Whether it’s your first or tenth time finding a place to rent, there are a laundry list of things you want to look for when it comes to finding a rental that not only indulges you but one that you don’t need to call maintenance staff because the sink is leaking every week.
Check all sources to make sure you don’t miss a dream apartment. – Most of the time when looking for rentals you might browse through the typical online classifieds like Craigslist or look through online apartment search engines. The multiple listing service real estate agents use also has an inventory of available rentals that may not be advertised anywhere else.
Ask to talk with a current tenant of the building. – Leasing agents will give you plenty of information but at the end of the day it is still their job to help you into a rental in their building. Before arriving be sure to ask the leasing agent if they know of a tenant you could speak with about living in the building. If not just ask a tenant who is walking through the building what they think about it. Tenants are the best source of raw information on management and building maintenance.
Do they allow subleasing? – Things happen and if you think you may not be able to complete your full rental term (typically 12 months or more) then you’ll want to find a rental where the landlord/management company allow subleasing. Subleasing basically means that the landlord leases the home to you and you then lease the home to another person. It’s not too common anymore but it can be a saving grace if you need it so keep the possibility in mind.
Are there any major developments going up nearby? – It doesn’t get much worse than finding a gorgeous rental property with a panoramic view of the river and then five months into your lease you see a new tower developing right in front of your window that’s blocking your view. Find out about any new construction going on in the area before signing on the dotted line.
When was the building last renovated? – Unless the building you are considering is new construction you want to make sure that you aren’t renting an apartment in the early to mid stages of a full building renovation.
How safe is the area? – This might seem like an obvious one but take the full scope of safety into consideration: Will your car insurance be much higher because the the apartment building is in a high crime area? Will you be a prisoner in your own apartment after the sun goes down? Safety statistics can be found on numerous websites including the Census Bureau and City-Data.
Are there any ongoing incentives being offered? – In areas of high competition management companies will offer incentives to renters to choose their building over those of their competitors. Popular rental incentives include one to two months free, no pet deposit or free garage parking.
Thorough research will help you save a ton of money and get you into an apartment rental where you won’t be kicking yourself in six months because you’re miserable. While searching for the perfect apartment be sure to pick up local newspapers and check the paper classifieds. It’s becoming an antiquated approach now that online classifieds are beginning to dominate but you might find an amazing deal on a rental from a local landlord who won’t use online classifieds to market their rentals.