Plan to find the per­fect rental space for col­lege or new­ly­weds

The Standard Journal - - Lifestyle -

There are many rea­sons people rent rang­ing from a new col­lege stu­dent look­ing for an apart­ment or new­ly­weds on a budget to cou­ples down­siz­ing for other rea­sons.

Here is a list of tips from the Bet­ter Busi­ness Bureau de­signed to make the task eas­ier.

De­ter­mine Your Needs. Be­fore you start apart­ment hunt­ing, it’s im­por­tant to de­ter­mine what ameni­ties is a ne­ces­sity to you and what your budget will be. De­cide how im­por­tant lo­ca­tion is and how much space you would like. If you live with pets make sure they are wel­come in the apart­ment com­plex and find out if there are additional fees in­volved. Find out the max­i­mum oc­cu­pancy if you are plan­ning on ex­pand­ing your fam­ily.

Do Your Re­search. Ask friends, fam­ily mem­bers, and co-work­ers to rec­om­mend an apart­ment com­plex where they’ve had a pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence liv­ing and deal­ing with the man­age­ment com­pany. Al­ways check out the apart­ment com­plex’s re­views and com­plaints at

Visit the Apart­ment Com­plex. Do not base your de­ci­sion solely on the pho­tos of the apart­ment on­line, they can be de­ceiv­ing. Be sure to visit the apart­ment com­plex be­fore send­ing in your de­posit. When walk­ing through the ac­tual apart­ment in­spect all doors, locks, win­dows, toi­lets, faucets, and make sure all ap­pli­ances are work­ing prop­erly. Check out all the ameni­ties that were listed on­line and make sure they are up to your stan­dards.

Ask About In­sur­ance. In the event of an in­ci­dent such as a fire or break-in, the apart­ment com­plex is usu­ally not held ac­count­able for their ten­ant’s dam­aged or stolen items. If you pur­chase renters’ in­sur­ance, your dam­aged or sto- len items will be cov­ered. Care­fully re­view de­ductibles and cov­er­age when choos­ing a renters’ in­sur­ance pol­icy.

Take Note of the Apart­ment’s Con­di­tion. Be­fore sign­ing the lease, pro­vide the land­lord with a list of dam­ages and re­pairs you dis­cov­ered while in­spect­ing the apart­ment. Be sure the land­lord signs the main­te­nance list, ac­knowl­edg­ing that the dam­ages and re­pairs ex­isted be­fore you moved in. This list will pro­tect you from be­ing li­able for the dam­ages from pre­vi­ous ten­ants.

Care­fully Re­view the Lease. When re­view­ing the lease be sure to un­der­stand the main­te­nance re­pairs you are re­spon­si­ble for and what the apart­ment com­plex will cover. Be sure to ask what your se­cu­rity de­posit cov­ers and when you must make your pay­ments. Be aware of the con­se­quences if your pay­ments are late. Ask how re­pair re­quests will be han­dled and the time frame it will take to re­solve them. Make sure to al­ways keep a copy of the signed lease in a safe place. Any­thing told ver­bally not in the con­tract? Do not sign un­til it is!

Know Your Rights. If you’re hav­ing dif­fi­culty get­ting your land­lord to ad­dress your re­pair re­quest, send the land­lord a dated re­quest let­ter in the mail. If the is­sue is not ad­dressed in an ap­pro­pri­ate time frame you have a va­ri­ety of op­tions. You may be able to end the lease, hire your own per­son to re­pair the dam­ages and sub­tract it from your rent, or have a court force the land­lord to fix the re­pair.

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