Things to consider before renting

Friday, 5 April 2019

Planning to move house can be overwhelming, but if you use our “Plan Before Renting” tips, the transition should be pretty smooth.

Four years ago I moved to a brand new city and the number of apartments on the market was absolutely overwhelming. Right when I thought I had it narrowed down, up popped the negative reviews. So what’s a girl to do in this situation?

Create a game plan and gather the initial logistics: do you wish to live in the city or suburbs? Is the distance from work important? Or, is the distance from friends & family more important? Will you drive or utilise public transportation? And lastly, how much can you afford?

According to Rent Direct, apartment hunting can get a bad rap, but so can car shopping, if you don’t prepare. The first thing that you need to think about before looking at any apartment is your budget and what you can afford. Please keep in mind that the cost of an apartment is determined by what utilities are covered and what you will be responsible for, as well as parking cost if you live in the city. Take into consideration, moving cost, deposits, and insurance. Most decent apartments require insurance, consider what is required by the property and what you need to cover your things as well if they were lost in a disaster. Consider the commute and what type of cost will be associated with your daily travels to work, school or other important factors in your life.

Now that we have determined what is affordable, we can begin looking at apartments and the neighbourhood. When I began my search for the perfect apartment, I checked out the neighbourhood during the day, and looked at the types of cars in the parking area and googled the street address. Check out the neighbourhood on nights and weekend. Are there people hanging out in the parking area? How is the lighting? How is parking? If possible talk to the neighbours, see what they think about the area. Check online reviews, now of course these may not always be accurate, but the reviews can be helpful when ruling out locations. 

Once apartment locations have been narrowed down, begin looking at what the community offers its residents. What are the amenities the apartment community provides to residents? Is parking included?Or, will you have to pay for a space? Is there a washer and dryer in the unit or a laundromat on the premises? Does the apartment come with any utilities included, such as gas, water, electric or trash pickup? And be sure to ask what you will be responsible for paying.

Ask for discounts, some apartment complexes provide discounts to member of the military, students, veterans and preferred employee discounts.

Check out the pet policy, this is important to non-pet owners as well as pet owners. Is there a weight limit for pets, the types of pets allowed and is there a pet fee for move in and monthly and don’t forget about visiting guest that may want to bring their pet along. Enquire on the insurance requirements,consider what is required by the property and what you need to cover your things.

Be sure to see the apartment before you sign or pay for anything. Check the faucets and flush the toilets, check the heating and cooling systems and the power outlets to ensure they are working properly. Make a checklist if one is not provided, or make a photocopy of the one provided by the property manager and take photos.

Lastly, read the contract carefully before signing to prevent surprises.

Have you had any moving nightmares? 

By Tracy Broady 

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