What to Look for When Renting an Apartment Checklist
Joey McDowell is an experienced writer and editor originally from the Dallas area. A firm believer in a well-balanced lifestyle, Joey applies this forward-thinking approach as the editor-in-chief of The Idea Trader. He travels extensively to find compelling stories and insightful individuals.
Are you looking for a wonderful apartment where you can enjoy your life? You don’t have to buy it. Renting is an excellent option, especially if you would like to change apartments down the road.
However, renting an apartment can be as tricky as buying it. There are many things to consider and questions to ask before you sign any papers and move in. Below is your full guide to renting an apartment that won’t disappoint you.
You may also want to read this article on how to find a roommate for an apartment.
1. Check Out the Surrounding Area Thoroughly
It’s not enough just to come at a certain time of the day and check the surrounding area. Take this point seriously and check the area on both workdays and weekends during all hours.
While it sounds crazy, it can save you a lot of nerves, time, and money in the future. Many times, landlords invite the potential renters at a certain time of the day which is peaceful and safe.
At this time, you might not be able to see your neighbors and see how they behave. Plus, you can’t see how noisy and wild the surrounding area can get during a certain time of the day. If possible, visit the area during different times of the day and night.
If there are some cafes or restaurants or a bus stop, chances are the area gets noisy at night. If you don’t have a car, find out if there is any public transportation nearby. If you have a car, check out the possible traffic jams and how often they occur in the surrounding area.
2. Learn More About the Common Areas in the Building
From stairwells, stoops, and hallways to the garbage area, pay close attention to how well those areas are maintained.
If you don’t feel comfortable about a certain part of the property, ask yourself whether or not you’d like to live in this place. Would a certain part of the property bother you in the future? You might ignore it right now but get anxious about it in a few weeks.
It’s better to learn about all the drawbacks in advance and only then make your final decision.
3. Check Out the Windows and Doors
Even if the apartment is located in the safest neighborhood in the city, don’t ignore the windows and doors. See how they latch and lock and open and close. Check out whether they’re energy efficient and find out when they were installed.
If the windows or doors are old, you can ask a landlord whether it’s possible to replace them. When it comes to cooling and heating an apartment, these details play a critical role when it comes to the bills.
4. Bring a Flashlight Along
Before you call this tip crazy, read on. The apartment may look contemporary and comfortable at first sight, but spend one night and you’ll want to run away from it as far as possible. Why? Bugs, mice, and roaches are to blame.
When checking your potential apartment, ensure you bring a flashlight along. This will help you to find any signs of bugs, mice, and roaches. Look thoroughly, especially around exposed pipes, under sinks, and especially kitchen corners.
It’s better to look funny than spend nights dealing with the little creepy crawlies.
5. Check the Electrical Sockets
One of the biggest problems renters have to deal with is loose sockets and other signs of faulty or even dangerous wiring.
If the electrical sockets are okay, find out if there are enough in each room. If you’re going to use many electronics – especially specific gadgets – let your landlord know about it.
Check out if the bathroom has some outlets if you’re going to use a hair dryer or curling iron. If you need GFCI outlets in the kitchen, don’t forget to mention it as well.
6. Ensure the State of the Plumbing is Good
Even if the state of the plumbing isn’t excellent, it must be at least good. Many times, renters forget about the plumbing. However, if the sinks have clogs in the pipes and the toilet doesn’t flush well, this will cause a headache and make you spend extra money on fixing it.
Most importantly, indicate these issues and let the owner know about it before they blame you for breaking the toilet or clogging the pipes.
Don’t forget about the shower. What’s about the hot water and pressure? Ask if you can see the water heater. If it’s damaged or old, you might have issues with it, too.
7. Check Out the Flooring and the Ceiling
Take a quick look at the ceiling and check out if there are any stains or cracks that must be fixed. You don’t want to deal with leaks after the first rainy day, for sure. Then, look down to the flooring. Are there any tripping hazards or loose boards.
Although the damaged flooring isn’t as frightening as a damaged ceiling, it can get super cold during the winter months, increasing your heating bills.
8. Talk to Neighbors
If you don’t meet neighbors when meeting a landlord, take time to do it any day, particularly over the weekends. It’s critical to get to know your future neighbors and overall find out if they enjoy living in this area and property.
If possible, find out if someone has rented the apartment before and why they moved out. Be friendly and introduce yourself. It’s best if you manage to talk to several neighbors before you make your final decision.
Even if the apartment is fantastic, living with unfriendly or angry neighbors is hard. Feel free to ask any questions that would pop up in your mind.
If you’re going to rent an apartment for the long term, it’s important to check all the factors mentioned above. Of course, a landlord might not like such a thorough inspection.
However, such an inspection can save you a lot of money and nerves in the future. Ensure you visit the apartment or the building multiple times to check out the noise level and see the neighbors.