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What To Consider When Renting Your First Apartment

Updated on March 15, 2011


 Renting an apartment for the first time can be exciting but there are a few things you will want to consider before signing that lease.


One of the most important things you will want to consider is how much you can afford. Figure out how much you can afford each month for an apartment and find apartments that are withing that price range. Also take into consideration additional costs such as utilities, parking space, deposit, storage, taxes, insurance, or other additional costs. Many apartments will have utilities or other add ons included in the rent but not all will so check with your land lord.


If you own or would like to own a pet you will want to find an apartment that allows pets. Many places will allow pets but they may also charge an addtional fee for each pet or restrict to certain sizes or types of pets.

If you do not like animals you may want to consider an apartment where pets are not allowed at all.


 When thinking about renting an apartment you will want to consider the location. You might want to be close to work, schools, shopping, parks or other local amenities. On the other hand you may not want to be in an area with a high crime rate or far away from the things you want to live near. Make a list of things you want nearby and a list of things you want to avoid and compare apartments as you search.


 When searching for apartments take note of the clenliness. Decide wheather or not it is clean enough to live in. Check for signs of rodents,mold, insects, or other pests or problems. You may also want to find out about the history of the apartment and see weather there were things such as meth labs, asbestos, or other hazards you will need to be aware of. Many of these things can be taken care of before you move in. But if not make sure to have it in writing that it was there before you moved in so you do not get stuck with the bill to clean it if you decide to move in.


 Make sure the doors and windows are secure and lockable. Check the deadbolt to be sure it is working right. Check all fire alrms, smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors to be sure they are working and make sure there are at least 2 ways out in case of a fire or other emergency. Watch out for gas leaks as well. If you smell gas be careful and report it to the landlord.


 Before you move in check thouroghly for any damages or other problems and report it to the landlord. Get it in writing that they were there before you moved in. Otherwise you may get stuck with the repair bill. It would also be wise to take lots of pictures and keep them to show what it looked like before you moved in just in case there is an issue.


 If you are a smoker you will want to find out the rules on smoking. Some places do not care while others may be strict. Make sure you know the rules and are willing to follow them to avoid problems later on.

If you are a non-smoker you may want to consider a smoke free apartment.


If you have found an apartment you are interested in renting you will want to find out who your neigbors are. Talk to residents and get to know some of them and see who your neigbors might be. You will also want to find out if there are any people you should be cautious around as well. It also would not hurt to check your states sex offender registry especially if you have children so see if there are sex offenders living nearby. There may also be nusiances such as barking dogs, loud music, smoke, you may want to take into consideration.


 Find out what furniture and appliances you will need and see if the apartment you are considering has them or if you will need to supply your own. Some apartments are fully furnished but many do not have anything. Take this into consideration when apartment hunting.


 Make sure you read and understand the lease contract fully. Understand how long the lease is for and what your responsibilities are as well as the landlords responsibilities. Be sure you are ready to accept the terms before you sign. Once the lease is signed it if final and you and the landlord are bound to the terms of the contract.


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