Living on your own is one of the first signs of adulthood. More than a rite of passage, stepping out of your parents’ home is a huge decision to make. But these days, people prefer renting a property over buying a home because it is more convenient and enjoyable. Moreover, it offers greater flexibility and comes with great benefits like free access to building amenities.
A report shows that rental prices have become more affordable, making it an even more practical option. Make your life easier while hunting for the ideal rental property by considering factors such as the property’s affordability, number of bedrooms, and the like. In general, here is a list of things you should take note of before signing a lease:
Before anything else, make sure you are renting an apartment you can afford. Set aside a budget for rental expenses so you can get a clearer picture of how much your cost of living will be. The internet is usually a good place to start so you won’t have to hop from one prospective apartment to another. If you’re moving to Alabama, searching for Hunstville apartments for rent is just a click away. You’ll just need to filter out the search based on your budget and preferred amenities. Take notes and compare prices. Some important factors you might want to look into include the distance of the property from your workplace, its surrounding commercial areas, and more.
Neighborhood Crime Rate
Narrow down your apartment rental options by finding a place that is safe and provides a big bang for your buck. Before deciding on a property, do your research and check for neighborhood crime rates online. Talk to potential neighbors who could provide honest insight about the neighborhood you plan to move into. If you’re feeling extra cautious, you may want to look into places that have a doorman for added security.
And if you’re already searching for potential rental apartments in the area, you might want to consider driving around to nearby areas and checking out whether the neighboring properties are safe, as well. That way, you can ensure optimal safety before moving in.
Property and Equipment Inspection
Thoroughly examine the property before making any deals. Request a site visit during the day then schedule another one at nighttime to get a better grasp of the apartment you plan to stay in. After all, different times of day can change what a place looks like. A tame and quiet community at noon could, for instance, look entirely different come dusk.
But you’ll need to check every aspect of your rental home, including its interior. It pays to perform a home inspection to help you identify and prevent potential hazards. Some things you should keep an eye on include:
Test overhead lights and other fixtures to assess whether you need to install lighting fixtures before moving in. It will save you from unnecessary headaches caused by poor lighting, faulty wiring, defective outlets, or poor circuitry design.
Air Conditioners and Heaters
Check whether the air conditioning units and heaters are in good working condition when you first visit. Properly working HVAC appliances allow for better airflow distribution and a lower monthly electricity bill. If the units are defective, ask the landlord if they can be repaired or replaced to improve energy efficiency.
Plumbing and Electricity
Don’t forget to inspect all water and power outlets in the apartment. Check if the water coming out of the faucets and showerheads are clean. Examine exposed pipes in the basement, under the kitchen, and in the bathroom cabinets if there are any signs of leaks.
As for electrical sockets, go from room to room to operate lights and ceiling fans. Test whether the switches are working properly. Take note of electrical outlets, cable wires, and telephone connections in case you need to have more installed after moving in.
Document any interior damage you notice when inspecting your apartment. You can even take pictures of whatever is broken for proof. If you find an apartment rental you really like but has existing damage, try negotiating with your landlord on how to fix the problem before sealing the deal.
Once you’re happy with what you’ve seen, it’s time to review your lease agreement. Take your time reading every provision in the contract. More importantly, don’t be afraid to ask questions in case some sections are unclear. Finalize how much your rent will be and agree on fair terms of collection, potential rate increases, and terms for subletting with your landlord. Additionally, iron out details about the following concerns:
Making Changes to the Apartment
If you’re not completely sold on the apartment’s decor, ask your landlord if you can make changes to the space. This can range from embracing interior design changes to make the floor pop or a complete renovation. No matter how small or big the modification is, you need to make sure it’s permitted in the lease agreement.
Confirm which miscellaneous charges you are exempted from. This could include the internet connection, water bills, or other fees. If these deals are not available, you can get your own meter reading for utilities to avoid confusion in utility payments.
Some buildings and lessors don’t allow pets at all, while others limit to the number of four-legged companions you can bring with you. Read up on pet policies if you are set on living with a furry friend in your first apartment. Check the lease agreement for sections about a pet deposit, pet restrictions, and the like.
Your Future Landlord
When all is said and done, there’s still one last thing you have to consider — whether you can get along with your landlord. An overly demanding lessor could, after all, be a deal breaker for your next rental property. Meet with your landlord in person and make a judgment call to figure out if you would get along. If they make you feel comfortable, then you’re ready to sign a lease for your first apartment.
Raina Fadel believes in eco-friendly living and is trying to persuade people by writing to also do the same. She is also passionate about home improvement that she does not accept a professional fee to her family and friends. She is currently a writer for various clients for example Cyrus Rugs.