Rent Or Lease An Apartment

How to locate leawe signs and finally rent an apartment. Will cover considerations such as location, references, leasing and sub lets as well as amenities and utilities.

Renting an apartment, although not as big a commitment as buying a home, is an investment of time and money. The following are a few considerations in finding and leasing an apartment.

The first priority of real estate is location, location, and location. The same can be said of apartment homes. Consider the distance to work, school or other responsibilities. If you ride public transportation, convenience to bus or train stops must be considered.

There are many sources that lead to apartments to rent. First are the want ads, which have general categories such as furnished and unfurnished, plus condos and town homes for rent in some areas. The convenience of the want ads includes general description and (in most cases) a phone number for the initial inquiry. On the down side, by the time an ad is published in the paper, the apartment could be long gone.

Another source is an apartment locator service. These days, most of the apartment services are paid by the landlord or apartment management company, so be aware that the service is inclined to serve who pays them and may not have the renters best interest in mind. If you do use a locator service, do some footwork on your own to find out what the average rent is in that area and what other tenants are paying, so that you are not overcharged.

The third source is word of mouth and other unconventional sources. Some recommend reading the obituaries to find vacancies but this can be time consuming and yield unexpected results, as many people in mourning do not appreciate apartment hunters ringing their bell. However, cold calling the management of an apartment building that looks attractive to find out if there have been recent vacancies could be profitable.

Once you find a place that looks good, there are several questions to ask about the grounds. Is it a gated community? What amenities such as pool, hot tub, gym, and Laundromat. These items can save money on items like gym memberships and can be factored in the decision process.

Next most places will have applicants fill out a form and ask for reference as well as run a credit check on the prospective tenant.

Next is the lease, or rental agreement itself. Does the apartment allow pets and visitors? How much security is required and what are the terms to have it refunded at the end of the lease. Who is responsible for damages, water leaks etc. When is the rent due (what day each month) and what late charges occur if the rent is late.

Questions about utilities are also important. Who controls the heat and air conditioning? How well insulated is the apartment. Who pays for fuel, electric, gas, trash pickup, waste, water and hot water. How much are your neighbors paying for an average bill during the winter and summer months. All of these factors will determine your total monthly costs.

Last but not least, before signing a lease, it is wise to have it reviewed by a lawyer. Be particularly careful if this is a sub let agree ment to make sure your rights are protected. If you are signing with a roommate, have it spelled out who is responsible for what. If you cannot afford a lawyer, try a paralegal or real estate professional. If this is also not an option the main rule is to read all documents over carefully, make sure landlord and tenant(s) sign and keep a copy.

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