Become a Master Apartment Renter with 5 Invaluable Tips!

  |     |   Apartments, Renting Tips

The internet is positively overflowing with helpful tips, tricks and advice for folks renting an apartment. Some information is easy to find like “knowing your budget,” or “planning your move.” But these tips (below) are what Heatherwood calls the “most valuable!” These will help you master the art of renting your next apartment!

Know the Area

Take a road trip to the proposed apartment complex or luxury hi-rise you’re interested in. Tour the area and ask yourself…are there any safety issues? Is there graffiti on the walls in the surrounding areas? Are there closed retail shops nearby? How about main thoroughfares or roadways that will make sleeping or enjoying peace-and-quiet difficult? If you notice one or more of these things you should probably investigate further.

Lease Agreement

How long is your lease? Is it 6 months, a year? Are there charges or fees associated with early termination? How about pet-fees or a guest policy? And what about parking? All of these questions should be asked and the lease agreement thoroughly read as some of these items are probably free, but some most certainly will come with additional costs.


Don’t get caught in the dark the first night in your new apartment! Make sure it is clear, at the time your sign your lease agreement, who is responsible for having the electricity turned-on to your apartment (or if it is already turned on, make sure you have your name & address added to the monthly bills). Ask which phone service or cable-company is the preferred in the area (and ask about other service choices if there are any). Lastly, make sure the cooking gas (or electric), air conditioning and heating are discussed clearly before you sign the lease. You do not want to get hit with extra fees or bills that you didn’t allocate for after you move in.

Application Fees

When renting an apartment in New York City or on Long island leasing agents and management companies often have applications you’ll need to fill out. So be prepared to share some personal information (like banking accounts and employer info) on the form. In addition, the majority of the time there will be fees that will go towards “processing” your application. These fees vary but are often affordable. Be sure to ask how much application fees are in advance so you can budget appropriately.

Designate a Cosigner

Is this your first apartment? Or maybe you’re thinking of moving into a luxury apartment building where rent is at a premium. Either way the management company may ask you to have a “cosigner” on the lease agreement. This could be a parent who will be responsible to pay your rent in the event you become unable to do so. A cosigner may also be requested in instances of poor or little credit history or, if you’re monthly income is not at the required level. Plan appropriately so that you have this person’s permission, (your designated cosigner may even have to appear in person but most definitely will have to sign the lease with you or before you do) they may even have to disclose their personal information as well.

There are so many things, in addition to those listed above that you should research and inform yourself with before you make the move to a new apartment. Do you know someone who would find this information valuable? Why not share this post with them on facebook or tweet it to them on Twitter!

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