Start early! Call 45 days in advance and
see what is available. Have your move-in date and amount you can afford
to pay ready.
Know the area! Find the average price of
other apartments in the area. Don't pay more than others do.
Be ready to pay an additional deposit if
the building allows pets and you want to bring yours in.
Ask yourself the right questions. Do have
special parking requirements? Do you need a dishwasher and disposal? Make
a list of what you need. It is easy to miss those items when you are at
Find out what changes you can make to the apartment, like painting walls,
installing shelves, and remodeling.
neighbors? Check out the common walls. Are they thin? If so, you could be
unpleasantly disturbed or you may disturb someone else with your noise.
Negotiate! Landlords and management companies
will often negotiate the rental price and/or security deposit.
Be ready to get hit with an additional fee
for the application or a tenant screening fee.
If you can't afford it, barter! Ask if you
can help with odd jobs, maintenance, lawn maintenance.
out the extras. Ask about covered parking, a yard, storage, laundry facilities,
pool, or gym services.
Do your inspection! Make sure all repairs are performed before you move
in so you won't be charged for them when you move out. Get everything in
Ask about a lease with an option to purchase.
Ask if your security deposit can be placed in an interest-bearing account.
Some states have laws about how security deposits are treated, so don't
be afraid to ask.
Is it tech ready? Make sure your cell phone
works! Ask about Internet services and if there are charges for use. Find
out about cable TV, what channels are available, and phone lines.
Make sure your lease specifies how soon you
will receive your security deposit when you move out.
Don't be shut out. You landlord by law cannot
discriminate or not lease to you based on age, sexual preference, ethnicity,
or physical handicap. If so, contact you local housing authority.