Nothing can blow the wind out of your sails faster than falling victim to a poor apartment renting decision. It will not only affect you but your whole family as well. The search for an apartment can be tedious and time consuming, but you should remain meticulous and avoid making any rash decisions that may turn out to be a thorn in the flesh. Clarify every single detail with the landlord before signing on the dotted line.
To help you through this process, here are some handy tips for renting an apartment.
1. You Might Need a Co-signer
More often than not, you will be required to have a good credit score and a certain income level to rent an apartment. In cities such as Boston and New York, landlords demand that you have an income that is 40 or more times more than the monthly rent required. If you do not meet these requirements, then you might need a co-signer. You can get a family member or friend to help with this.
2. Redecorating Might Attract a Penalty
There are cases where you need written permission from the landlord before painting or decorating the apartment. This should be clearly stated in the lease agreement. You might also be required to return the apartment to the initial condition when you finally move out. This means that you’ll have to undo any modifications you made.
Find out what the terms of redecorating are and whether you’re comfortable with them. If you’re looking for fully furnished apartments, then you might not have much leeway on this since the owner will expect you to use and leave things as they are.
Do a security assessment of the apartment before signing the lease agreement. You might need to check whether the exterior lighting works and what other security measures have been put in place such as alarms, security cameras, and access security codes.
Are all the doors and windows lockable and in good condition? Are there glaring security vulnerabilities you can identify? Doing this will give you an idea of how much you will need to invest in security once you have moved in.
4. Pet Policy
This is important if you own or want to own a pet at some point. Ask the prospective landlord about their pet policy. Some landlords prohibit pet ownership in their property while some might have exceptions. For example, they might allow small dogs and prohibit bigger ones.
Make sure everything they tell you is captured in the lease agreement. This might just inform your decision on renting the apartment. You should note that some landlords charge a pet security deposit.
5. Health Considerations
This is one of the tips for renting an apartment that is often forgotten. You need to make sure that the apartment is a healthy environment for you and your family. Find out if there are any sickness, allergies and infection risks. For this, you might need a professional to help with the assessment.
Some of the things you should be wary about include the presence of mold, which can trigger allergies. Inspect all moist places for mold. Check whether there is any loose fill asbestos.