It can be quite stressful to look for a new apartment. You have to consider price, space, the location. If you’re not careful, you’ll end up signing a lease for an apartment from hell. Leaky roofs, loud neighbors who party all night, inconvenient parking or inaccessible public transport. These are the details that will drive you nuts—and make you wish you never moved in at all.
This article can help you make an informed choice, and includes factors most of us overlook and might eventually regret.
The last thing you need at the end of a long day is to spend 20 minutes circling the block looking for a place to park your car. While some apartments offer parking, the slots are usually limited (and you may have to pay a premium price for reserved parking). If you need to park in the street, check out the area at night. Since most of the residents will be home, you’ll be able to see the available slots. You’ll also be able to check out the general safety and security: is it well-lit? will it be easy for someone to steal the car? Will you be able to safely walk to your apartment without fear of being mugged?
It’s crucial that you feel safe in your home, and you’re not worried that the next door neighbors have some kind of criminal record. Ask if the landlord does background checks on the tenants. You can also ask for a general idea of who lives there: young families? College kids? If you have to wake up early every day to go to work, you probably don’t want to live next to a couple of teenagers who like to play loud music and party until the wee hours of the morning.
Does the management invest in the building, making sure that things work properly and the surroundings and public areas are neat and well maintained? And what’s the procedure for repairs? Will the management take care of repairing leaky faucets or broken heating? Do they have in-house property maintenance that you can call any time of the day or week?
Protect yourself from sudden increases in rent. How frequently will the landlord increase the rent? If you signed up for a special promo, how long will the discount last ,what will the actual rent be, and when does it take effect?
This is especially important if you live on the ground or lower floors. Who can gain access into the building? What’s the general neighborhood like? Is it well lit? Check windows and locks, too—will you feel safe there?
Found the perfect apartment? Now it’s time to make it your own. Read our tips on how to find your personal decorating style.
Photo from hojo.csu.qc.ca