1. Do Your Homework
Before calling a landlord or going to a showing, be sure you have researched the location and its amenities as well as the surrounding area. Conduct your investigation thoroughly. If you require transportation, a parking space or a pet friendly location, inquire about these specifics before moving forward.
2. Talk to the neighbors
If possible, before you speak with the landlord, ask around the premise to see how other tenants feel about the apartment complex. The best resource you’ll find in apartment searching is current residents: they’ll have all the ups and downs you need to know.
3. Act Confident
Once you do make contact with the landlord or the community, speak with confidence. Write yourself a list of notes as a reference and stand up for yourself, but don’t be pushy either. This also applies for when you go see the apartment.
4. Ask questions
You are your greatest advocate, so ask questions if you have them. Often first time renters are too shy to question management or potential neighbors, but if you don’t ask, no one else will.
5. Don’t go over budget
Even though you may love the park side apartment with three bedrooms, if its out of your price range, you must resist. Whatever you do, don’t go over budget. Your stress and anxiety will increase if you have to scrape for every dollar just to live on your own.
6. Actually read the lease
Once you’ve chosen an ideal location and you are handed the leasing contract, actually read it. Don’t skim it. Don’t show it to your dog. Read the contract and be sure you understand everything contained within it.
7. Take Inventory
When the time comes that you move in, the first thing you should do is document every scratch, loose floor board and dented appliance on paper and in pictures so whenever you move out, you aren’t held accountable for previous damages.