Things to Know Before Renting a Home

Whether you’re searching for your first apartment or you just long to live in a new place, there’s always a certain level of excitement that comes when you move.However, finding a home to rent isn’t all fun and games. There are several things you need to know and do to make the process as simple as possible.

Searching for an apartment

•  Set a budget and stick to it. Ideally, your rent shouldn’t exceed 30% of your monthly income. To lessen the weight of high rental prices, consider having a roommate.
•  You can find different types of homes for rent on newspaper ads, apartment hunting publications, various bulletin boards, through friends and on the internet.
•  Have a list of your expectations and requirements for the place that you want to rent. Are free parking, laundry facilities or a swimming pool important to you? Do you prefer a townhome over a single-family house?
•  Always inspect every bit of the apartment. Check the pipes, faucets, sinks, electricity and appliances, walls and windows. You should also check the noise level of the neighborhood during different times of the day.

Finance and contracts

•  To avoid unwanted surprises, know if the rental fee covers the heating, water, electricity, cable and internet before making a decision. Also, inquire about how much the average utility bills are in the building.
•  Before signing a contract, make sure it clearly states the rental price and information regarding your security deposit. Also, check for penalties for moving out of the apartment before the expiration date. Don’t forget to check the policies about visitors, repairs and subletting.
•  For your privacy, go for a lease that doesn’t give landlords unlimited access to the unit. You should also try to avoid contracts with an automatic renewal clause to keep your options as open as possible in the future.
•  It’s important to get some basic information about the landlord for emergency purposes and to be in contact with him/her for if any issues occur in the apartment or home.