6 Things You Should Know When Renting an Apartment for the First Time

Mikko Rocco
Published Dec 17, 2023

Renting a house for the first time can be super exciting. You’ll be free to set your house’s rules and choose what to use for décor. However, selecting the perfect unit for your needs may be challenging. The following tips will provide you with the confidence you need to look for the right house:
 

1. Do Some Research


Renting a house is a significant life event that requires sufficient research time to find the best one. You can check online for the kind of house in your preferred location. The internet will provide you with various property search portals that avail the available rental properties on the market. You can also register for instant alerts to get information about the new listings of rental houses in your desired area and their requirements.
 

2. Beware of Scammers


Unfortunately, the digital age allows fraudsters to generate rental scams that make renters lose lots of cash while searching for rental properties. Be careful while dealing with renters on the internet to avoid being the next target of a scam. Some scam signs include:
• Not getting a chance to view the house that interests you
• A landlord or agent may avoid a physical meeting with you
• The agent or property owner may encourage you to transfer money before signing the rental documents
• The landlord or agent may hold back crucial information from you
Be careful and research any house you want to rent to avoid being scammed. If you choose to work with an agent, confirm that their real estate agency is reputable and that they don’t liaise with fraudsters. Additionally, get a professional to check the appropriate documents to ensure they are legit.
 

3. Only Rent a House You Can Afford


Many first-time renters rent a more expensive house and later regret their decisions. When renting an apartment for the first time, your budget should include all hidden costs that would make you live beyond your means. Therefore, find out all the expenses of renting a rental house before signing a contract. Choose a unit within a range you can afford and one that accommodates costs you may have yet to factor in, such as repairs and utility bills.
 

4. Budget for a Security Deposit


Most landlords and agents will require you to pay a security deposit before allowing you to move into their property. The landlord holds the down payment and uses it for damages you may cause during the rental period.
It would be best if you took good care of the rented house to ensure the property owner refunds your total security deposit when vacating the apartment. Additionally, the landlord may ask you to pay one month's rent in advance when renting the house. Therefore, ask the landlord about these payments and budget them to avoid inappropriate surprises.
 

5. Create a List of Existing Damages Before Moving In


Most first-time renters may need help understanding the need to list all the damages before renting an apartment. That makes landlords and agents hold their security deposit to cater to the cost of repairing the cracks. It would be best to record all the defects on the property before renting a house.

You can take photos and videos of the damages and send copies to the landlord. You should also sign a document prepared by the property owner or agent showing the existing damages before you move into the new unit. Also, agree with the concerned parties about who will pay for repairs and replacements during the rental period. That will protect you from disputes that could arise in the future.
 

6. The Landlord Should Provide You with a Written Lease for You to Sign


Get a written lease from your landlord or agent explaining the rules, rights, and regulations you should expect during the rental duration. Then, ensure to read and understand the contents of the lease before signing to know what you are getting yourself into.

Be keen on any additional clauses, and ask for expert guidance if you don’t understand them. The clauses may explain the penalties you should pay for late rent remittance, changing the apartment’s features, and what you should do if you damage something that needs repair.

While you may get excited about renting an apartment for the first time because of the freedom it brings, you need to know how to find the right one for your needs. The five tips above will guide you in doing things the right way and prevent you from losing your cash and regretting it.

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