How To Rent An Apartment
3 Steps to Rent an Apartment
I’ve rented many apartments over the years, some really nice, and a few real dumps (when cash was really low). Before you begin, remember his fact; appearances matter. When visiting potential apartments, look neat, well groomed, and behave professionally. You increase the likelihood of getting the apartment you want by looking like an attractive tenant!
Plan well, know what you want, and get a great apartment within your budget. And, if you’re hoping to save up to buy real estate later on, take on a room mate or two and look for an affordable place.
Step 1; Prepare
- Prioritize your preferences regarding the apartment. Consider the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you need as well as size, amenities, and location. Be prepared to compromise, you may not get everything you want at a price you can afford.
- Gather documents that support your ability to pay for the apartment. Paycheck stubs and a verification of employment and earnings from your employer are a good start. Prepare an employment summary with contact phone numbers in advance and bring it with you to show the potential property owner that you are responsible.
- Prepare a rental history. Give the names and addresses of your previous three to five landlords. If this is your first time attempting to rent an apartment, provide three to four references that can vouch for your dependability and character. Include at least one professional reference.
- Check your credit report. This can be done at no charge through annualcreditreport.com, Many property owners check your credit before letting you rent an apartment and some might make a decision based solely on your credit history. If you have less than stellar credit, bring proof of on-time payments from at least one company you do business with. Utility companies are a good option. In the event you don’t have any positive credit references, ask the property owner if you can pay a higher deposit in lieu of a good credit score.
Step 2; Scout Apartments
- Visit Craigslist and keep an eye on the classified section of the local newspaper (online or print). Drive around your desired neighborhood looking for “For Rent” signs. Visit complexes that appeal to you and speak with the leasing agent. Look for rental brochures or magazines in your area. Spread the word among your friends that you are looking for an apartment.
- Tour the apartment with the property owner or the agent. Keep an eye out for damages or defects. If there are any damages, be sure to have them included in the rental contract. You definitely don’t want pay for those later.
- Bring a pen and paper,or tablet, to every apartment you visit to make a list of pros and cons. You can also ask the property owner if you can take pictures to compare apartments when you get home.
- Contact the property owner as soon as you decide what apartment you want to rent. Procrastination may cost you the apartment you really want.
- Rents are negotiable. If you offer good credit and rental history, discuss the possibility of lowering the rent. Bring comparable rents in the area to support your request.
Step 3; Sign the Lease
- Read the entire lease before signing. Make sure all terms and conditions are exactly as you agreed upon. If you are unsure about anything, ask for clarification or take the lease to an attorney or trusted friend to review.
- Walk through the apartment immediately after you sign the lease to check again for damage and defects. If you notice any, contact the property owner immediately.
- Arrange for your move. In some areas, you may have to coordinate the use of parking spaces or service elevators to get your belongings into the apartment. Allow several days to prepare before and to get settled after.
- Check out these 8 Things to Know and Do Before Renting an Apartment at Moneycrashers.
Live beneath your means and build long term wealth.
And for more great tips on basic Wealth Building Strategies, don’t click on the link. After all, you don’t want to get too money smart.
What are your tips for renting? Share your secrets!
A version of this article was previously published & comments remain intact