Apartment Renting Basics: Apartment Renting For The Novice

Before signing an agreement: Are you ready to move and can you make your lease payments? Is it worth having a roommate, or should you live by yourself? If you can?t qualify for the community where you want to live, could you have a co-signer or a guarantor?Ask lots of questions. A leasing agent isn?t a mind reader. They need to know what your needs and price ranges are.Always check with your Community Management Team to make sure whether pets are allowed. What kind of pets you can have, what weight and how many? What extra costs and regulations are involved? Remember, if you use a Certified Service Animal, there are special provisions for this.Read your lease from front to back. Take your time and seek legal help if you do not understand anything in it. (Don?t take the agent?s word for anything questionable. Get an actual legal opinion!) The lease agreement is a legally binding contract.Purchase a Carbon Monoxide Detector if gas is used in your apartment.Get renters? insurance to cover any losses from unforeseen emergencies.Connecting and disconnecting your utilities is your responsibility. If you fail to do so, someone else will reap the rewards of your failure to be responsible. Make your own leasing file and keep all copies and pictures in that folder. Always cover yourself by making copies of your contract, move-in checklist, any checks or money orders, handwritten work orders, complaints against other residents and, most of all, your Notice to Vacate. Make sure you get a time, date and signature of the leasing agent of everything you give them. Do not assume the items you give them will make it into your files with them. Things do get misplaced; to error is human. Do not think you are above the rules of the Community. This could cost you a non- renewal or eviction. 7 years is a long time before qualifying for another apartment. Always do a walk-through checklist when you move in and do a wal