How to Rent an Apartment

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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.

WHERE TO FIND AN APARTMENT:

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?
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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.