If you are looking to move into an apartment, you might want to take note of some points you should consider. Apartment life might sound good to you if you have been living with your parents all your life or if you have lived in a dorm or an apartment with several other people. The freedom of moving into an apartment can quickly be lost if you don’t pay attention to the details.
Do a Thorough Check of the Premises
Most landlords will meet with you at the apartment to show you around. This is a good time to do an inspection. You should check inside all of the closets and cabinets for signs of cracked walls or hidden leaks. You also want to make sure there are no infestations of pests such as ants or mice. Make sure to check underneath the large appliances in the kitchen as most pests like to hide in dark spaces.
Check Out the Neighborhood
A good way to tell whether or not you want to live someplace for a long period of time is to look at the neighborhood the apartment is located in. You can always obtain the address of the apartment and do a drive around the block in the evening hours to see what type of neighbors you will have. Weekends are also a good time to check out your prospective neighbors. You can also stop and talk with a couple of your neighbors to see what type of landlord owns the place you are considering moving into. Chances are they have had some contact with prior tenants and can provide you with some insight into the landlord’s personality and habits.
Discuss Finances and Included Amenities
If you find an apartment you really like, make sure you understand the amount you need to pay in advance and how much of that will be reimbursed to you when you leave. Most landlords require the first and last month’s rent in addition to a security deposit. Some additional fees could include rent for a pet and the use of a garage. The fees charged to rent an apartment can often be offset by having certain amenities included. Some items which could be included in your rent are the utilities, heat and cable.
Watch Out for Mold
Dark spaces are also good places to find mold. Mold usually grows where there is an accumulation of moisture. You should check the basement if the apartment comes with a basement area, as well as the bathrooms. In some cases, the moisture gets trapped within the walls where it creates a breeding ground for black mold. If the wallpaper has dark spots or water damage, you could peel a section back to see if mold is growing underneath.
Read Your Lease Before Signing
A lease is a legally binding contract between the owner of the property and you, the tenant. Most lease agreements today are made on a month to month basis, which gives the landlord the upper hand in being able to evict you with only a thirty day notice. Some leases will also have clauses pertaining to fees owed for damages or for pets kept on the property. Make sure you know exactly what you are agreeing to before you sign any legal document.
About the Author
Ben recently bought the house in Long Island, New York. Before he bought it, he was living as a subtenant in six various apartments for the last ten years. He summed all of his experiencein this article. We hope you will find it useful.