5 Things to Do When Renting a Place

I’m a renter. I’ve been renting for about 5 years now, and I’ve usually enjoyed it. This most recent rental has been my favorite, considering my landlord doesn’t come into my house every other week (that was 3 apartments ago that that happened) and it’s cozy and huge. I live alone, but I like having space to entertain people and enjoy their company. The place I have now has also been the best price for my money since I started renting. It’s great, and I found such an awesome place because I took my time and figured out exactly what I wanted and how I wanted it. It took me several tries to get this renting thing down pat, but I think I’ve finally got the hang of it.

There are a lot of things that some renters, especially college kids, overlook when they are considering a rental. And it is the time of year for college kids to be looking for those fall rentals if they desire them. So, here are 5 quick tips for renting an apartment or house.

1. Don’t check out an apartment alone! Whether you have a roommate or not, some apartment hunters look at stuff with rose-colored glasses. Make sure you take a buddy you trust with you, or, if you’re in a roommate situation, take your roommate. It will help you see what you’re looking at a little more clearly and make the process a little more entertaining as well.

2. Check out the rental prices in the area.  See what average prices are, there are plenty of websites to help you do this. See what’s usually included, and then see if the rentals you are looking at are a fair price based on that. Consider neighborhood, utilities included, and distance from your place of employment or college when looking at that price.

3. Read the lease carefully. I can’t emphasize this enough. Make sure you know what any lease says. What are you responsible for? What is your landlord responsible for? Keep a copy so you can check later and hold your landlord accountable if he or she don’t hold up their end of the bargain.

4. Take pictures upon moving in and out. I can’t emphasize this enough. My second apartment (same renter, different place than my first) left my roommate and I with 50 bucks each from our $700 security deposit. Why? Because we didn’t take pictures, and the counter “needed to be replaced” (it had like 5 knife marks on it). My roommate and I weren’t pleased, but there was nothing we could do because we had no proof. So please, don’t get taken advantage of like we did.

5. Get renter’s insurance. I am in the process of getting this. In case something happens, your stuff can be replaced or you can get the money to do so if you have renter’s insurance. It doesn’t protect the building (that’s your landlord’s responsibility), but it protects your stuff.

What other tips do you have for people looking for rentals? What else have you learned from renting? Leave some thoughts in the comments, have a great week, and we’ll see you back here next week.

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