4 Things to Know Before Renting an Income-Restricted Apartment

Family sitting on couch in stylish income restricted apartmentThere’s no doubt about it: Like pretty much everything else in life, the cost to rent an apartment in the U.S. is going up.

Median monthly rent for U.S. apartments rose by 15 percent from 2000 to 2016, according to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. During that time, the median monthly rent went from $850 to $980.

To reduce the cost of an apartment, some renters turn to something called income-restricted housing. At complexes that offer income-restricted apartments, the monthly rental amount takes into account the renter’s income.

How does all of this work? Here are four things you should know before renting an income-restricted apartment.

1. Income-restricted apartments are designed to be affordable.

Income-restricted apartments are meant to help lower-income people afford a place to live. If you qualify for an income-restricted apartment, the savings can be significant.

To be approved for an income-restricted apartment, a household’s gross annual income must be at least 50 or 60 percent less than the median income of the area where you’re looking for an apartment. This percentage depends on the landlord and the type of unit you’re considering. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) sets the income guidelines each year.

Here’s an example of how income-restricted housing works.

As of April 2018, a single person making 60 percent of the median income in Phoenix would pay $777 for a one-bedroom apartment or $933 for a two-bedroom apartment in Phoenix, according to the Arizona Department of Housing.

By comparison, the average April 2018 rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Phoenix was around $860 and around $1,000 for a two-bedroom apartment.

The rent for an income-restricted apartment doesn’t go up or down based on your income.

So, if you pay $777 a month for a one-bedroom, income-restricted apartment that’s identical to the one-bedroom, income-restricted apartment next door, your monthly rent also is $777. It doesn’t matter that your neighbor’s take-home pay is slightly more than your pay, as long as both of you meet the income guidelines.

2. The landlord of an income-restricted property will check your background.

As apartment landlords usually do, the landlord of an income-restricted property will make sure you can afford the rent by verifying your employment and income. This also allows the landlord to confirm that your income matches what’s required for an income-restricted apartment.

In addition, the landlord normally will look at your credit record, rental history, and criminal background before approving your rental application.

By the way, don’t lie about income or anything else on your application. If the landlord discovers the lie before you sign a lease, your application could be rejected. Or if the lie is uncovered after you’ve signed a lease, you could be evicted.

3. Income-restricted apartments aren’t public housing.

Income-restricted apartments are owned and operated by private landlords.

But if you live in public housing, a government-run housing authority owns your building and is your landlord, according to the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute. In a few cases, a private company manages the property but the housing authority still owns it.

Typically, rent in public housing is based on a percentage of a renter’s annual income, so one renter might pay a lot less than a neighbor does for an identical apartment. This is known as income-based housing. Most residents of public housing pay 30 percent of their adjusted gross income, which is gross income minus tax deductions.

4. Income-restricted apartments often look like more expensive apartments.

In many cases, you can’t tell the difference between an income-restricted property and a traditional property, since they often appear a lot alike both inside and outside.

Here’s a description of an income-restricted apartment community in Texas:

“Beautifully landscaped grounds contain a swimming pool, picnic area, and a playground. We provide a fantastic clubroom with full kitchen, a fitness center, and an on-site laundry facility. Our apartments offer walk-in closets, large patios, fully equipped kitchens, and full-size washer/dryer connections.”

Sounds pretty great, right? Income restricted rental programs may be more common than you realize. Rental companies will often offer conventional and income restricted apartments side by side. You just have to know where to look and ask! Even if you’re not eligible for such apartments in your area, you can still find affordable apartments on ApartmentSearch. Search for apartments by price and once you sign your lease, get paid $200 in rewards.

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

Subletting vs Reletting: Which Is Best For Me?

Happy couple moving into apartment they're sublettingIt’s not uncommon for a tenant to leave their lease or rent out their apartment to someone else, especially in temporary housing situations. You may hear the term “subletting” most often, but “reletting” is another concept you should familiarize yourself with, too. The two are very different scenarios that are important to understand if you’re leaving your lease or renting your apartment to someone else for the short-term. Check out the big differences between subletting and reletting, and learn how to decide which one is right for your situation.

The Skinny on Subletting

What is subletting?

“Subletting” refers to renting out a room, a portion of your property, or all of your property to another person (a “subtenant”) without changing the name on the lease. In other words, the principal tenant could be considered a middleman between the landlord and subtenant, and is liable for the actions of the subtenant.

Who should sublet?

Subletting is a good option if you’re leaving your apartment but don’t want to deal with the costs associated with terminating a lease early. It’s also the perfect option if you’re going to be gone for an extended period of time, but intend on coming back to your place eventually (i.e. subleasing your apartment just for a summer while you travel!).

The Rundown on Reletting

What is reletting?

“Reletting” refers to voiding your original lease entirely, allowing for a new tenant to sign a new lease. There are a number of common reasons that people terminate a lease, from job changes to lifestyle changes, or sometimes eviction due to bad behavior.

Who should relet?

Reletting is your best bet if you have a special circumstance (i.e. a new child or a job transfer) that requires you to find new housing. It’s also a good option if you don’t want to take responsibility for the new tenant and any damage they might cause to the apartment.

You can’t make the best decision for your situation until you understand your options. If you have a unique rental situation, visit ApartmentSearch.com today. We can help you find everything from short-term rentals to furnished apartments, fast!

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

How Much Apartment Can You Really Afford?

Woman sits at desk in window area of loft apartmentMuch has been made in today’s media outlets about the affordability of apartments. And, while the cost of renting is still lower than the cost of owning in most cities, the truth is that many apartment residents are struggling to pay their monthly bills. Despite what is often reported in the news, there are still plenty of affordable apartments in every city in the U.S. The two challenges are first finding them and second knowing how much apartment you really can afford.

Location vs. Lifestyle
If we all had our wish, we would live in the nicest apartment in our favorite part of town, close to all of the things we love and need to do. But where you rent an apartment is just as important as which apartment community you choose. Downtown high-rise and mid-rise apartment communities will cost you much more than their counterparts in a more suburban or rural setting. Ask yourself which is more important: living close to the action or saving more money to enjoy your lifestyle? To lead the life you choose, it might be necessary to either commute or moderate your apartment expectations.

Does Size Really Matter?
When you are searching for a new apartment for yourself (and those who live with you), ask yourself how big or small of a place you truly need. The bigger the apartment, the more space you have —but also the more you are going to pay. For people who seek more play than possessions, a micro-apartment may be a great way to save a few dollars on rent. But, if space is a necessity for you and your family, you might need to give up some luxury in order to afford the space you crave.

How Old (New) is Too Old (New)
In a perfect scenario, you will spend less than 20% of your take-home income on rent. Depending on the job that you have and the lifestyle you desire, you are going to have to make some choices when it comes to how old your new apartment community is. The newer the community, the more it will cost. With a new community, you get a newer fitness center, outdoor recreations, and some other community amenities. This enables you to save a few bucks on a gym membership and other things you would normally venture outside your home to do. But the real savings come when you find an older, established community that still meets your basic lifestyle needs. It may not have all the trappings of the newly-opened place up the street; but, for the money you will pay, it is hard to beat the savings you will find at an established community.

Once you have determined just how much you are able to spend, the next step is finding the apartment for rent that best meets your budget while appealing to your lifestyle. Instead of spending hours of legwork to discover the best options, head over to www.apartmentseach.com. There, you will find the nation’s only free apartment locating service that actually pays you (up to $200) for using it. Enter the criteria that you are looking for and ApartmentSearch’s comprehensive marketplace listings will match you with the apartments that are best for you. That is time and money well saved and one step closer to moving into a great apartment you can really afford.

Keep Reading!

  • How to Budget for Your First Apartment
  • Why Paying More for Rent Can Be a Good Thing

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

Where Should You Live: Top Floor or Ground Floor Apartment

Smiling woman in beige shirt and large fedora sitting on balcony of an apartment typing on computer. Trying to decide whether you should live upstairs or downstairs in an apartment building can feel like a weighty decision — because it is! After all, this choice will affect you for the next year or more, depending on your lease’s length.

Before you start pulling your hair out, we’ve put together a list of pros and cons for each unit type. That way, you can narrow down your apartment search to what suits you best!

Should You Live in a Top Floor or Ground Floor Apartment?

The Benefits of Living in a Top Floor Apartment

  • Spectacular Views: Whether your apartment complex is two stories high or thirty — the views are better the higher up you go. Opting for a top-floor apartment can make you feel like you’re living in the clouds. Enjoy those pretty views outside while you’re sipping your coffee in the morning.
  • More Privacy: It’s harder to peer into windows when they’re 20+ feet off the ground! Enjoy more solitude (and fewer looky-loos) in your high-rise home.
  • Peace and Quiet: Avoid the daily hustle — and the noises that go along with it — when you’re removed from street-level happenings. You’re less likely to notice voices of passersby, construction sounds, and cars wheezing by when you’re a few stories removed.
  • Fewer Pests: Because of the sheer climb, creepy crawlies are less likely to make it to the top floor. Enjoy a bug-free home when you live on the top floor.
  • More Secure: Break-ins are less common on top floor apartments, as thieves tend to choose places with a quick getaway. Stairs, elevators, and high windows help prevent burglars from targeting your top-floor home.

The Cons of Living in a Top Floor Apartment

  • Daily Inconveniences: Living on the top floor means lugging up groceries, shopping bags, and other bulky or heavy items up the stairs or elevator — especially in a highrise. However, some apartment communities provide parking structures that easily connect to your level, alleviating this pain! Keep this in mind when searching for your next apartment.
  • Higher A/C Bills: Heat rises. So if you live on the top floor in a warmer climate, this can result in higher A/C bills or even complications with your air conditioning inside your apartment.
  • Longer Emergency Exits: In case of an emergency, it can be more difficult to evacuate your building when you live on the upper stories of your building. If you ultimately decide that a top-floor unit is best, make sure you’re aware of escape routes near you.
  • Increased Rent: Top floor apartments tend to be in higher demand, so expect to pay a bit more every month for this luxury.

The Pros of Living in a Ground Floor Apartment

  • Outdoor Living Space: One of the main luxuries of living downstairs is having an outdoor living space! This is especially favorable if you’re a pet owner and need extra room for Rufus to stretch his legs.
  • Accessibility: Unlike your top-floor neighbors, you’ll find sweet satisfaction in avoiding the stairs and elevators when bringing in groceries and other heavy loads!
  • Fewer Noise Complaints: Because nobody lives below you, you’re less likely to have noise complaints filed against you when you live on the bottom floor of an apartment.
  • Cheaper Rent: Since more renters tend to want a top-floor apartment, you may find that bottom-floor apartments cost a bit less! If you don’t notice a price difference, you could try negotiating rent with your leasing agent.
  • Higher-Grade Amenities: In addition to lower rent, some communities install higher-grade appliances in bottom floor apartments to entice renters who may prefer an upper-level unit.
  • Cooler Temps in the Summer: Living in a downstairs apartment can be like living in a cool cave during the summer. Since heat rises, you’ll find your home is naturally cooler compared to units above you.

Top Reasons You Should Not Live in a Bottom Floor Apartment

  • More Overall Noise: While you’re less likely to have a noise complaint filed against you, you may find yourself bothered by your neighbor stomping around upstairs. Plus, bottom-floor apartments are closer to ground-level noises such as chatty pedestrians, ambulance wails, and dogs barking.
  • Less Secure: It’s true that bottom-floor apartments are more susceptible to break-ins. However, talk to your leasing manager to understand what kind of security is in place to mitigate these risks.
  • Pesky Pests: A major drawback from living on the ground level — bugs! It’s easier to crawl through cracks in bottom-floor apartments than scale steep walls and creep into upper levels.

Top floor, ground floor, and everything in between — ApartmentSearch helps you sift through available rental units near you to find your diamond in the rough!

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

Top 10 Apartment Search Websites

Happy couple laying on floor, looking at apartment search sites on laptopShopping for a new apartment can be overwhelming. Sure, many times you can jump into your car and scour the area in search of that perfect place. But, if you need to save time —or if you live in a different city or state — most searches for a new apartment begin online. But which site do you use? Are all apartment internet listing services the same? How do you choose? These questions alone can drive any apartment seeker mad. Luckily, we did the legwork for you and found the top 10 sites you can use to find your next apartment.

No. 1 ApartmentSearch
Whether you are a professional looking to relocate for work, a college student seeking an apartment close to college, or a family seeking a newer, better, furnished apartment, ApartmentSearch has you covered. As a division of CORT, the site’s national partnerships with apartment management companies offer an unparalleled resource for market information, all while making them a one-stop shop for furnished apartments. Also, they are the only national apartment Internet listing service that pays users a $200 reward for using them. Whether you are looking to move across the state, across the country, or from another part of the world, ApartmentSearch has you covered for everything you need to make finding your new apartment easy.

No. 2 For Rent
Another one of the most regarded brands in the multi-family industry, ForRent prides itself on a great experience for apartment shoppers. They have teams meeting with your potential apartment community on a daily basis so they can bring you the most up-to-date listing possible. College students seeking a new place to live also love ForRent University, specifically designed to help them find a great apartment for college.

No. 3 Apartment Guide
One of the most established brands in the nation, Apartment Guide is one of the top respected names in the multifamily industry. Easy-to-use with a huge assortment of apartment listings, Apartment Guide brings you up-to-the-minute info on the latest rental available. Just as with ForRent, their team is on the streets and in the offices of the apartments you are keeping in mind. This means they have the latest scoop on the apartment communities you are considering moving to.

No. 4 Lovely
Looking for an apartment? There is an app for that. Only a few of years ago, Lovely hit the apartment-finding scene and took the nation by storm. Lovely’s interactive app is one-of-a-kind and is an especially useful tool for people who are out and about looking for a great new apartment to call home.

No. 5 ApartmentList
For anyone who loves a great digital experience when searching for a new apartment, look no further than ApartmentList. Both the website and app are interactive, and a joy to engage with. ApartmentList provides some of the most fun you can have when looking for a new apartment.

No. 6 Trulia
Another one of the big dogs of the real estate finding world, Trulia is also a great place to find a single family home rental and they have plenty of apartments to boot. We love the info bar at the top of its search map, which gives info on crime, schools, commute and other factors.

No. 7 Zillow
Being one of the real estate search giants has its advantages. Zillow has an expansive listing of rentals in nearly every market in the U.S. However, Zillow’s site and app are not the easiest to use when seeking a new rental. While the service provides apartment listings to choose from, Zillow truly shines if you are looking to rent a single family home, though it still has lots of traditional apartments to search among. The way Zillow groups listings together by popular criteria is a great place to start.

No. 8 Rent Cafe
Rent Cafe has a very elegant layout and feel. The added information they provide for marketplaces via their “Rent Trends” tab is especially appealing. Also, the site’s informative blog is often cited by national news sources. They have limited listings in certain markets but are a great resource for those looking in a major metro area (especially in the western half of the U.S.).

No. 9 Apartment Finder
Being one of the most established brands in the industry, Apartment Finder remains a great choice for individuals seeking a new apartment. The 3D tour in the photo gallery is a stand-out feature, and the simplicity of seeing the amenities offered by thumbnail make for a nice, interactive experience. This is an especially good choice when searching in smaller cities and towns.

No. 10 Hot Pads
Hot Pads has a terrific interactive map when you start to search by city. It also sports a handy “Get Alerts” feature so you can be updated when new options that meet your search criteria come online. It is a great option for people looking to move within the same area.

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

What’s the Difference Between a Joint Lease and an Individual Lease?

Renter on bed, debating over individual or joint lease apartment optionsFilling out the application for an apartment and then reading through the lease can be a confusing process. We understand.

One of the things that might be a bit hard to understand before you sign on the dotted line is the difference between an individual lease and a joint lease. We’re going to break it down for you.

Individual Lease Apartments vs. Joint Leases

An Individual Lease

As explained by the University of Kentucky, an individual lease means you’re financially responsible only for your part of the rent and other expenses associated with an apartment. Under this scenario, each roommate has his or her own lease. So, if your roommate moves out unexpectedly and each of you has an individual lease, then the landlord can’t force you to cover your ex-roommate’s part of the rent. Think of this as a “by the bedroom lease.”

“Individual rental agreements mean that each tenant is responsible for their own behavior and decisions separately,” according to Tenants Union of Washington State.

A Joint Lease

On the other hand, a joint lease — in legalese, this refers to the lease’s “joint and several liability” clause — puts full financial responsibility for the rent and related expenses on all of the tenants, the University of Kentucky says. In this situation, all of the roommates are listed on a single lease. Think of this as a “by the apartment lease.”

“Unfair as this practice seems, this clause is enforceable. If may be a good idea to have one tenant responsible for paying the rent and have all roommates pay that person,” the University of Kansas recommends.

Tenants Union of Washington State gives this example of what can go wrong if you have a joint lease:

You and two roommates share an apartment, and all three of you are listed on the joint lease. Each of you is supposed to pay one-third of the rent. But if one of the roommates fails to pay, the landlord could send a notice to all three tenants demanding payment of the one-third of the rent that hasn’t been collected. If that rent isn’t paid within a certain period, all three roommates could be evicted — not just the roommate who didn’t pay his or her share of the rent.

Under a joint lease, you also could be left paying for damage caused by a roommate. The Tenant Resource Center offers this example:

Joey punches a hole in one of the walls one night and then relocates to Mexico for work a couple of weeks later. Kyle, the remaining roommate on the joint lease, moves out of the apartment, but still lives in the same town. Since Kyle is easier to track down, the landlord likely will come after him for money to fix the damaged wall.

Tips for Handling Joint Lease & Individual Lease Situations

To avoid sticky lease situations with roommates, experts offer these tips:

  • Get an individual lease for each roommate, instead of a joint lease covering all of the roommates.
  • Carefully screen roommates before moving in. Pick a roommate who’s responsible, not flaky, and who’ll pay his or her fair share.
  • Avoid surprises by reading through the lease to make sure you know what your rights and responsibilities are.
  • Consider going to court. If a roommate moves out and you had a joint lease, you can sue the ex-roommate in small claims court to try to recover the money that you were stuck paying for something like a hole punched in a wall.

Whether you’re aiming for a joint lease or an individual lease on an apartment, you can start your apartment hunt on ApartmentSearch.com and always come out on top. Regardless of the type of lease you sign, you’re eligible to receive $200 in rewards!

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

11 Essential Questions to Ask When Renting a Room in an Apartment

woman posting "room for rent" sign on wooden fenceAre you renting a room in someone else’s apartment? Or, maybe you’re considering renting out a room in your apartment. Either could be a smart way to cut down on housing expenses.

Renting a room comes with its fair share of risks, though. Ask these 11 questions to ensure your rental situation is safe and satisfying.

1. What is the exact rent?

Follow Up: Are there other move-in fees? How and when do you pay rent?

It might sound self-explanatory, but make sure you confirm the rent before you sign anything. Ask if you’re responsible for any other fees, like a security deposit, a pet deposit, or pet rent—if applicable.

Confirm the date rent is due each month, and check how your landlord would prefer to get paid. Some prefer a written check, while others are fine with a cash-paying app or direct deposit.

2. What utilities will you be paying?

If you’re splitting everything with your roommate(s), get a general estimate for how much utilities will cost each month. It’s important to consider utilities when planning your housing budget.

3. How long do your potential roommates hope to fill the room?

Follow Up: How long is their lease?

Find out how long the room could potentially be yours, and how long they’re planning on staying in the unit. If you’re looking for a permanent place and they want to move out in six months, it might not be the best choice.

If you are planning on renting short-term, check out CORT furniture rental, where you can rent entire bedroom sets without commitment. This is a perfect option for renters who are moving from room to room, city to city!

4. How often do they clean?

Are they neat freaks, or do they clean once a year? How clean are you? It can be hard for super tidy people to cohabitate with messy people, and vice versa. Keep that in mind, and don’t be afraid to ask!

5. Is this a more quiet/low-key house, or a “party” house?

Follow Up: If it’s the latter, is the party here or outside the apartment?

It’s important to learn about the “vibe” of the house before moving in. If you work early in the mornings, it’s good to find out now if your potential roommates host raging parties six nights a week.

6. What do they do for work?

Follow Up: What’s their average day look like?

It’s good to consider your future roommate’s schedule when figuring out how you’d fit into the living situation. Are they gone from sun up to sun down every day? Do they work nights or work from home?

7. Do your potential roommates smoke?

Some people are bothered by the smell of smoke, and some even have health conditions (like asthma or allergies) that are exacerbated by smoke. Double check if anyone in the apartment smokes if that would bother you.

8. Are there any general “house rules,” spoken or unspoken?

Follow Up: Is there a cleaning schedule? Is there a curfew or quiet hours?

Do they take turns doing the dishes, mopping the floors, or vacuuming the living room? Is everyone quiet after 10 PM? Is the refrigerator a free-for-all or is it every man for themselves? Make sure you know exactly what you’re signing up for if you end up renting their room.

9. Do they have any pets, or are they considering getting any?

Find out if you’ll be sharing the space with any furry friends. This is especially important if you’re allergic or if you’re bringing your own pet into the mix.

10. Are they still friends with their old roommates?

Follow Up: Why is this room available?

You can learn a lot about potential roommates with this question. If their old roommate moved out because they wanted somewhere quieter or cleaner (or they just didn’t gel), it’s good to know.

11. What are their biggest pet peeves?

If you’re a social butterfly and they can’t stand visitors, that may be an issue. If you’re messy and they can’t stand clutter, you may have conflict. Find out what pushes their buttons, and figure out if you’d be a good fit.

Renting a room is a great way to save some money and meet some cool people! At ApartmentSearch, we want you to find what you’re looking for, no matter what your ideal living situation looks like. Find a room on your own search for cheap studios and one-bedroom apartments today.

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

What to Look for During a Self-Guided Apartment Tour

White and light wood L-shaped decorated kitchenA self-guided apartment tour allows you to explore a space at your leisure, taking your time to check out all the features or amenities the apartment has to offer. Learn how to make the most out of one of these self-guided tours, and ensure you cover all your bases before you sign a lease or make a deposit!

What to look for on a self-guided apartment tour

There’s really nothing that beats the in-person experience of walking through an available unit. A self-guided apartment tour is a flexible option that works with your schedule by allowing you to select a time to see the rental all on your own. But with this solo venture comes a bit more responsibility since you won’t have an agent or property manager there by your side.

Fortunately, we’ve come up with a list of five things to look for during your self-guided tour, so you can feel prepared to make the right decision for you.

1.The condition of the appliances

Appearances can be deceiving, especially when you’re looking at expertly-retouched photos taken for the sole purpose of renting a unit. As you’re doing research online, it may be hard to tell how updated the oven is or how well that fridge has been cleaned.

When you take the tour for yourself, be sure to inspect each appliance’s condition, even opening the door or cabinets to see what’s inside. If anything looks like it’s coming up at the end of its lifecycle, it may be worth asking about getting a replacement before you move in.

Additionally, before you even start the tour, ensure that you’re looking at the available unit rather than a model. If the property manager only allows you to walk through the model, take all the glam features with a grain of salt — models are often decked out with better finishes, appliances, and views than available units.

2. The closet and storage space

If a place is listed as a two-bedroom apartment, you can probably expect it to have two closets — but are there any extra drawers, linen closets, or shelves in the hallway or bathroom? Depending on how much stuff you’re moving in with you, the amount of storage space might be a make-or-break factor in your decision-making process.

During your self-guided tour, be sure to check out the dimensions of each closet. Consider whether your belongings will fit comfortably or whether you’ll need an apartment with additional storage potential.

3. The safety or security measures

Regardless of if you’re living alone, with a romantic partner, or with a group of friends, you’ll want to feel safe inside your home and within your apartment complex. Online listings often leave out information regarding the security measures around the property, which means it’ll be up to you to make some mental notes on your tour.

Is the building located behind a gate, with a special code to get in? Does the door to your apartment lead directly outside, or is there an exterior front door you enter to access each unit? Does the unit you’re renting face the street or the apartment courtyard? Everyone’s requirements for what puts them at ease will vary, so just make sure you feel comfortable with the situation as you envision yourself living there.

4. The neighbors

It’s easy to look at a picture of a beautifully furnished model apartment and get your hopes up without seeing it in-person. But what a photo can’t tell you is what kind of activity that residence brings with it. When you’re taking a self-guided apartment tour, listen for any loud noises in the hallways or stairwells, as well as the noise from neighboring buildings or businesses.

It could be that everything is quiet and respectful, but if you hear excess commotion, it’s something to think about (especially if you work from home or tend to spend the majority of your time there).

5. The parking arrangement

If and where there’s parking available will have a significant impact on your quality of life. After all, ease of parking makes it easier to walk to your apartment on dark nights, stormy days, or whenever you’re toting six bags worth of groceries in one trip! So when you’re touring a new complex, pay attention to where the cars are parked in relation to each building.

Is there a covered garage where you’re protected from the elements, or is there a private lot for residents to use? Where can overnight guests park? And can you pay a little extra to opt-in for a closer space? If these questions can’t be answered through your own observations, you’re smart to ask the property manager for additional clarity.

What to ask when searching for an apartment

Knowing which questions to ask before signing a lease is vital to finding an apartment you’ll thrive in. The following are just a handful of things you can bring up, but of course, feel free to ask whatever applies to your unique situation.

  • Are the lease terms negotiable (length of commitment, adding a roommate, etc.)?
  • Is the available unit a different layout than the model apartment you toured?
  • Are furnished apartments available?
  • Who do you contact for maintenance issues or repairs?
  • What are the consequences for a missed (or late) rent payment?
  • Are pets allowed, and if so, are there guidelines as to their size/weight?
  • Are there any group activities or outings for tenants in this building?
  • Do they offer any discounts for signing a long-term contract?
  • What do tenants say they love most about living here?

Love where you live!

Finding a new apartment can be a real challenge, especially if the space you rent turns out to look nothing like the model you toured a few months back. Next time, skip the unpleasant surprises by vetting your rental options with ApartmentSearch!

ApartmentSearch can help you secure your next place with ease, so you can focus on all the fun that comes with settling in. Check out our list of city guides and apartment resources today, and start planning your move in no time!

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com