When you rent, your decision includes several factors, which may be both personal and financial. To make sure you make the best possible decision for your individual situation, avoid the following common and costly apartment rental mistakes.
1. Not Reading the Apartment Lease Completely
Once you find your apartment that you want to rent, be sure to read over the lease agreement carefully. In particular, review your move-in date, how much notice you have to give when you want to leave, and if you are allowed to use a sub-lease if you have to move out before the lease is up. If you don’t read the lease completely, you may discover too late that there’s a clause in there that doesn’t meet your personal or financial needs.
2. Not Getting Renters Insurance
Your landlord is protected with their property insurance, but that policy doesn’t cover renter’s possessions. If you live in an apartment, you live in a shared building with other renters who may have different ideas about safety. In addition, unforeseen things like burglaries, fire and water damage can happen without warning. Protect your investments with a renter’s insurance policy, available from most major insurance companies.
3. Renting Without Seeing in Person
With online rentals, renters are sometimes given the option of renting an apartment without the “inconvenience” of seeing the place in person. Don’t fall for this. Pictures can be very deceiving, and they won’t divulge any underlying issues, such as disruptive neighbors, incessantly barking dogs, or an unsavory neighborhood environment. Take the time to carefully walk through any apartment you’re thinking of renting to make sure you’re not going to be living in an unpleasant place.
4. Waiting Too Long to Make a Decision
Anywhere you live, good apartments with great rates go quickly. Sometimes the tendency with apartment hunters is to get more picky with every new apartment they look at. You may see a beautiful apartment with a deck, and wish it had a patio. Then you see one with a patio and wish it had a community pool. When you find an apartment that meets your needs and fits within your budget, seal the deal with a lease before someone else grabs it, forcing you to rent something else that you may not be able to afford.
When you keep these things in mind as you apartment hunt, you’ll avoid the most common and costly rental mistakes.