Finding a decent apartment while you are settling down in your new environment can be a real headache, so here is a list that might help you with that process.
- You really need to take the time to understand the lease if there is one; don’t let them rush you into signing so fast, ask if you can review it first, take it home, and if need be take it to a lawyer. However, it is important that you sign and initial in front of the leasing agent once you decide on an apartment.
- On the subject of leasing agents, if you encounter an unpleasant one, make note of a red flag because they represent the company and that’s not acceptable behavior in any business setting. You should be treated with respect at all times and they need to listen to any questions or concerns you may have.
- Always inquire about a walk through. RED FLAG: When they tell you they do the walk through. That’s when you walk away before you sign. What their standards are and yours may be on the opposite ends of the earth.
- If you do decide to let them do the walk through and you are not happy, contact the property manager immediately and try to rectify the problem or problems, try not to get too emotional but do stay strong on your concerns.
- A lot of apartments are becoming more lenient on allowing animals and so therefore you will encounter animal smells in the common hallways. This is disturbing, and a simple solution would be to have animal free buildings for those tenants who prefer not to encounter the mess. The same should go for smokers. This is another red flag.
- Do your homework on apartment complexes; visit their website, Google feedback right into the search engine. You will always find negative feedback and as well some positive. Only you can weigh what is really important when you read this information.
- If you do sign the lease and decide at the last minute you made a mistake, you will end up paying for that decision. In most cases, it’s a 2-month break lease agreement in addition to the first months rent you already paid, so food for thought. More than likely you will get your security deposit back, but make sure what they tell you is in writing. If for some reason you cannot get your security deposit back, or only a portion of it, contact the property manager first, then the regional manager and demand a thorough explanation why and if you have been more than fair with them, they need to be fair with you.
- Stay on top of the progress and escalate if you have to the Regional Manager. Again, stay firm, but unemotional in all cases, sometimes it cannot be helped and if you get the right person, you should be satisfied with the end result.
This should serve as a guide to you when you are seeking to relocate to another city or state or just happen to be a first time apartment dweller. Good luck.