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10 Common Mistakes People Make With Their First Apartment

Common Mistakes People Make With Their First Apartment
Renting your first apartment can be exciting and almost like a dream come true. It seems easy to look for an apartment and shift in. However, this dream may soon turn into a nightmare if you ignore the basic things that you need to check out before moving in. In this Buzzle article, we tell you about some common mistakes that people make with their first apartment, so that you can avoid them in the future.
Tanaya Navalkar
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
- Don't pay for anything until you've seen the apartment.
- Be careful if the landlord seems too eager and in a hurry to rent out the place.
- Make sure you do a background check of the homeowner as well.
Shifting to the very first apartment of your life can be really exciting and fun. It gives you the feeling of being independent, and makes you more responsible in life. You can do all that you want to do, be it any time of the day. It makes you feel as if you are the king or queen of your little castle. As a first-time renter, you loved an apartment so much that you are in a hurry to sign the agreement, get the house keys, shift in, and start living. However, in the midst of all the fun and new-found freedom, your quick decisions and ignorance may land you into trouble quickly. Slow down a bit, because there are some things that you need to consider before moving in. So, before you sign that lease and begin your adventure in your new home, take a look at some of the common mistakes that first-time renters make. Obviously, these are what you need to avoid doing, or not doing.
Mistakes That People Make as a First-time Renter
Not reading the lease carefully
A lease or an agreement is the most important document that you will get when you take an apartment on rent. You can't simply rely on verbal talks or pinky promises that the landlord makes while giving you the apartment keys. Basically, it consists of the 'Dos and Don'ts', and a list of amenities that are provided to you. Make sure that you read every word of it very carefully before signing, so that you don't get yourself into some trouble for violating the contract later on. And, make sure that you get a copy of the contract too.
Not checking out the area
It is crucial to check out the area and the whole neighborhood once before moving in, to avoid any unwanted surprises. It may seem a pretty good neighborhood at first glance, but that doesn't mean that it would be a safe place to live. Make sure there are all the facilities nearby, like laundry, convenient stores, good places to eat, etc. Take a note of the people around, because you'll be seeing them everyday, and you may also need their help at times. Ensure that you have good neighbors around. Also, make sure that you'll have no commuting problems to your workplace.
Not checking out the apartment thoroughly
It is also important to check out the apartment thoroughly before signing the agreement. Look for any broken or non-functional appliances, cracks, leakages, pests, etc. Give the list of repairs to your landlord in writing, and get it signed from him. Also, check if you will have a parking space for your vehicle, and enough storage space for your belongings as well. It'll save you a whole lot of trouble later on.
Not clicking pictures
No, we're not talking about the happy-faced selfies here! Whatever damages you find, make sure that you click a picture of it. This will ensure that you won't be blamed for those things when you decide to move out, because you may lose out on the deposit if your landlord finds any damages. Report for any maintenance issues immediately.
Not getting the renters' insurance
After signing the agreement, make sure that you get a renter's insurance before moving in. This will be helpful in case of any mishaps, like a fire, flood, etc. Your landlord's insurance cover will not protect you and your possessions. So, if your personal belongings are stolen or damaged, he probably won't be responsible.
Paying the rent late
Many people often make the mistake of not paying the rent on time. Depending on the agreement, you may be charged a late fee, or even an eviction notice if you are always late in paying the rent. If you are not able to give the rent on time, make sure that you notify your landlord and get an extended date. However, don't make it a habit, unless you want to burn a hole in your pocket.
Leaving the apartment without informing
Some people do think that they can leave the apartment without notifying the landlord, because they don't own it. All tenants are required to give a 30-days notice if they want to leave. Also, remember that you won't get your deposit back if you leave without informing.
Leaving the apartment in damaged condition while moving out
Nothing is more troubling for a landlord than when the tenants leave the apartment damaged when they move out. Damaged appliances, holes in the walls, trash all around the house, etc., may just keep you from getting your full security deposit back, and sometimes you may even be charged extra money. Therefore, before leaving the place, make sure that you don't leave any of your things behind, and also ensure that all the appliances are in proper working condition.
Not planning out the budget
Make sure that you plan out your budget and determine the living costs before renting any apartment. Apart from the rent, there will also be other expenses, like transportation, cable, Internet, and other utilities. So, before signing the contract, make sure that you can afford to live there. If you are moving in with roommates, discuss the budget with them too, so that you can avoid any money-related conflicts later on.
Sneaking in a pet
Some landlords do not allow tenants to keep pets, while others take an extra security deposit for this. This will also be mentioned in the agreement. This is mainly because of the damage caused to the property. If you are planning to sneak in a pet, let us warn you that it may land you in big legal trouble, and can also get you evicted from the house if you get caught.
These were some of the rookie mistakes that first-time renters make. Check for all of these, if you want to make your experience worthwhile and positive.