7 Ways to Show Proof of Renters Insurance to Your Landlord

No one wants to have an apartment break-in happen to them or lose their personal belongings to an unexpected tornado but sometimes life happens. When the unexpected occurs, everyone wants financial coverage and know that they have a backup plan or safeguard in place.

That’s where renters insurance comes in. While property owners will have insurance policies covering the apartment complex and building in place, it’s often up to the tenants to provide their own renters insurance where the policy covers personal belongings. In fact, most landlords are requiring proof of renters insurance to rent their property before signing the lease.

We’ll help you understand the fundamentals of a basic tenant insurance policy and provide ideas on how to show proof of renters insurance if your landlords require it.

What is a renters insurance policy?

Simply put, insurance is protection against financial loss. Renters insurance is a type of insurance policy that’s specific to tenants and renters only. Unlike homeowners insurance, renters insurance does not usually cover the structure of the building, but it does cover the renter’s personal property that’s housed inside the apartment.

Renters insurance exists to protect you and your personal belongings should an incident — like theft or fire — occur while you rent. The insurance policy would then pay you for the damage caused to your belongings. Renters insurance also protects renters from liability in case someone gets hurt within your apartment.

Renters insurance covers property from a burglary

Why every renter needs renters insurance coverage

Landlords are requiring tenants to provide proof of renters insurance. This helps safeguard property managers from liability, but it also protects renters. People who have renters insurance can breathe easy knowing it protects their personal property. Here are a few reasons you need to purchase renters insurance:

  • Offers protection of your personal items from theft or natural disasters
  • Covers you from personal liability if someone is hurt within your apartment
  • Often required to sign a new lease
  • Sometimes required for lease renewal
  • Can save you money should something happen to your personal belongings
  • Provides peace of mind to tenants
  • Helps expedite the rental process and avoid waiting periods if you already have a policy

Regardless of the reason you purchase renters insurance, it’s smart to have it when you live in a rental unit.

What exactly does renters insurance cover?

We’ve talked about the benefits of having renters insurance, but what exactly does renters insurance cover? Your coverage will vary based on your insurance company and policy, but in most cases, renters insurance policies offer these types of coverage:

Personal property coverage

Personal property coverage includes repairs or replacements for lost or damaged property, such as furniture, electronics and clothing. Depending on the policy, it may cover the costs of things like jewelry, but you’ll have to check with your insurance provider to see how much coverage comes with your plan.

Liability coverage

Liability coverage protects the tenant in case an injury occurs to someone within the apartment and needs medical attention. There’s often a cap on how much liability coverage there is, so read your policy carefully.

Renters insurance will cover a hotel room if you

Additional living expenses coverage

Additional living expenses coverage includes the cost of hotel or travel bills should your apartment become unlivable due to an incident that occurs on-site. This part of a policy will not cover property damage to the building itself — that’s usually the landlord’s responsibility — but it will cover your hotel bills while you find a new place to rent.

You’ll likely have increased premiums when you purchase more coverage and it’s up to you to determine how much renters insurance you need and how much coverage your landlord requires. Do your research to select the best policy for you.

How to show proof of renters insurance to your landlord

We’ve mentioned that landlords require proof of insurance to rent a rental property. But how do you show proof of renters insurance to a landlord? Here are several ways to show proof of renters insurance.

1. Provide the declarations page to your landlord

Every renters insurance policy will have a declarations page that outlines the details of your coverage. The declarations page will include things like your name, the policy number and how much coverage you purchased. You can send a digital copy directly to property management as proof.

Send a digital copy to your landlord.

2. Share a digital file with the landlord

You can show digital proof of your insurance by emailing the landlord a copy of the entire policy or the declarations page itself. When you send electronic proof, you have a digital footprint that shows your communication with the landlord. You can even ask your landlord to store this electronic copy on their property management software so you have a record of it.

3. Show them the physical copy of the renters insurance policy

If you’re more old-school, you can print out a physical copy of the policy as a way of showing proof of coverage. Print out a copy for your records and print out a second copy for the landlord to have, as well.

4. Have your insurance agent contact your landlord to confirm

If your landlord will accept verbal confirmation, you can ask the insurance company to call the landlord directly to show proof of insurance. Let your landlord know when your insurance agent will contact them so they can prepare for the call.

5. Add the landlord as an interested party to the policy

On any insurance policy, you can add an interested party to the policy. This is one way to show proof that the tenant has insurance. When the insurance agent is writing the policy, they will add the landlord as an interested party and then, notify the landlord upon completion of the policy.

6. Share the policy number and insurance agency with your landlord

Another way to show proof when renting is to share details of the policy with your landlord. You can share things like the number of the policy, the name of the insurance company and agent or the amount of coverage purchased.

Simply tell your landlord you have renters insurance.

7. Give verbal assurances of your renters insurance policy

Depending on the property managers, you can show proof by giving verbal confirmation of coverage. While this is only as good as your word, some landlords are OK with this type of proof. Keep in mind that there’s often no digital or written record of verbal assurances, so it’s not the most concrete or secure way to show proof of renters insurance.

These are some of the most common and accurate ways to show proof of coverage when property owners require proof.

How much does renters insurance cost?

Renters insurance is relatively inexpensive and ranges from $15 to $20 a month, or $180 to $220 per year. The cost of the policy will depend on how much coverage you purchase. Some landlords will even require that you have a certain amount of coverage, but that varies by location, by the landlord and even by state. When you’re analyzing your budget, it’s important to include renters insurance with your other utilities.

Keep in mind that most policies renew annually and if you don’t automatically renew your policy lapses and you may temporarily lose coverage. You also need to pencil in the cost of compensation for the agent, if they charge a fee to draft a policy.

Signing the renters insurance policy.

How to get a renters insurance policy of your own

If you’re trying to rent an apartment and can’t sign the lease until you have proof of renters insurance, then it’s time to find a policy for you. There are ways to find an insurance agency who you get you set up:

  • Ask your new landlord for a recommendation
  • Use your existing insurance agency and bundle it with your car insurance, for example, to save money
  • Use an online comparison tool to find an insurance company
  • Do an online search to find an insurance agency
  • Ask your neighbors who they use
  • Go to your local insurance broker

Proof of renters insurance is key

Once your policy is in place, you’ll be happy to know that you can then sign the lease, move into your new apartment and feel secure knowing you’re protected from the unexpected.

Source: apartmentguide.com

A Complete Renter’s Guide To Understanding Your Apartment Lease Agreement

Here’s an overview of the types of lease agreements and important terms to understand before signing on the dotted line.

Renting your first place with a roommate or paying rent on your own for the first time means you need to submit a rental application to rent a residential property. Once a landlord accepts your rental application, you’ll review and sign an apartment lease agreement.

Understanding the terms of a rental lease agreement is important for both the landlord and tenant. Legally binding contracts are not something a property owner or property management company takes lightly.

It’s important for both the tenant and property manager to understand what’s included in an apartment lease agreement before it’s signed.

The lease agreement also protects both parties since the terms can’t change once it gets signed. The landlord can’t change the monthly rent amount or add a pet fee if the lease doesn’t include a pet policy.

What is a rental lease agreement?

A lease agreement is a legally binding contract between the landlord and tenant for a particular piece of real estate. It outlines the rules agreed upon by both the landlord and the tenant in clear lease terms. The lease agreement includes important details, including the type of real estate, monthly rent amount and the lease term.

A security deposit is part of lease agreements, even in a month-to-month lease agreement. Sometimes, house rules include a pet policy not allowing pets or no smoking allowed in the unit or on the real estate property. These house rules should be in the lease agreement so there are no misunderstandings.

Verbal agreements are difficult to enforce. Anything discussed should be in the final rental or lease agreement. A verbal agreement is useless if one of the parties forgets what they said or flat out denies it.

If a landlord doesn’t offer aan apartment lease agreement, a tenant could ask for one.

Read your rental lease agreement and know what it means.

Read your rental lease agreement and know what it means.

Types of leases in a rental agreement

There are many lease agreements available when someone rents a property.

Most fixed-term lease agreements include a lease period of 12 months. A month-to-month rental lease agreement is not uncommon. Each rental lease agreement includes how much rent the tenant pays each month and when the monthly rent amount is due. It also notes the security deposit amount, whether there’s a pet deposit and the lease end date.

It also includes other details, such as who is responsible for utilities, property maintenance, property repairs and whether parking is available as part of the real estate to those who pay rent or if it’s included in the monthly rent.

Legal terms, monthly rent details and other things in an apartment lease agreement

A lease agreement is a legally binding contract. Take the time to read it so you know what you’re renting, what you can do on the property and what you can’t.

While many are standard agreements, each rental agreement should outline, for example, how much advance notice you need to provide should the lease end date need to change or what the pet policy is for the rental properties.

Governing law refers to the state laws that govern the lease. In most cities, standard residential leases are governed by and construed in accordance with state laws.

It’s important to review the rental lease agreement closely as it outlines what is considered normal wear and tear.

For example, if a tenant decides to paint the whole apartment or remove blinds and put in curtains and there’s no written consent as part of the lease terms, the security deposit may not be returned if the rental property manager needs to pay to have the unit repainted or add blinds.

What each section means in a sample lease

Lease agreements are pretty standard but it’s good to note what each should include. Here are what each section means in a sample lease.

Property details

The rental lease agreement should include basic facts about the rental property. Each agreement includes the address, landlord or property manager’s name and contact information. It notes when the lease begins and ends, the monthly rent amount and what the monthly rent includes, such as appliances and parking.

Don

Don

Payments, deposits, lease termination, late fees

In addition to how much rent is expected every month, the lease agreement should make it clear when each month’s rent is due by and what, if any, late fees can be expected if you pay rent late. If you have a roommate, what might happen should one of you need to end the lease early?

Does the lease agreement note you’ll need to provide the first month’s rent and last month’s rent and a security deposit?

If a security deposit is due upon the signing of the lease, how is it handled upon lease termination? What’s considered normal wear and tear and what will be covered by a security deposit?

How much advance notice does a tenant need to give a landlord of their intent not to renew a lease once the lease expires or once the landlord lets the tenant know the monthly rent amount will increase? It should note the monthly rental rate does not increase during the fixed period of the lease.

Resigning or breaking your lease

Life happens, a new job opportunity in another city presents itself or something happens in which you need to break your lease. There are things your landlord will appreciate as part of a good landlord-tenant relationship.

It’s a good idea to review the details of the agreement, including what kind of advance notice you must give. There could be many reasons why you may have to break your lease. It’s important to know what’s at stake if you have to break a lease. You could lose your security deposit and your last month’s rent. You could also be responsible for finding someone to sublet your apartment or need to pay each month’s rent until your lease ends.

Include everything in writing to save time and money

Renting a new apartment can be a fun experience. Knowing the terms of your new home by reviewing the lease agreement can save both time and headaches in the short and long term. Having this legally binding agreement can help avoid misunderstandings, too.

Source: rent.com

What Older Adults Should Know about Getting Divorced and (Maybe) Remarried

My Great Aunt Gert was widowed after being happily married to the same husband – my Great Uncle Bob – for more than 50 years. She remarried at age 83 to a man, my Great Uncle John, who was 85. They had 10 good years together before he died at the ripe old age of 95. Their “gray marriage” was a rarity 30 years ago.

So was gray divorce – but it’s on the rise today. Not everyone has the happy ending Gert had. She had one long, happy marriage followed by another.

In the last five years, I have seen more long-term marriages end than ever before. It’s actually a global phenomenon. Most divorces still happen to couples in their 30s and 40s, but more couples in their 50s and 60s – who have been married for 25 years and up – are deciding to split these days.

Their concerns are different than younger couples who divorce. In a more typical divorce, the partners are concerned with the young kids – assuming there are any – being OK. In gray divorce, partners have often accumulated more substantial assets, so there’s more to be divided. There are older kids, possibly grandchildren. There are more stakeholders.

Sometimes, it’s becoming an empty nester that’s the impetus for the split. The kids are 18 or over and gone. And the couple find they’ve grown apart. Sometimes it’s the children who – maybe even unwittingly – have kept their parents together.

No matter what age the kids are, they still need to be taken into consideration. If they’re in college, the soon-to-be-exes must figure out if college tuition and expenses will be split and if so, how. When the grown children get married, will Mom and Dad still fund the wedding or a portion of it? How?

If there are grandchildren, the uncoupling couple may be paying for private school tuition, summer camps, music lessons. Will Grandma and Grandpa keep paying for those things? And if so, how will those expenses be paid?

In gray divorces, there can be a lot of intertwined interests that have to be unraveled and divided. Vacation homes. Rental property. A family business. Family foundations. I know former couples who continue to operate as business partners or jointly oversee a foundation and its assets. Still others continue to share vacation homes. Just not at the same time – unless it’s an unusually amicable split.

For anyone considering getting out of a long-term marriage, here are a few points to keep in mind.

Divide and conquer

Have you and your soon-to-be-ex shared the same financial planner and estate planning attorney? Probably. Now, you each must have your own set of advisers. It’s cleaner and easier for one spouse to stick with the existing advisors – and for one spouse to get new ones. Plus, ethically speaking an adviser can’t serve each of you.

So, maybe Spouse A keeps the existing attorney and finds a new financial planner, while Spouse B keeps the existing financial planner and finds a new attorney. Each person gets to keep one provider who has the historical perspective. Or maybe one of you wants a fresh start all around, and that works too.

Consolidate and conquer

If the couple are retired, they have likely already consolidated their nest egg, which makes divorce and splitting up assets easier. If they haven’t done this yet, doing so will again make it easier. Move it all over to one financial institution. That makes it a lot easier to track and a lot less stressful.

If the couple haven’t done that yet, it can be part of the negotiations. For smaller accounts – however you determine “smaller” –  close them out and move them to bigger accounts.

When the daughter (or son) says ‘I do’

Who will pay for the wedding(s) of your child or children? That’s often part of divorce negotiations.

It’s cleaner to get this settled at the time of the uncoupling, rather than waiting until much later.

Heir(s) apparent

Any previous estate planning documents that left everything to the surviving spouse may need to be updated with a new beneficiary or beneficiaries. If I’m the adult child of divorcing parents, it’s clear to me that whatever my inheritance originally was going to be, it may now be diluted. Especially if I have siblings.

Talk to your adult child or children about any provisions you’re making. Let them know their needs and interests are being factored in to the agreement.  

Who has the power?

Splitting spouses were probably each other’s power of attorney and healthcare power of attorney. Now what? The responsibility – for one or both parents – may now go to an adult child. These are conversations you’ll need to have at the time of the split.

Who has the (Social) Security?

There is a maze of laws surrounding Social Security (yes, you can collect Social Security from an ex-spouse) and remarriage. Make sure you know them. For example, your 60th birthday is crucial. Get married one day before you turn 60, and you could lose benefits you were entitled to – or may have even already been receiving.

Saying ‘I do’ (again)

If you get remarried, you will want prenups. A prenup gives you – and your adult children and grandchildren – some measure of security. It also reduces any risk of – it must be said – fraud. You’ll also want to update any health insurance and life insurance policies. You may again need to update your power of attorney and healthcare power of attorney – just as you did when you divorced, this time appointing your new spouse.

When you get married, there are a lot of inherent and invisible rights. And responsibilities. You may want to spell out – legally – that your children are not financially responsible for their stepmother or stepfather, should she or he require long-term hospitalization or in-home healthcare. This is where estate planning and financial planning come into play, as well.

Great Aunt Gert, who died in 2018, got lucky. Don’t leave your nest egg or your children’s and grandchildren’s futures to fate. Plan ahead, and have peace of mind.

Founder, GraserSmith, PLLC

Tonya Graser Smith is a Board Certified Specialist in Family Law, licensed North Carolina attorney and founder of GraserSmith, PLLC, in Charlotte, N.C. She focuses her practice on divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, equitable distribution, prenuptial agreements and other family law matters.

Source: kiplinger.com

Caught in the Act: Lying on Your Rental Application

In today’s ultra-competitive rental market, many tenants are finding themselves stuck on long waiting lists. Or, they’re in bidding wars with other qualified applicants. Demand for rentals is surging across the country, and supply isn’t keeping pace. There are steps you can take to help you stand out. But lying on your rental application is never the answer. No matter how much you need to find new housing.

The most common lies in rental applications

There are many reasons why you may feel the need to fib on your rental application, but it usually won’t help you get to where you want to be. Most of the time, landlords will be able to sort out the truth and will move on to the next applicant on the list. They may even warn other landlords in their network about your application.

1. References

It can be tempting to list friends and family as your rental application references. But with even a minimal amount of research, your landlord will likely be able to figure this one out. Always list real and accurate employment and rental references to boost your chances of passing the tenant screening process. If there’s a landlord on your list whose reference might not be completely positive, either don’t list them or contact them before submitting your application to see if you can work through the issue.

2. Income

Fabricating documents like pay stubs or bank statements have become much easier as technology advances. But this is also something that’s very easy for your potential landlord to cross-reference on a detailed credit report. While it’s legal for an independent contractor or business owner to submit their own pay stubs, creating fake pay stubs for verification purposes is actually illegal. If you’re applying for a rental and don’t meet the income requirements, it’s probably not the right fit for your situation anyway.

3. Pets

It can prove difficult to find housing with a furry friend, but certainly not impossible. Even if you make it through the application process without disclosing a pet, your landlord can end your lease agreement and evict you for breaking the lease if they discover an unapproved pet living at the property. In addition, if your pet causes any damage, you are financially responsible on top of your security deposit. If you already have a pet you can’t live without, look for a pet-friendly rental from the start.

man filling out a rental application

man filling out a rental application

Application lies vs. outright fraud

It’s one thing to make a mistake or forget some of the details on your application. But intentionally misrepresenting yourself on your rental application is a form of fraud. No matter how small it seems. If you use someone else’s personal information on your application, you’re committing identity fraud.

What happens if you get caught lying on your rental application

If your landlord finds false information on your application, they are likely to reject you and move on to the next qualified tenant in line. Since you won’t end up with the apartment anyway, was it really worth the lie? Some landlords will contact other landlords in their network or associations to warn them about you. This could cause trouble the next time you apply for a rental.

If your lie comes to light after a lease agreement has already been signed, your landlord might be able to proceed with an eviction. If you’re evicted for lying about your rental application, this is now part of your rental history and complicates your ability to secure future rentals.

Help your rental application stand out from the rest

Instead of straying from the truth on your application, the best way to stand out as a qualified tenant in a competitive market is actually to be completely transparent. If there are any potential red flags on your application, such as poor credit or a criminal record, attach a note that explains the situation and any steps you have taken to mitigate the issue.

Here are some other best practices:

  • Be sure to follow all application instructions carefully and submit all of the required materials. If the application details instruct you to call and set up an appointment, but you show up in person and knock on the door, you’re not going to start off on the right foot.
  • Spend time solidifying references who will speak to your responsibility and reliability
  • Consider taking additional steps like highlighting that you already hold a renter’s insurance policy. Or, try writing a cover letter to explain why you’re the right tenant for the property

Focusing on the factors you can control, like applying quickly and providing accurate documents and stellar references, increase your chances of being accepted for a new rental property.

Lying on your rental application is never a good idea

It might seem easier to lie in the moment. But it usually leads to more stress and costs down the road. It’s always best to start your landlord-tenant relationship on a positive note. And this positivity can continue throughout the term of your tenancy. Plus, having a great reference for your next rental is indispensable.

Source: apartmentguide.com

7 Reasons Never To Sneak a Pet into Your Apartment

Sneaking an animal into your rental home can have serious financial and emotional consequences.

Whether your pet is a cat, a dog, a bunny or a bird, it’s never a good idea to sneak an unauthorized pet into your apartment if there’s a no pets policy in place. Getting caught by neighbors or during routine maintenance visits can give you several negative consequences to follow. If you want a companion animal as a renter, there are several apartment communities that are pet-friendly.

If you’re eager to adopt a new pet but happen to live in an apartment that does not allow pets, it’s probably best that you start searching for a new property that caters to animals and renters alike. As tempting as it is to quietly sneak the pet into your apartment, it’s never worth the risk.

We’ll highlight all of the reasons why sneaking an unauthorized pet into your rental home is a very bad idea. We don’t want to scare you but we do want to illustrate why it’s best for you and the pet to follow the rules outlined in your lease agreement.

Cute puppy

Cute puppy

Understanding pet rent and pet deposit fees

Some apartment communities allow pets if you pay certain fees. Other apartment complexes strictly forbid pets. If you’ve found a pet-friendly apartment, it’s important to understand the difference between all the fees.

Pet rent

A non-refundable fee that you owe each month on behalf of your pet. The landlord will charge you rent on behalf of your animal. Typically, this ranges between $50 and $100 per pet each month.

Pet deposit fee

A one-time payment is usually collected by the landlord when you sign the lease. Like a security deposit, it’s collected as insurance in case your animal ruins the floors, walls or doors.

These different pet payments will vary and the property manager has the discretion on how much to charge. These are applicable for pet-friendly or pet-tolerant apartments. However, if your apartment complex does not allow any animals, it’s a different story.

Reasons to never sneak a pet into an apartment

When you sneak a pet into the apartment, you’re violating the lease and risking everything from hefty penalties to eviction. Even if you’re tricky and do a great job hiding your pet, if you get caught, you’re in for a world of trouble.

Having an unauthorized pet is not worth the risk for you or the pet itself. Here are some of the things that can happen to tenants who have an unauthorized pet in their home.

Letter charging fines

Letter charging fines

1. You could be charged expensive fines

Depending on the lease agreement, you may owe a fine for sneaking a pet into your place. The landlord can charge tenants a hefty sum, as outlined in the lease. While shelling out unnecessary money isn’t fun, this is one of the less severe consequences of having a cat or dog in your place when the lease doesn’t allow pets.

2. You may lose your security deposit

You may lose some or all of your security deposit if an unauthorized pet damages the structure of the property. For example, if you sneak a dog into your property and the dog scratches the front door, pees on the carpet and chews the walls, you’ll lose your security deposit upon the final inspection. Again, this is a small consequence of having an unauthorized pet on the property.

3. You’re in breach of the contract

When you rent property from a landlord and sign the lease, you’re signing a legally binding agreement. You agree to follow the terms and conditions outlined in the lease. When you disregard the lease, you’re breaking the contract you signed, which can have legal consequences.

If you signed a lease that explicitly stated a no-pet policy, you can’t bring in a dog or other pet into your home, even if you’re just pet-sitting for a family member or friend. Depending on the lease and your landlord, you may owe a fine or face eviction because you breached the contract.

This will also hurt your credibility when it comes to renting future spaces. You don’t want your current landlord to tell a future landlord that you violated the lease. That will never look good on your record or work in your favor.

4. You may have to re-home your pet

You love your new dog dearly and were looking forward to bringing him home with you. But then, Rover wouldn’t stop barking and the neighbors turned you into the landlord for having a pet. If you’re not in a place to switch complexes, your landlord may force you to re-home your pet. That’s a terrible situation for both you and your dog.

Sneaking a pet into your home might cost you your pet. However, you should know that a landlord can’t take your pet from you, but they can evict you if you don’t re-home the animal.

5. You could have to switch apartments quickly

If you’re unwilling to re-home your animal or get a family member to take it, you might have to switch apartments quickly. With short notice, finding a new rental property is expensive, difficult and stressful. You’ll likely be charged fines from your current place and your future landlord will want rental application fees along with the first and last month’s rent. If you’re not in a financial situation to take on these extra expenses, don’t risk it. Also, you’ll be lucky if you’re simply being asked to switch apartments. Some places might even evict you.

Eviction notice

Eviction notice

6. You could potentially be evicted

No renter wants to face eviction. This is a death sentence for renters for several reasons. First, you’ll have to immediately find a new property to rent. Second, eviction looks terrible on your rental and credit report and may make it difficult to even find a new place to call home. And third, you may still have to dole out monthly rent for the old place if you signed a year lease. If you break the terms of the rental agreement, your landlord has the legal right to evict you.

7. You could be sued for unpaid rent

If you broke the rental agreement and are therefore evicted, you could still be legally responsible for unpaid rent. Rental management may sue you for the remainder of your unpaid rent. For example, if you’re evicted six months into your 12-month rental agreement, you could legally be on the hook for those last six months’ worth of rent. On top of legal fees, this could cost you a hefty sum.

How to bring your pet into your apartment the right way

If you’re an animal person and want a pet, then make sure you bring your cat or dog into the apartment the right way. As an animal lover and renter, make sure you’re searching for pet-friendly apartments and that you fully understand the terms of your lease agreement so you aren’t in violation of it. You can have your pet (and walk it, too) by talking to your landlord and following the rules.

Source: rent.com

The Cheapest Neighborhoods in New Orleans for Renters in 2022

The French Quarter is great and all, but these neighborhoods won’t break the bank.

New Orleans is an exciting place to live. A major tourist destination, you can probably guess which neighborhood is the most expensive — but where are the cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans and what makes them special?

Check out the cheapest neighborhoods and apartments in New Orleans.

What is the average rent in New Orleans?

The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in New Orleans is $2,311.

The 10 most affordable neighborhoods in New Orleans

Gorgeous and varying styles of architecture, rich culture and location are all major amenities of NOLA’s least expensive neighborhoods.

Though a few of these neighborhoods are completely new to non-residents, the neighborhoods below are some of the most distinct and historical in the city.

10. Medical District

Medical District

Medical District

SOURCE: RENT.COM/CANAL
  • Average 2-BR rent: $2,861
  • Rent change since 2021: +0.06%

The Medical District is in the heart of NOLA. Galleries and museums are a short distance away for culture-lovers, and some of the best restaurants in town are in this neighborhood.

The Medical District is where the Tulane University Medical School, School of Public Health and Louisiana State University are all located. There are various other medical institutions in the neighborhood, too, making it ideal for medical students, staff and professionals.

The Medical District has condos and high rises, but gorgeous brick buildings, as well. Many have beautiful detailing and quirky features that give the area a refreshing personality.

Lured by the fantastic location, you’ll find more than those who work in the medical industry in the area, however. Located within walking distance of the French Quarter, Superdome and Smoothie King Center, apartments in the Medical District are near the best nightlife and events.

9. Central Business District

Central Business District, one of the cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans.

Central Business District, one of the cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans.

SOURCE: RENT.COM/FOUR WINDS NOLA
  • Average 2-BR rent: $2,848
  • Rent change since 2021: -0.58%

Central Business District is the city’s “Downtown,” as this is the area where glass skyscrapers and office buildings are. That being said, the Central Business District (CBD) does have its share of architecture from the 19th century that’s well-preserved.

There are endless options for entertainment in CBD, matching the energetic and exciting vibe of the neighborhood. For kids, the Louisiana Children’s Museum and the Audubon Insectarium are instant favorites. Adults can enjoy Broadway shows and concerts hosted at the Saenger, while Orpheum provides more innovative and unique performances.

If there’s one thing it’s impossible to do in the Central Business District, it’s to eat at every restaurant. Foodies might give it a try, but the sheer amount of delicious eateries on one block is staggering.

Perfect for high-energy families, professionals and kids, Central Business District apartments are close to everything you need.

8. Faubourg Lafayette

Faubourg Lafayette

Faubourg Lafayette

SOURCE: RENT.COM/THE MUSES APARTMENT HOMES
  • Average 2-BR rent: $2,592
  • Rent change since 2021: N/A

If you’re looking for an up-and-coming neighborhood with tons of amenities, look no further. Centrally located, Faubourg Lafayette connects to some of the most popular neighborhoods, has accessible public transit and is only a 10-minute walk to the Superdome.

One of the great African American neighborhoods in the city, the Ashe Cultural Arts Center is a great place to learn about the arts of the African diaspora. Along St. Charles Avenue, you’ll find some of the most delicious Mexican, Southern and seafood dishes.

Non-profits and cultural arts are revitalizing the neighborhood, drawing young professionals and families to its lively streets. With all the interest and development this neighborhood is quickly becoming one of the hippest places to live in the area, but for now, apartments in Faubourg Lafayette are still some of the most affordable.

7. Central City

Central City, one of the cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans.

Central City, one of the cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans.

SOURCE: RENT.COM/1643 JOSEPHINE
  • Average 2-BR rent: $2,592
  • Rent change since 2021: N/A

Located smack in the middle of the Central Business District and Garden Districts, when you live in Central City, you can do just about everything on foot.

The neighborhood is a hodgepodge of architecture, though seemingly odd is actually Central City’s rich history on full display. You’ll find shotgun homes — built for an influx of migrant workers — in every direction, architectural gems next to vacant lots and 20th-century apartments in Central City.

Oretha Castle Haley Blvd is a major area of the neighborhood and is where the Central City Festival takes place. It also has some of the best restaurants and cafés to visit, not to mention the art centers and museums. As more investment returns into the neighborhood, the growth will continue to attract new people.

It’s no surprise if you haven’t heard of Central City — many tourists haven’t — but that hasn’t stopped this neighborhood, and the interest in it, from continuing to thrive.

6. Lower Garden District

Lower Garden District

Lower Garden District

SOURCE: RENT.COM/DELANEAUX
  • Average 2-BR rent: $2,485
  • Rent change since 2021: +1.91%

Famous for Magazine Street, the Lower Garden District is known for having a million things to do. Whether you’re hanging out at the trendiest new bar or taking in an art exhibit, the options are endless.

Despite the number of boutiques, restaurants and shops located in the Lower Garden District, it’s a neighborhood above all else. This historic area is an eclectic community that features some of the best architecture New Orleans has to offer. From mansions to condos and townhouses, there’s something for families, professionals, couples and everyone else.

Lower Garden District is also great if you love the outdoors. Coliseum Square, a park known for its beautifully preserved and vast amount of green space, is at the center of the city.

A neighborhood that’s full of culture, interesting neighbors and spellbinding old streets, architectural gems aren’t the only thing you’re sure to find here.

5. Mid-City

Mid-City, one of the cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans.

Mid-City, one of the cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans.

SOURCE: RENT.COM/AMERICAN CAN APARTMENTS
  • Average 2-BR rent: $2,254
  • Rent change since 2021: -5.03%

Not only is Mid-City one of the cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans, but it’s also one of the coolest, too. Without as many tourist attractions as other areas, Mid-City’s economic livelihood relies heavily on local clientele, giving the neighborhood a unique identity.

Mid-City, once the swampy back part of town, now attracts younger people with its diversity, an array of bars and restaurants and quirky local feel. Residents live in historic homes, many of which still have cypress cabinetry and other original architectural features.

Public transit goes throughout the neighborhood, connecting to Uptown and Gentilly, as well as the Canal Street streetcar. Centrally located, when you live in Mid-City, you’re only 10–15 minutes away from everything in New Orleans.

With quick access to outdoor recreational spaces and major commercial corridors that attract residents throughout the city, apartments in Mid-City provide a fusion of spacious Uptown living and the urban vibes of downtown.

4. Fairgrounds

The Esplanade at City Park

The Esplanade at City Park

SOURCE: RENT.COM/THE ESPLANADE AT CITY PARK
  • Average 2-BR rent: $1,831
  • Rent change since 2021: +3.6%

Fairgrounds is famous to tourists for the Fair Grounds Race Course — the namesake of the neighborhood — and the New Orleans Jazz Festival, but only true NOLA locals know how much it has to offer.

Predominantly a residential neighborhood, Fairgrounds oozes with the laid-back NOLA charm its long been known for, yet, surprisingly, bursts with life. Residents living in Fairgrounds apartments enjoy easy access to City Park and the New Orleans Museum of Art, as well as a central location within the city.

Bordered by the waterway, Bayou St. John, residents have access to a variety of outdoor activities along the bayou, as well as many local bars, restaurants and boutiques to explore. Designed for travel, the neighborhood’s streets are pedestrian- and biker-friendly, making a day out in the neighborhood fun and easy.

As one of the cheapest places to live in New Orleans, you’ll get much more from this area than you imagined.

3. Gert Town

Gert Town, one of the cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans.

Gert Town, one of the cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans.

SOURCE: RENT.COM/PARKWAY APARTMENTS
  • Average 2-BR rent: $1,788
  • Rent change since 2021: -1.11%

Often overlooked, Gert Town is a diverse slice of New Orleans quietly tucked away near the heart of the city. A blend of urban and academia, Gert Town is home to the sprawling campus of Xavier University and the Coca-Cola Bottling Plant. As more and more people have found their way to one of the most affordable neighborhoods in New Orleans, the secret has gotten out.

The neighborhood is now going through its own Renaissance of sorts, with developers adding new retailers, homes and apartments in Gert Town. The old Blue Plate building is now filled with artist lofts, and specialty businesses — including a craft brewery, wine shop and chocolatier that now call Gert Town home.

In addition to the converted industrial buildings and new shopping, renters get to enjoy some of the most delicious and diverse bakeries and restaurants, too. As the community continues to steadily redevelop and reengage the community, Gert Town’s hidden treasures will soon be city favorites.

2. Algiers

Algiers

Algiers

SOURCE: RENT.COM/RIVERVIEW VILLA
  • Average 2-BR rent: $1,292
  • Rent change since 2021: +1.31%

Algiers is a tight-knit community with a suburban feel — perfect for those who enjoy a slower pace and knowing their neighbors’ names. Sitting on the Mississippi River’s West Bank, this historical neighborhood is the second oldest in the city and one of the cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans.

Residents enjoy walking or biking the levee paths and taking in the gorgeous sunsets along the river, but residents can also head to the Lakewood Golf Course or Park Timbers for tennis.

While walkability isn’t its strong suit, renters living in Algiers have larger apartments and yards, stylish architecture and are only a ferry ride from the French Quarter, where all the action in the city takes place. Thanks to strong interest, the neighborhood is developing quickly with restaurants, cafés, bars and grocery stores popping up.

One of the cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans, apartments in Algiers offer similar amenities and quality of living found in Uptown but with an unmatched community appeal.

1. Old Aurora

Old Aurora, the cheapest neighborhood in New Orleans.

Old Aurora, the cheapest neighborhood in New Orleans.

Source: Rent.com/Forest Isle Apartments
  • Average 2-BR rent: $1,292
  • Rent change since 2021: +1.31%

There’s getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and then there’s Old Aurora. Tucked further inland on the other side of the Mississippi River, Old Aurora is not the fastest commute to the French Quarter’s nightlife, but the residents that call this neighborhood home like it that way.

It’s easy to forget you’re in the Big Easy when you walk Old Aurora. With streets lined with oak trees, friendly neighbors and the distinct sound of quiet, the neighbors love it for its residential feel, diverse population, good schools and safety. Old Aurora is ideal for retirees, couples and raising kids.

Compared to other neighborhoods, apartments in Old Aurora are more spacious and come with a smaller price tag. Along with some of the most affordable rent prices, you’ll also have brilliant views of NOLA’s skyline and river-front shopping, outdoor activities and nightlife.

The most expensive neighborhood in New Orleans

NOLA’s crown jewel, the French Quarter, is world-famous for intoxicating tourists with its alluring charm and picturesque streets. For residents living in the center of the action, however, the French Quarter is about convenience.

Bourbon Street is iconic for its music venues, bars and nightlife in general. It’s also home to elite fine dining establishments that keep tourists packing the neighborhood’s streets.

The rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the French Quarter is $3,242 with a 5.91 percent increase in rent over the past year.

If you’ve fallen in love with this neighborhood and want to live here, finding parking may drive you crazy, but you can reach some pretty amazing places by foot or bike.

Find an affordable neighborhood for your next apartment

Affordable, stylish apartments for rent in New Orleans are easy to find once you know where to look. The cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans offer great amenities, walkability and history that only add to the city’s already welcoming atmosphere.

Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Rent.com’s multifamily rental property inventory as of January 2022. Our team uses a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets. The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.

Source: rent.com

4 Steps to Build a Resilient Financial Life

Life can throw you curveballs, bringing unexpected events and expenses. That’s why building financial resilience in your life can be so powerful — and it starts with learning to have a basic sense of how your finances work and what you can do to make them work better for you.

If you’re feeling a bit uncertain or overwhelmed about how to get your finances in order, the first place to start is to define your goals. What is it that you want to achieve? It may be sticking to a budget, paying down debt, saving for retirement, building an emergency fund or saving for a big expense like a car, a home or a child’s education.

 Let’s walk through four basics for building a more resilient financial life.

Step 1: Be SMART with your goals

Whatever your goals, I encourage you to put pen to paper to write them down. I like to use something called the SMART goal-setting method, which stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Action-oriented
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound

For example, if you want to pay off debt, start with the actual dollar amount of how much you want to pay down. That makes it Specific and Measurable. Then, get Action-oriented by defining the steps you’re going to take. If it’s paying down debt, maybe you can cut back on eating out or put your tax refund toward your credit card bill.

By making your goal Specific, Measurable and Action-oriented, you’ll be able to see if your goal is Realistic — and if not, you can adjust, like by extending the time frame. Speaking of time, the T in SMART stands for Time-bound: Give your goal an expiration date so you have a target in mind. Once you reach that deadline, you’re encouraged to make the next goal, and then the next — and that’s how we make progress in our financial lives.

Step 2: Be organized

I like to use the analogy of building a house. It’s fun to dream about your floor plan and decorations, but building the house doesn’t truly begin until you break ground and lay the foundation. Creating a more formal budget is the foundation of our financial lives, helping us see exactly where money is flowing so we can better allocate it to our many needs, wants and goals. Calculate every dollar coming in, including earnings from your job or any other sources, such as a rental property or side hustle. Next, track your expenses — everything from rent and gas to coffee and birthday gifts. Once you list all those expenses, separate them into two columns for needs and wants.

This part is going to be different for everybody. For example, we all need to wear clothes, but do you really need new clothes every month? Maybe you do if have a growing child or need a new coat — but maybe not, and maybe you can put new clothes in the “want” column instead of the “need” column.

Another helpful tip is what’s called the 50-30-20 rule: Think about 50% of your budget going to cover needs like bills, food, housing, insurance and utilities; then the next 30% to wants like streaming services, vacations or new gadgets; and then the remaining 20% to savings — like your retirement account, stock portfolio and emergency fund.

Step 3: Be realistic

Practice makes perfect, so think of your financial life like playing a game of darts, where each triangle on that dart board is a different aspect of what you said you were going to spend or save to reach your goals. The more you practice throwing that dart, the better you’re going to be at hitting the mark consistently.

Of course, many of us live paycheck to paycheck or rack up debt to make ends meet. If that’s where you are today, it still helps to get a clearer picture of your goals, income, spending, needs and wants. Write it all down and try to identify places where you can potentially cut back. For example, you probably need your cellphone, but is there a less expensive plan that could work? If there’s really no wiggle room, look for ways to bring in additional income — maybe turning that passion project into a side hustle or picking up a flexible part-time job.

Making ends meet can be tough, so it’s important to put energy into building a financial cushion when you have the chance. You may have also heard that it’s a good idea to have three to six months of essential expenses saved up as an emergency fund, but for many of us, that’s easier said than done. Just keep in mind that savings don’t appear overnight. Start small, figure out what works for your lifestyle, and save — even if it’s $5 at a time.

Step 4: Get support

Financial literacy is simple, but not necessarily easy. The sooner you start budgeting, saving and investing, the more time you have for your money to potentially grow and help you reach your goals. Even small amounts of invested money can add up over time, thanks to the power of compounding interest. So make sure that you’re working to build up your financial resilience today so that when you retire, you can live the kind of life that you’ve always envisioned. If you feel behind, don’t panic — just start today, and start as small as you need to.

Our finances are such a significant area of our lives, which is why I personally find it very reassuring to know that there are many types of professionals out there who can offer support as you assess your options, prepare your next steps, and work to achieve your goals. Maybe you’re ready to build out a financial support team with help from attorneys, accountants or financial advisers and coaches. Many companies offer their employees access to financial education, advice and resources as a part of their benefits package, so check out whether your company offers any additional support that can help you take control of your financial journey today.

This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. The information and data in the article have been obtained from sources outside of Morgan Stanley. Morgan Stanley makes no representations or guarantees as to the accuracy or completeness of the information or data from sources outside of Morgan Stanley. It does not provide individually tailored investment advice and has been prepared without regard to the individual financial circumstances and objectives of persons who receive it. The strategies and/or investments discussed in this article may not be appropriate for all investors. Morgan Stanley recommends that investors independently evaluate particular investments and strategies, and encourages investors to seek the advice of a financial adviser. The appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor’s individual circumstances and objectives.

Head of Financial Wellness, Morgan Stanley

Krystal Barker Buissereth, CFA®, is a Managing Director and the Head of Financial Wellness for Morgan Stanley at Work. In this role, she is responsible for working with corporate clients and organizations on creating, implementing and managing financial wellness programs that meet the needs of their employees.

Source: kiplinger.com