While renting an apartment does not come with the same type of permanency as purchasing a home, most apartment complexes and landlords require a tenant to sign a lease of one or more years. Thus, selecting the right apartment is essential. Signing a lease on the wrong apartment will lead to nothing but headaches, so it is well worth your time to explore your options before making a decision.
If you are planning on renting an apartment soon, avoid these major mistakes:
1. Not Seeing the Apartment
The internet has changed the way that people search for real estate, including apartments for rent. While you can learn a lot about an apartment that is available to be rented by reading a description on a website and looking at the photographs posted, relying solely on a website is never a good idea. If you are prepared to sign a lease on an apartment for rent, it is imperative to view the apartment itself and the complex or building beforehand. Visiting in-person is the best way to determine whether a specific apartment is a right fit for you.
2. Not Reading the Lease
After you find an apartment that you love, you will most likely be very excited to move in. However, the last thing that you should do is sign a rental lease without reading the entire contract. An apartment lease contract may be long-winded and boring, but it will tell you very important information about your responsibilities and what to expect during the term of your lease. If you encounter problems while renting an apartment but did not read the lease beforehand, there is a good chance that you will have no recourse.
3. Failing to Take Photos
Almost all apartment complexes and landlords require a new tenant to place a security deposit before he or she can move into an apartment. In some cases, a security deposit can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars, so it is natural to want to get your deposit back after you move out. If you want to increase the likelihood of getting your deposit back at the end of your lease, always take photographs of your apartment upon move-in. If you find any damage or issues, make sure that you take close up photos and submit them to the apartment complex or landlord so you don't get charged for repairs.
To start looking at apartments for rent, start contacting local landlords or property managers.