Avoiding renter’s regret
Take your time when choosing an apartment. Especially when demand is high and availability is limited, some apartment-seekers may feel the need to sign a lease as soon as possible so that a moderately acceptable unit doesn’t vanish. Not all end up in the apartment that satisfies all of their needs – some feel regret a few days after the move in, and some concerns may be more serious than a carpet stain or dishwasher leak.
Experienced renters know it: the best strategy to avoid renter’s regret is taking the time to make a wise decision. Time is needed for prospective renters to shop around, look, ask questions, understand, test and contemplate before signing the lease. So, start early, don’t rush into things, and be sure to address the following:
Parking – the landlord may say that each tenant has one parking spot reserved, but might forget to mention anything about guest parking. Ask of the guest allocated spots and of the penalties for parking in another tenant’s space. If no penalties are enforced and tenants are forced to park in fire lanes, towing could follow, in which case the tenant will be held financially responsible for reclaiming his/her vehicle.
Laundry – learn if each apartment unit is equipped with connections for a washer and dryer, or if there’s an on-site facility.
Traffic – with the intention to appeal to prospective tenants and their daily commuting time, many multifamily complexes chose the proximity to major highways and other well-traveled thoroughfares. This translates into noise, pollution, and in some cases sleep disruption.
Noise – probably it’s best to ask current tenants about noise – it can be from other neighbors, someone’s pet, the swimming pool, some nearby construction, or an airport in close proximity.
Penalties – terms for giving notice, being late with the rent payment, or breaking the lease should be given by the landlord in writing.
Maintenance – go see the apartment during the day and test all appliances before signing the lease. Moreover, ask what happens in the event an appliance breaks down: was the maintenance team fast, effective? Did they clean up once they’ve finished? Is their schedule different during weekend?
Closets – not enough space can make you rent storage space. Probably not something you want to go through.
Renter’s Insurance – in case of fire, lightning, burglary or some other misfortunate event, renter’s insurance brings you the much needed peace of mind. Don’t live with the impression that living in a rental means that your landlord takes care of everything around your apartment.