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6 Signs that an Apartment May Not be the Right One for You to Rent

Updated on September 23, 2015
Carolyn Gibson profile image

Carolyn is the retired owner of a property management company in Boston, Ma. She is the author of "Secrets to a Successful Eviction"

'As Is' means the tenant does the repairs and painting of the apartment.
'As Is' means the tenant does the repairs and painting of the apartment. | Source
Observe the condition of the building
Observe the condition of the building | Source
Visit the police station and inquire about criminal activities at the building where you hope to live
Visit the police station and inquire about criminal activities at the building where you hope to live | Source

Look and Listen Before You Lease

After a long time looking, you finally found an apartment in your price range. You make an appointment to see the unit, and you like it. But, before you sign a lease or take the keys, it is incumbent upon you to do your own due diligence. That means doing research on the property and neighborhood. It means speaking with the owner or property manager about policies or building conditions that may cause you to re-consider taking the apartment.

1. It Is Being Rented ‘As Is’

Although the apartment looked good, it wasn't fixed up. It looks exactly the way the last tenant must have left it. The landlord tells you it is being rented 'as is'.

If the owner isn’t interested in giving you an apartment that has been cleaned, painted and repaired, he is showing you the value he places on his property and on you as a tenant. If you add apartment equipment that doesn’t work, and you have an owner that isn’t willing to invest his money or maintain the apartment after you move in, you will be in a pickle . You will have to clean it, fix it up, and paint it yourself. All you will get for your rent and the security deposit from the landlord is a key.

2. You are Urged to Make Your Own Repairs

There are people who don’t mind making their own repairs. Handyman types like to have the chance to fix the apartment to their own liking. Still, it’s done at their own expense. Most people rent an apartment specifically because they don’t want the burden or expense of maintaining where they live. That is why they rent instead of own.

Tenant paid apartment maintenance work becomes an addition to the rent. It’s also money the owner doesn’t have to pay on the unit. Try to get the landlord to at least pay for the paint and painting supplies.

3. The Building is in Disrepair

If the entry way and hallways are in disrepair, express your concern to the manager or rental agent about the condition of the building. Especially if it looks like it would barely meet the minimal building inspection codes. The owner or property manager may tell you there are plans to fix it up in the next thirty or sixty days. Ask yourself these questions: Do you believe him? Are you willing to wait? What will or can you do if it doesn’t happen after you move in?

4. The Neighborhood is Run-Down

The rent is reasonable because of where the property is located. Many of the houses on the street are in poor condition. There is lots of automobile traffic on the street, especially at night. Visit the apartment building after hours to see what the nightlife is like at the building and on the street. Some of the streetlights are out. You check with the local police and learn there is evidence of serious crimes, prostitution, and apartment break-ins, including some in the building where the apartment is located. Is the rent still reasonable to you after seeing the neighborhood problems?

5. Oppressive Rental Policies

Ask to read the lease in advance of signing it for clauses you find repressive. Look for fees that are not included in the rent such as property maintenance fees for extra services, such as snow removal and lawn care. Visitors can’t stay more than five days at a time, excessive pet fees, etc.

6. No Quiet Enjoyment in the Building

Pay attention to a noisy building. Kids running around in the building day and night, constant loud music from the other apartments, tenants arguing with each other all the time, police sirens up and down the streets. All of these types of distractions will disturb your quiet use of the apartment.

Pay attention to these signs. In the final analysis, if you don’t feel comfortable with the apartment or the building, don’t take it. Don’t allow the owner or property manager to talk you into renting there. Wait until you find an apartment that is compatible with your perceived use. It’s your life, money, and quiet enjoyment of your living quarters that are at stake.


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    • Carolyn Gibson profile image

      Carolyn Gibson 4 years ago from Boston, Massachusetts

      Thank you. The more one knows, the better decisions one can make.

    • Writer Fox profile image

      Writer Fox 4 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      Whether purchasing or renting, I think it is always wise to talk to people in the neighborhood. Often you can find valuable information this way and also see if you and your family are a right 'fit' in the neighborhood. Sometimes the neighbors are more important than the property! Enjoyed your article.