How to Rent an Apartment

photo by Photo by Andrew Neel from Pexels

There are many considerations when finding housing, including cost, location, apartment size, and potential roommates.  Living on your own or with a roommate requires budgeting and planning.  Rent and utilities should be your highest priority when it comes to spending your money.


Email or call the Property Management Company or landlord. When meeting with a landlord, remember this is your first impression.  Similar to a job, you want to make the best first impression possible. Be clean and well-groomed, and show up on time.

Here are the things to take with you while you look:

  • Proof of income and employment (check stub/W2 statement)
  • Bank account information
  • Name/phone number of personal or professional references
  • Co-signer info, if you are not able to use your own credit

When looking at an apartment, be sure to ask questions like:

  • How old is the building?
  • Have there been any known problems such as mold or asbestos?
  • What is the pet policy?
  • What is the parking situation?
  • Can I paint, or use nails in the walls?
  • Who pays garbage and utilities?
  • What do I do if something goes wrong or breaks?
Photo by Bran Sodre

Once you have all your questions answered and have decided on an apartment/ house, you must fill out an application and pay an application fee. This is a one-time fee, and usually non-refundable.  Always get a receipt for any fees, deposits, or rent you pay.  When you are approved for a lease, you will have to pay a security deposit and/or the first month’s rent before you move in.  You will sign the lease and receive the keys.  Read the lease very carefully.  Ask your landlord questions before signing a lease especially what happens if you break the lease.

So you’ve signed that lease! Now it’s time to set up utilities, get a roommate, and learn how to navigate house hazards.