If you're a first-time renter, or if it has been a while since you last rented an apartment, here are 5 great tips to keep in mind!
- Be prepared. If certain rental properties are in high demand and are selective in renting or leasing to applicants, you will gain a competitive edge by having the following information with you: a completed rental application; written references from landlords, employers, friend and/or colleagues; and a current copy of your credit report.
- Purchase renters insurance to cover your valuables. Your landlord’s insurance policy will not cover your losses.
- Carefully review all the important conditions of the tenancy before you sign on the dotted line. Your lease or rental agreement may contain a provision that you find unacceptable, such as restrictions on guests or pets, design alterations or running a home business.
- To avoid misunderstandings, keep copies of any correspondence with the landlord and follow up on any oral agreements with a letter, outlining your understanding. For example, if you ask your landlord to make repairs, put you request in writing and keep a copy for yourself. If he or she agrees orally, send a letter confirming this fact.
- Learn whether the building and neighborhood you are considering are safe. Get copies of any state or local laws that require safety devices such as deadbolts, and window locks; check out the property’s vulnerability to intrusion by a criminal and learn whether criminal incidents have already occurred.