Finding the apartment of your dreams is an exciting new chapter in your life, no matter what your age. Around 25% of rental residents in a survey were renters by choice, meaning they simply prefer to live in an apartment rather than a house. Renting is a popular option for many to help with maintenance work and costs, to take advantage of fantastic amenities like a clubhouse or pool, or just because they are just not ready to buy a house quite yet. However, an apartment lease is a legally binding contract, and many rush into signing pre-leasing or leasing options without knowing all the facts. You may have thought you found the perfect property and location, but there are a few other things to consider before signing on the dotted line.
- Visit the Property
If pre-leasing or signing a lease is on the table, make sure your new apartment meets all of your criteria for function, safety, and comfort. A visit to the actual property, show room, or a similar apartment will allow you to see the space, amenities, and surrounding area. This is a good time to begin establishing a relationship with the landlord or rental property employee. Come prepared with all the questions you may have. If you see something that concerns you, make sure that these concerns can be addressed.
- Know What’s Included
There are some fabulous rental properties out there with all the rental amenities and extras one could need. Don’t get stuck with an apartment complex that doesn’t fulfill your specific wants. If you are looking to live the country club lifestyle, you may want to find out if your apartment includes use of a clubhouse, tennis court, a pool, exercise equipment, or a basketball court. Are you looking for furnished apartments? A property that allows pets? Are you looking to possibly lease with an option to buy? Make sure you are 100% clear on what else is included so you know how this new apartment will fit in with your monthly budget and lifestyle.
- Read Over the Lease Carefully
Whether you’re pre-leasing or signing a standard lease read it over carefully. It may seem like obvious advice, but don’t skip over the small print just because you’re in a rush. Some important factors that should be addressed in the lease include the guest policy, how long the lease term is, whether 24/7 maintenance is available in emergency situations, how much the deposit is and and whether it’s non-refundable, and whether personalization and customization is allowed. Once you know everything there is to expect in your new space you can feel confident signing the lease! There will be no unexpected surprises or problems awaiting you!
As a renter, don’t be blinded by the superficial when looking for apartments to rent. Use this checklist or create your own before pre-leasing or signing a lease! In order to ensure your time renting is as pleasant as possible from start to finish, do your research, know what your signing, and make sure your new space is exactly what you are looking for, without sacrificing any major wants or needs.