What to Look for When Renting an Apartment
When it comes to apartment hunting, it can be easy to overlook some of the important stuff. Between looking at so many places in such a small amount of time and the stress of having to find a new home, you’re also asking yourself, “Will my bed fit in here? Is the apartment safe? How soon can I move in?"
And don’t forget, you usually only have one chance to see the apartment before signing the lease. So, what do you need to be taking note of?
This is a big one, and something many people overlook. Don’t just check what the reception is like in the lobby—see how it is in the actual unit. Loft-style apartments and older buildings can really kill a signal.
Actually look at the apartment
It’s easy to just glance at a place & say “I’ll take it!” Take a few extra minutes (or more—this is your time!) and look under the sink—do you notice any water damage? Look at the tub—does it need to be recaulked? Do all of the light switches work? How about the windows—do they all open?
Always look up. Ceilings are very telling about a property and one of the quickest ways to see if a unit has had any problems. Whether a building has issues with the roof or the bathroom upstairs leaked at some point, water damage is pretty easy to spot. If you notice something, try to get the full story.
During your tour, you’re likely going to pass someone in the hall or ride the elevator with some building residents. Don’t be afraid to ask them their honest opinion of living in the building. Some people may gush about how much they love living there, or maybe management sucks or you can hear everything from other units. You’d be surprised at how brutally honest people can be.
All of the Fees
Confirm all of the fees associated with renting the unit. Is there a utility package? Is there an application fee? Does the landlord require move in fees? Does the building require additional move in fees? It’s not very often all of those fees are disclosed up front, and we both know they can quickly add up. Make sure to do your research ahead of time to ensure you can in fact afford the apartment.
Nothing is worse than finding your dream apartment to only realize your bed doesn’t fit. Again, take your time. A landlord or broker will be patient and probably even help you measure if it means renting the unit out. They want to get it rented just as badly as you want to live there.