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Things to Consider When Renting an Apartment

Updated on May 14, 2009

Looking for an apartment to rent can be an overwhelming and tiring process. After looking at many different options, it's easy to be wowed by a place that shows well compared to the others. Just because a place looks good, doesn't always mean it's the right choice. Before you sign your name on the dotted line and commit to an apartment, there are a number of things you should consider.

Neighbourhood

When deciding on a new place to live, you should evaluate the surrounding area as much as the actual apartment. Whether you know exactly where you want to live or not, you should spend some time investigating the neighbourhood. Visit the area and walk around (yes, walk, not drive). If possible, try and speak to people who live there. Find out the good and bad points. Also, locate any specific areas or interest like schools, parks, nightlife, shopping, etc. How you feel about where your apartment is will have a positive or negative bearing on how you feel about living in your apartment.

Rent

Before you even begin to look for an apartment, you should have decided how much you can afford for rent and also how much you are willing to spend. Set a minimum and maximum limit for your monthly rent so you look at places you can afford. There is nothing worse than finding the perfect apartment, but having it way out of your price range. Also, don't forget to find out what is included in your rent. In some buildings, all utilities are included, which will make the rent higher, but on the plus side, you only pay one monthly bill. There are all kinds of combinations of what is included in a rent payment. Be sure to understand exactly what you are paying for. Also take this into consideration when determining your monthly maximum limit as you may be able to afford a little more if you have no other utilities bills to pay.

Amenities

Depending on where you rent your apartment, differing amenities will likely be included. Apartments can be found in everything from homes to high-rise buildings. It is important to decide what amenities you would like when you rent an apartment. Some will be deal breakers and others will be just added bonuses. From the outset have a clear understanding of what you require in your apartment. From laundry facilities to pets, exercise facilities, security and Internet and cable inclusion are all examples of amenities you could consider. What is important is understanding what you can and can't live with to help narrow down the number of apartments you view.

Rental Agreement

When you find your apartment, make sure to read the contract carefully before you sign it. Check things like the length of the lease and the conditions. How long you are locked into the lease, the beginning and expiration date, the rental price and what is included in the rent, notice of termination and responsibilities for repairs should be carefully noted. Make sure you obtain a copy of any rules and regulations and go through all of the paperwork carefully before signing your name.

Inspect (Don't Just View) the Apartment

When viewing potential properties, it is important to actually inspect it, not just look around and take it on face value. Remember, if it's furnished, that is not how it will look when you move in. Try to picture your belongings in the apartment. Take measurements if necessary to determine if your furniture will fit in the different rooms. Check pipes for water pressure and any leaks. Turn on lights to check the electricity and ensure heating (and air conditioning if available) work properly. Open and close windows and doors and check any locks. Finally, try and spend a bit of time in the apartment to listen for noise, whether coming from other apartments or outside.

Obviously, different people will weigh each of these considerations differently. What is most important when renting an apartment is having a clear understanding of what you want so you will not be disappointed in the long run. Remember, this is your home, you want to be happy living in it.

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    • profile image

      Jane Michelle 

      7 years ago

      great job. nice hub. I agree on doing inspection rather than depending on viewing pictures of the apartment. Inspecting is indeed essential. Checking of the apartment's utilities is also a must so you can consider your budget on utilities billing.

    • Christian B. profile image

      Christian B. 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      This helps so much. I'm looking for a roommate but these things will definitely be taken into consideration.

    • profile image

      janellelk 

      7 years ago

      Thanks so much for the great advice!

    • AllSuretyBonds profile image

      AllSuretyBonds 

      7 years ago

      Great Hub. These are some of the most important things to consider when renting an apartment. Determining what size of apartment you are wanting to rent is very on of the things that should be considered also.

    • ApartmentStunna profile image

      ApartmentStunna 

      8 years ago from Austin, TX

      Super Hub! Inspect (Don't Just View) the Apartment couldn't be anymore true. Our Texas apartment locators are trained to specifically tell clients about these issues and many times they do not end up leasing costing us mullah. This is what differentiates ApartmentNinjas from the rest of the competition. We actually want our customers to be "in the know" and happy where they end up renting. All the other apartment locator companies in Texas just want the client to lease somewhere (anywhere...doesn't matter)and be done with it so they can collect commission. Anyways, back to the great hub, inspecting the options you have considered leasing is an absolute must in order to assure you are getting what you are paying for. When viewing properties get your hands dirty, don't just do a walk through and if it looks cool lease. look under the sink, turn on the washer and dryers, run some hot water in the tub to see how long it stays hot, check the ice machine, open and close all cabinets, make sure all the kitchen appliances function properly, double check the gate clicker to see if it allows you access to the parking garage (has happened to me twice as well as wrong mail box key), etc etc. Articles such as "Things to consider when renting an apartment" and "Questions to ask when renting an apartment" found at http://blog.apartmentninjas.com/questions-to-ask-t... is the type of information renters really need, not sites listing fake deal numbers such as ApartmentWIZ and sites optimized for search engines as opposed to humans such as ApartmentWIZ and many others popping up everyday on the web. I'm going to spread the word about this section of hubpages as well as share relevant articles with my clients. Please do the same if you find the following site is helpful - http://www.apartmentninjas.com

    • westside1 profile image

      westside1 

      9 years ago from Santa Monica

      Great Hub! Another good way of looking for an apartment is by using westsiderentals.co , they can help you search for a place by the right neighborhood, certain amenities you want, wether you have a pet or not etc.

    • blackbv profile imageAUTHOR

      blackbv 

      9 years ago from Canada

      Inspecting is super important. It's amazing what you'll find once an apartment is emptied of furniture. Also, I always turn on taps and the shower to check the water pressure. Nothing worse than a crap shower.

    • Woodson profile image

      Woodson 

      9 years ago from Minnesota

      Thanks for the tips. I especially agree with your advice on inspecting versus viewing.

    • LowellWriter profile image

      L.A. Walsh 

      9 years ago from Lowell, MA

      Great work. Thank you! :o)

    • blackbv profile imageAUTHOR

      blackbv 

      9 years ago from Canada

      That's a great idea. I have definitely "found" things when I moved into a new apartment, so I'll have to remember this next time I move.

      Thanks!

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 

      9 years ago from Northern California

      Great Hub! You might even want to try to take some photos before you move in as well to clear you of any liabilities. Good tips!

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