Looking for an apartment can be overwhelming – from location, to amenities, floor plans and community features, there are many things to consider. We’ve broken down apartment hunting for you and know what you should look for. We are bringing you 5 quick tips for apartment renters.
Tip 1: Know the differences between renting from a professionally managed property or renting from a private landlord
When looking for an apartment to rent, you’ll most likely look at properties that professional managed by a management company, or privately rented homes. Both come with different pros and cons. A big benefit of living in a professionally managed community is onsite maintenance and staff that can assist you with any problems you may have. When you live in a privately-owned property, it is up to your landlord to find contractors to fix leaks or assist you with rent questions. Plus, professionally managed communities have amenities like gyms, swimming pools or dog parks that may not be available with privately owned properties.
Tip 2: Purchase Renters Insurance
While many professionally managed communities require you to have renters’ insurance, it isn’t always required. You should purchase renters’ insurance to protect yourself in cases of theft or damage. Typically, renters’ insurance isn’t too expensive and you can add it onto other policies you have for car insurance. Usually you can get a policy for $350 a year that covers you up to $50,000. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to renters’ insurance.
Tip 3: Keep copies of your paperwork and take notes
When you are signing your lease, or any other documents, keep copies for your own records. If you ever have questions about your lease, or problems with your landlord, having a copy of the lease to reference is important. When you file maintenance requests or submit any forms with your landlord, make copies and keep records.
Tip 4: Be mindful of your budget
Set a budget and stick to it. The general rule for setting your rent budget, is that you should budget 25% of your monthly income for rent. On top of your rent rate, you need to budget for utilities (water, electric, gas, cable, internet, etc.) and renters’ insurance. Generally, you should stay away from touring anything out of your price range. If you know it’s going to be tight on rent alone, before utilities or insurance, stay away.
Tip 5: Understand the pet policy
If a property says they accept pets – make sure you read the policy. A lot of communities have size restrictions, unacceptable breeds or monthly fees. This can be a deal breaker for people who own big breeds if properties only accept smaller breeds. Check the lease for pet deposits and monthly fees. These all factor in your budget. Before you go look at a property, check online for their pet policy. For example, all MCLife properties come with an open pet policy with no breed, size or weight restrictions – all dogs are welcome!
There you have it! These are 5 quick tips for apartment renting. MClife is here to help. Be sure to check out some of our other moving resources like:
- Moving safety for pets and kids
- Unpacking 101: Where to Start Unpacking Your Apartment
- Moving Checklist: What you need for your first apartment