The downside is here the apartment owner can decide to change rental policies anytime, some you might not agree with, and be forced to move out all of a sudden.
4. Checklist for inspection
• Check the sturdiness of the front door and look for signs of attempted break ins
• Is the apartment fitted with deadbolts?
• Ask the apartment owner if he or she can install additional deadbolts
• Do windows lock properly?
• Are the plants in the entrance trimmed properly or overgrown?
Apartment renting can be a long and difficult process, especially if it's your first time and you have no idea what you're doing. My suggestion is for you to follow these tips so you have at least some idea of what to do during the inspection.