Renting a new apartment or home is exciting. To ensure a great experience, there are several items that should never be overlooked before signing the lease and moving in.
Rule number one is never sign a lease before the property has been thoroughly inspected for damages, and damage noted on either the lease or another document signed by both the renter and the property manager. No amount of detail is too much for the inspection. As kind as the landlord seems now, he can turn into your worst nightmare when leaving. The small stain on the carpet may lead to hefty fines upon move-out. Don’t be held responsible for damages caused by a prior tenant.
People often overlook the impact the property manager can have on the rental experience. If they seem shady, trust your instincts. If they seem overly eager for you to sign the lease, or dismiss questions about the property, they’re probably hiding some critical information—like the neighbor’s noisy dog or the broken garbage disposal they have no inclination to fix. (Remember to inspect all the appliances, per rule number one above.)
A home should be a safe haven. The security of the building and grounds should be as important as location. If the property does not look or feel secure, keep looking. Safety should never be a compromise when it comes to choosing a place to live. This brings up the next point.
Insurance is critical even if the home feels secure. It’s one of those things you hope you’ll never need, and as such, it can be hard to justify the expense. However, it is surprisingly inexpensive. Resist the daily mocha a few times a month and you’re covered. Many companies offer renter insurance, shop around online for the best deal.
This can be the most frustrating part if not planned well. Reserve a truck far in advance, and enlist as many family and friends as possible. The old adage “many hands make light work” is especially true in this case. Many apartments and condos have restrictions on move-in days and hours, so verify before you get started.
With proper planning and due diligence, the process of securing and moving into your new home will be a positive experience. When the unpacking is finished, the last thing to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy your new home.