10 Must-Check Things Before Renting Your Next Apartment

Apartment leases are sticky things to GET OUT OF. Trust me, it’s easier to get secret service clearance than it is to ditch a lease.

So, if you are going to sign a year or more of your life to one, you must pay attention to the details. I would go as far as to say, “Look for all the reasons to say no than to say yes.”

I’m not being negative, but again, apartment leases can really mess with you. If you have problems and try to end the lease early, you’ll probably never see your deposit again…

Luckily, our friends over at Apartment Therapy gave us a peek behind the curtain. They have 10 things you need to check before renting an apartment. If you’re looking for an apartment in the next 6 months: Listen up!

  1. Check for cell reception.
  2. Check the water pressure on cold, on hot, on both, and how long it takes to get warm.
  3. Bring a socket tester and test all outlets. Also make sure there are enough outlets in each room, and enough 3-prong ones.
  4. Ask the neighbors what the worst part of the building, street, neighborhood is.
  5. Drive through the area during rush hour if commuting via car.
  6. Make sure there’s an Internet provider suitable to your preferences.
  7. Make sure the windows are double-paned/double-glazed and in good repair if the area is cold to avoid high heating bills. See if the windows open and close easily.
  8. Fill all sinks/tubs. Drain simultaneously and flush each toilet during.
  9. If surrounding places have belongings left sitting on the porches (toys, stoves, seating, decorations), it’s a good sign for little/no theft and a kid-friendly environment.
  10. Ask “What’s the average rental time for apartments in the building?” If people aren’t staying long, it’s a bad sign.

Don’t let apartment representatives rush you through looking through an apartment. Remember, their jobs are to make sure the apartment leases.

Some of these things listed above are little things they may not choose to disclose.

Here are some bonus tips & things I personally look for:

  1. Double check your lease to make sure all the terms you talk about are there. Watch out for any “Misc. fees” or the like. Normally, those have a chance of being removed if you ask. Also, make sure the lease is according to the time you want: 1 year. Don’t get roped in like DirecTV customers who don’t realize they signed a 2 year agreement.
  2. Open all cabinets: If animals and bugs know where to hide, it’s in the cabinets. When you walk through an apartment, they will all be closed.
  3. Check all the lights: As mentioned above, check the outlets. Also, check the lights, the fans, etc. If there are any issues, make them fix those beforehand.
  4. Take photos of all cracks and other broken things BEFORE you lease: When the lease is up, you’ll make sure aren’t getting hoodwinked.

Do you have any of your own tips? Put them below.

10 Things to Look out for when Apartment Hunting — Apartment Therapy

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