What to look out for when renting an apartment
So, you are finally out on your own, looking for your very first apartment… but you have no idea what, exactly, to look for. Should you consider the tiny studio apartment with the great view (but brown water in the bathroom) or should you rather opt for the large two-bedroom townhouse with enclosed garden (but with noisy neighbours)?
It can be difficult to choose a new apartment that is ‘just right’ for your needs, so below is some handy advice on what to look out for when renting an apartment.
What is the surrounding area like at all hours?
Real estate agents and landlords want their apartments to look their best when people come to view them, so they will often choose the best times of day and night to show them to potential renters.
You may be dazzled by the address, but it is important to consider what the area is like at all hours of the day, which will involve some research. Consider whether or not the area was difficult to drive to or to take public transport to, and if there are a lot of bars or restaurants in the area. You should also look if there are a lot of intersections and public transport stops nearby your apartment complex, which could create excessive noise levels.
What is the inside like?
When you are viewing a rental apartment, it is vital to be observant of the interior. Will you have to buy new bedding for the bedrooms if it is unfurnished? If so, look for neutral sheets and blankets for sale until you find your colour scheme.
Check for signs of damp, flaking paint, broken furnishings or any repairs that may need to be carried out. If you notice more negatives than positives, then you should look at other apartments. Having to repair broken taps, worn-out washing machines and falling-apart cupboards can drain your finances so be sure to carefully examine every inch of the apartment before making final decisions.
An important aspect to check when viewing an apartment is whether or not the doors and windows open and close easily. This is especially important if the apartment is in an industrial or high-crime area, as you will need to keep your belongings safe while you are away at work during the day.
If it is an older building, be sure that the windows have not been painted shut (which can be difficult to fix) and that the hinges and handles of doors are not rusty or sticking. Check for drafts coming from closed windows and test how easy it is to push a closed door open. While these certainly should not be deal breakers, having to call someone in to fix them can cost you time and money if your landlord is unwilling to pay for these repairs himself.
How clean is it?
One important aspect to note is how clean the apartment is when you view it and when you move in. On the viewing day, the landlord likely wants to put forward the best possible impression, but it may not be this clean when you arrive on moving day.
If you notice any stains on the carpets or mould in the bathroom during your viewing, it could be best to consider another apartment. Mention these issues to the landlord when you notice them and ask if the apartment will be cleaned before you move in. If they say no, you may need to prepare yourself for a day or two of cleaning when you move in. Old stains, such as spilled wine on a carpet or a burst geyser in a bedroom, may never be removed which can be a deal breaker for some.
What about the fur-babies?
If you are renting an apartment and plan on moving in with your pets, you will need to ensure that the apartment complex body corporate allows for pets and that that complex itself is safe enough for your pets to run around freely.
You will need to stipulate to your landlord how many pets you currently have and whether or not you plan on getting any more. If you are allowed pets, be sure that you have sufficient blankets, bedding and toys for them so that they do not scratch or damages any furniture that may be included in the rental. If there is an outdoor space, ensure that it is completely safe before you allow your pets to explore.
Moving on up
Finding the perfect apartment to suit your needs can be very tricky. When looking at the area the apartment complex is in, be sure to consider the safety of your children and pets. Pay careful attention to the inside when you view it and make note of any damages to furniture or finishes. You will have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince, as the saying goes, but if you follow the above advice you will be able to find the perfect place to call home in no time.