Finding an Apartment for Rent: Tips for Potential Tenants

As a tenant, you’d better know that renting different types of property are associated with different problems and opportunities. For instance, renters of apartments or studios tend to suffer from a lack of storage space or parking issues. Those renting a condo might have problems with condominium rules and terms. People living in a single-family house might face issues associated with a garden or attic.

Here at Rentberry, it’s a part of our daily routine to work with different types of properties as well as people renting different types of properties. In light of this, we know all the ins and outs of renting apartments, condos, duplexes, you name it, and we are ready to share our knowledge with you. So today our focus is on tips that will come in handy if you’re planning to rent an apartment.

Set Your Budget and Stick to It

If wasting time is not your idea of fun (and we assume it is not), then setting a budget is what you need to do first thing. The benefits of having your budget set are numerous, but the biggest one is that you immediately narrow your search down, which will save you time and effort on the way. If it gives you hard times deciding which part of your income should go for paying rent, remember that it’s suggested for renters to have a gross income that is at least three times the cost of their lease.

Research Your Chosen Apartment Complexes

One of the smartest things you can do before renting an apartment in a certain apartment complex is to Google it and see if there are any complaints or reviews from current residents. If there are some problems with the building, chances are good the agent or property manager won’t tell you (but Google surely will). When there’s something serious going on with an apartment complex (let’s say, it has problems with electricity or water pressure), you should learn about it before signing your lease.

Find Out How Much Storage Space is Available

Raise your hand if you also think that there’s never enough storage space in your home. No matter how big your new place seems at first glance, soon enough it turns out you need extra space to store your winter clothes or books you’ve already finished reading. If that sounds familiar, make sure to inspect your prospective apartment on the amount of storage space. Unlike single-family houses or duplexes, apartments don’t usually have a hall or extra closets.

Clarify the Parking Situation

Even if you noticed a parking lot while attending an open house, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have access to it as a renter. In nearly all cases, parking space near apartment buildings is limited. So if you’re a car owner, you’d better ask your prospective landlord about the parking policy right away. Being informed never hurts, agree?

Make Sure the Walls Are Not Too Thin

Living in an apartment means having neighbors that live leftward and rightward of you as well as above and below you. Under the circumstances, the question of noise gets critical. The majority of modern apartments have soundproof walls, but if the apartment building is relatively old, noise might be an issue. To find out if it is the case with your prospective home, try to schedule an open house during the early-morning hours. This is the time when people tend to be at home getting ready for work or school, which means you’ll get a chance to learn if adequate soundproofing is present.

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Find Out If Utilities Are Included

Renting an apartment with all utilities included saves money and effort. When you don’t have to worry about extra money to cover electricity or Internet bills, managing your monthly budget becomes a lot easier. One of the important questions to ask your prospective landlord whether or not utilities are calculated as a part of your monthly rent and if they are not, don’t shy away from asking how much money you should be ready to pay for them.

Guide for finding an Apartment for Rent

Check Your Water Pressure

If you’ve never lived in high-rises before, you might not even know that weak water pressure can be a huge problem. There is nothing more annoying than not being able to take a shower at your home simply because there are too many people already taking a shower at their homes (sounds funny, but it’s not). To save your healthy nerves, check the water pressure and, ideally, talk to neighbors from the same or higher floor to find out if water pressure is strong enough.

Ask About Apartment Community Rules

Pretty much like in the case with condos and co-ops, apartment communities might have their own terms and rules. For instance, you might not be allowed to make changes to the outward appearance of your apartment or make car repairs on the territory around an apartment complex. To save yourself the trouble, check out if some of the apartment community rules are present and think whether or not you’ll be comfortable following them day in and day out.

Talk to Your Prospective Neighbors

That’s one of the best things you can do as a prospective renter, seriously. By simply talking to your possible neighbors you’ll kill two birds with one stone. Not only will you get the idea of what kind of people are going to live next door, but you will also get a chance to learn some unobvious problems and peculiarities associated with an apartment and building.

Negotiate the Terms and Prices

In nearly all cases, it’s possible to negotiate a better deal by simply talking to your prospective landlord. Especially, if you’re armed with relevant information like for how long the property has been vacant or which tiny problems about the apartment might result in a discount.

Identify Your Priorities for Amenities

As soon as you’ve decided on a neighborhood and your budget, it’s high time to define which amenities should absolutely be a part of your new home. To avoid confusion and hours of time wasted, it’s better for you to choose your top three amenities instead of trying to find a rental that will contain everything from a fireplace and stainless still kitchen to hardwood floors and a rooftop pool. Choose three amenities that are your first priority and appreciate if your prospective apartment will feature more than that.

Check Locks, Windows, and Doors

What looks good doesn’t always work well. If you don’t want to end up realizing that your locks are broken or there’s no way to open a window in your bedroom, check every single thing in your prospective home. It might take some time, but it is absolutely worth it. After all, having good locks and properly working doors/windows is one of the best ways to protect your home from break-ins.

Searching and finding a perfect rental apartment requires some diligence and patience. Hopefully, the above-mentioned tips will help you avoid possible pitfalls and make your apartment hunting as seamless as possible. And no matter what, remember to have your objectives and goals in place. As long as you clearly understand what you need and how much money/time/energy you’re ready to spend in order to get it, you’ll surely end up securing the apartment of your dream.

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  1. Olivia Smart says:

    Thank you for your advice to talk to any potential neighbors. We’re starting our apartment hunting just this last week. I’ll be sure to try this out and see about getting a better idea for our potential apartments.

  2. Levi Armstrong says:

    I like your advice about choosing three amenities to prioritize and shorten our list of prospective apartments. My boyfriend and I plan to move in together this March. We need to find a two-bedroom apartment since I have a young son, so thanks for this advice!

  3. Lloyd Bronson says:

    I’m glad that your article mentions the importance of checking the locks on windows and doors in order to prevent any serious damage. My spouse and I want to rent an apartment in the future, to be closer to work. We’ll be sure to look into what options are available to us.

  4. Hannah Bowen says:

    Knowing what the parking situation in the complex is very important, as well as knowing that you should clarify with the manager is a great tip.

  5. Tonia says:

    All of these things are easier said then done. I am currently looking and I find that the one thing it’s not happening now Is some utilities are no longer included, and the rental price is higher then it’s worth it. And some properties are charging you for parking in an open lot. To top it off what you see on the apartment web page price it isn’t so. When you speak to them ask questions like noise levels or are your wallet sound proof they don’t know.

  6. Marcia Dixon-Richards says:

    Great advice especially issues such as parking, apartment rules, and having top priorities like washer/dryer, central air, # of bed/bath rooms, internet etc. Also it helps in understanding what to look for in an open house, such as having proper working locks, nuts and bolts on windows, cupboards and doors, leaking pipes and half broken stove/refrigerator. Types of amenities, Proof checking if there are issues by checking Google or neighbors and having room for negotiations while sticking to your budget. Thank you Rentberry.

  7. Easton Memmott says:

    I like the tip that you gave to set a budget for your apartment spending. My wife and I are looking for a new apartment, and it is important for us to not overspend on our rent. I will be sure to set a budget, so I can be confident that we will be able to afford it.

  8. Gina says:

    From a landlord’s perspective the minute you call about an apartment you are being interviewed.If a prospective tenant dosen’t answer the questions or is aggressive and demanding,they won’t get the apartment.Because,the landlord will decide right then wether they are going to be a problem once they rent the apartment.I am a landlord and I always ask alot of lifestyle do you have alot of visitors? Not exactly like that but I ask in a round about way.I don’t want grand central station in my building.Also,if I think that the prospective tenant is confrontational because I ask questions.I just don’t rent to them.Just put yourself on the otherside.What kind of people would you want renting your apartment? Certainly people that follow the rules.

  9. Duncan Lance says:

    It really can help to get some advice on what you should look out for when renting a new apartment. I think the article makes a particularly good point about talking to your prospective neighbors. After all, they can give you a good idea of how the apartment works and what is expected of you as a tenant.

  10. Callum Palmer says:

    You make a great point about prioritizing which amenities you’re going to need in comparison to others when choosing an apartment. After all, while everyone would love to have a pool to go to that really isn’t necessary. A necessary amenity would be something like gas, electricity, and maybe even internet considering how important it is nowadays.

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