From Dennis Goebel, Vice President, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company
Renting an apartment is typically one of your first big financial commitments. And, as with any major commitment, there are many factors to consider. For help, start with this beginner’s apartment rental guide.
- Set a budget. You’ll need money for food, transportation, phone and Internet, and probably some savings for a rainy day—so determine a budget and allocate a portion of that for your rent.
- Find and inspect apartments. Once you’ve determined your budget, it’s time to find the available rental apartments in your area. When you visit, remember to check for the following:
- Properly working plumbing and electricity: Turn on taps and light switches, flush toilets, and check under sinks for evidence of leaks.
- Security features: Ensure doors and windows have secure frames and sturdy locks.
- Routine maintenance issues: Inspect the floors, walls, and ceilings for damage or decay.
- Ask the right questions. Your experience as a renter begins by asking the landlord key questions, including:
- How much is the rent, and when is it due?
- Are utilities included?
- What is the policy on pets?
- Is there parking available, and what are the costs associated with it?
- Who is responsible for maintenance and common areas?
- What security measures are in place?
If possible, you should also talk to some of the current tenants about what it’s like to live in the building.
- Rent the apartment. Once you find the perfect apartment, you need to fill out a rental application. If your application is approved and you pass the credit check, then it’s time to sign a rental agreement (short term) or a lease (longer term). Don’t forget to inventory everything in the apartment, such as existing appliances. Take photos to document the condition of each item.
Follow these tips and you’ll be set when you go out in search for your first apartment.
As a member of the AAFP, you are also eligible to receive exclusive group savings. For more information and to get a free, no-obligation quote, call 855-440-2153, click here or contact your local agent.
Discounts and savings available where state laws and regulations allow, and may vary by state. To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually underwritten; not all applicants may qualify.
Coverage underwritten and provided by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and its affiliates, 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02116. Reprinted with permission from Liberty Mutual. ©2014 Liberty Mutual Insurance